By: Shane James O’Neill
*READER DISCRETION ADVISED
In January, Pornhub, the largest pornographic website in the world, released their analytics from the 2017 year. The stats are harrowing. But as one victim of the serial abuser Larry Nassar said:
We can tend to gloss over the devastation of any kind of suffering but especially sexual assault, with Christian platitudes like God works all things together for good or God is sovereign. Those are very good and glorious biblical truths, but when they are misapplied in a way to dampen the horror of evil, they ultimately dampen the goodness of God. If we pretend that the darkness isn’t dark, it dampens the beauty of the light.
These stats compel us to stop pretending that darkness isn’t dark and demands we not dampen the horror of evil.
We must reckon with truth, even when that truth tells us hard things.
Here’s the hard truth about our sexual appetites.
In 2017 Pornhub videos had 800 searches per second; 50,000 searches per minute. Their site was viewed by 81 million people per day and hosted 28.5 BILLION visitors over the course of the year.
Just to reiterate some of that information: 68 years of continuous pornography was uploaded this past year… Let me say that this way, imagine someone who is 68, all the relationships they’ve made, all the life they’ve lived, the moving, the experiences, the children and grandchildren, all of it. And now imagine that they had none of that, that ever since the day of their birth, they had only ever watched porn — every second of every minute of every hour of every day, for 68 years.
The world has contributed that much time and life to one pornographic website. In just one year.
Every 5 minutes Pornhub transmits more data than all the information found in the 50 million books of the New York Public library. Or to present that another way, in 2017 there was enough data transferred on Pornhub to fill the memory of every currently operating iPhone on earth.
Just like 2016, 2017’s top global searches include step mom and step sister pornography. The United States’ top search was stepmom pornography. Incestuous pornography and pedophile styled pornography (cheerleading, animated searches) continue to be the top searched themes.
In 2017, the United States trafficked 3x more pornography than any other country in the world.
What does all of this mean?
What happens when a country gorges itself on pornography? What happens when the world’s biggest industry markets in lust?
Pornhub had an increase of 5.5 billion visits last year from the 2016 stats. There were more than 28,500,000,000 site visits last year. If we were to equate that to our current world population, that would be around 3.75 visits per person on earth!
What do you think happens to the family unit and to sexual expectations when hundreds of millions of people are intentionally seeking out and viewing pornography of moms having sex with sons/stepsons and daughters/stepdaughters? What happens to our view of the family when incest is the most viewed pornography by the majority of the population?
Personally, I don’t know how to give any real answer(s) to these questions.
I hate having to reckon with any of this information.
Not least because I’m plenty certain I was one of those 28.5 billion visitors last year. The stats bear out that you likely were too.
What Does all of this tell us?
Pornography is winning. Pornography is more accessible and available than ever before and is impacting our culture more than any other industry, liturgy, praxis, or system. Pornography is raising our children, teaching us how to love, and shaping our values.
These statistics were presented by Pornhub as a celebration of industry growth. Yet no one is celebrating the social influence of pornography in the #metoo abuse. No one is celebrating the emergence of rape culture. People have been reduced to objects of pleasure and the beginning effects are devastating.
We can’t keep hating the effects and sleeping with the cause.
It is important to acknowledge that if this is the kind of pornography we’re watching now, it will get worse. And that worse is in a place of darkness that I can’t imagine, considering our current pornographic appetites.
Knowledge and Priesthood
As we noted some weeks ago, God tells us in Hosea that ignorance will destroy us: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. Hosea 4:6
We can’t intercede as priests – either prayerfully or through action – if we pretend darkness doesn’t exist. That’s not an exhortation to go into darkness, but it is an exhortation towards awareness. Don’t be foolish by performing independent research, continue to use channels like Proven Men to gain information about this particular expression of evil.
What you can do
Stay informed. Learn. Share this article. Subscribe to receive our blogs. Take your children through the Proven curriculum. Get together with friends and do our 12 Week Work Book Study. Talk with your pastors and get Proven Men resources into your church!
There is a war, don’t be a spectator on the side of pornography.
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Shane James O’Neill is the Editorial Director for Proven Men Ministries. He is currently working on a graduate degree in apologetics at Liberty University’s Rawling School of Divinity.