Only one or two of every 100 men have never read erotic magazines or watched pornographic movies, believes Dr. Richard Beck, chair of the Department of Psychology.
For most men, the interest in pornography doesn’t create an obsession. But the addicted need serious help.
A ministry called “The Man in the Mirror” estimates that “for every 10 men in church, five are struggling with pornography,” (“The Call of Biblical Manhood”, July 6th, 2004).
Porn addiction affects ACU students too. Kurt Boyland, counselor at the Counseling Center, started a Chapel called “Healing from the Struggle with Pornography and Lust.”
Since last week, a group of male students meets every Thursday at 11 a.m. in a location only disclosed to those interested.
Boyland hopes these students will encourage each other to eventually heal from their struggle. He believes if they still feel loved, it will restore the image they have of themselves.
Because of the nature of the issue, people usually try to handle it privately.
The guilt and shame isolates them. Both Boyland and Dr. Beck compare porn addiction to alcoholism.
Dr. Beck also compares the struggle with porn to the process of losing weight. Losing weight takes a lot of effort and constant attention. For some people, it turns into a lifelong battle.
Tons of options exist for people who try to lose weight, but there is no obvious program to fight porn addiction.
“There is no Weight Watchers for pornography,” Dr. Beck said.
This new Chapel offers precisely an opportunity for students struggling with porn and lust to talk openly about their problems and find a form of support.
However, they don’t need to hear about morality.
“They already know they are not doing right,” Boyland said.
In the past, Boyland worked with students who suffered severe addictions to porn and lust; some of them used food or animals as sexual objects.
The addition of this group to campus shows the university is beginning to understand that pornography is an issue many struggle with.
Before now, pornography addiction wasn’t really acknowledged by the church, and bringing this support group to campus will help many students with addictions realize they are not alone.
Indeed, people struggling with porn and lust can’t control their sexual drives.
It can lead to more serious perversities like usage of prostitution, sex crimes or pedophilia.