Last month, Dr Gomathi Sitharthan at the University of Sydney's Graduate Program in Sexual Health report her findings that one in three women watch pornography.
A British newspaper in 2009 reported that their own survey found that 66% of women watch porn which is nearly double the number of women watching porn in Dr.Sitharthan's findings.
A website reporting on thetop 10 Internet pornography statistics has some more detailed statistics on this topic:
|Women and Pornography|
|Women keeping their cyber activities secret||70%|
|Women struggling with pornography addiction||17%|
|Ratio of women to men favoring chat rooms||2X|
|Percentage of visitors to adult websites who are women||1 in 3 visitors|
|Women accessing adult websites each month||9.4 million|
|Women admitting to accessing pornography at work||13%|
|Women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex or affairs.|
President Hinckley cited the Internet Pornography Statistics in his October 2004 Conference Address:
“20% of men admit accessing pornography at work. 13% of women [do so]. … 10% of adults admit having internet sexual addiction” (“Internet Pornography Statistics: 2003”). That is their admission, but actually the number may be much higher.Not only are women watching porn by themselves, they are also watching it with their spouse or boyfriend: Last month, the British newspaper, the Sun reported that
"76 percent of women use porn is a 10 percent rise on the two-thirds of females who admitted to watching porn with their partners in a survey last year."
The harmful effects of watching porn affect men and women. Elder Richard G. Scott, in his 2009 October Conference address, speaks out on the consequences of pornography:
"I share a warning. Satan is extremely good at blocking spiritual communication by inducing individuals, through temptation, to violate the laws upon which spiritual communication is founded. With some, he is able to convince them that they are not able to receive such guidance from the Lord
Satan has become a master at using the addictive power of pornography to limit individual capacity to be led by the Spirit. The onslaught of pornography in all of its vicious, corroding, destructive forms has caused great grief, suffering, heartache, and destroyed marriages. It is one of the most damning influences on earth.
Whether it be through the printed page, movies, television, obscene lyrics, vulgarities on the telephone, or flickering personal computer screen, pornography is overpoweringly addictive and severely damaging. This potent tool of Lucifer degrades the mind and the heart and the soul of any who use it.
All who are caught in its seductive, tantalizing web and remain so will become addicted to its immoral, destructive influence. For many, that addiction cannot be overcome without help. The tragic pattern is so familiar. It begins with curiosity that is fueled by its stimulation and is justified by the false premise that when done privately, it does no harm to anyone else. For those lulled by this lie, the experimentation goes deeper, with more powerful stimulations, until the trap closes and a terribly immoral, addictive habit exercises its vicious control."
The message from the Prophet and the General Authority is clear: old or young, male or female; the spiritual consequences of pornography affects everyone equally. No member of the Church should fall into Satan's trap of porn.Fortunately, men and women can overcome this problem by going through the steps of repentance and applying the atonement in their lives. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has outlined steps one can take to overcome pornography:
"First, acknowledge the evil. Don’t defend it or try to justify yourself. For at least a quarter century our leaders have pleaded with men, and also with women and children, to avoid this evil. Our current Church magazines are full of warnings, information, and helps on this subject—with more than a score of articles published or to be published this year and last year alone.
Second, seek the help of the Lord and His servants. Hear and heed President Hinckley’s words: “Plead with the Lord out of the depths of your soul that He will remove from you the addiction which enslaves you. And may you have the courage to seek the loving guidance of your bishop and, if necessary, the counsel of caring professionals” (Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2004, 62).
Third, do all that you can to avoid pornography. If you ever find yourself in its presence—which can happen to anyone in the world in which we live—follow the example of Joseph of Egypt. When temptation caught him in her grip, he left temptation and “got him out” (Gen 39: 12)
Don’t accommodate any degree of temptation. Prevent sin and avoid having to deal with its inevitable destruction. So, turn it off! Look away! Avoid it at all costs. Direct your thoughts in wholesome paths. Remember your covenants and be faithful in temple attendance. The wise bishop I quoted earlier reported that “an endowed priesthood bearer’s fall into pornography never occurs during periods of regular worship in the temple; it happens when he has become casual in his temple worship” (letter of Mar. 13, 2005).
We must also act to protect those we love. Parents install alarms to warn if their household is threatened by smoke or carbon monoxide. We should also install protections against spiritual threats, protections like filters on Internet connections and locating access so others can see what is being viewed. And we should build the spiritual strength of our families by loving relationships, family prayer, and scripture study.
Finally, do not patronize pornography. Do not use your purchasing power to support moral degradation."If you are trapped in the sin of pornography, "now is the time to change. Let this be our hour of resolution. Let us turn about to a better way." (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Tragic Evil among Us,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 59–6)