In 1998, Brigham Young University Television (BYUtv) produced an outstanding documentary series on family life with one episode focusing on avoiding and overcoming pornography. Several experts in the area of sexual addiction (including Jill C. Manning PhD, author of What’s the Big Deal About Pornography? A Guide for the Internet Generation, a fabulous little book for discussing the topic with your teen) are interviewed and provide some sobering stories and statistics. A professor from the UCLA School of Medicine weighs in on the dangerous effects of pornography.
Several addicts and spouses also tell their stories. Some have hopeful endings, others don’t. The one thing I don’t like about it is that the faces of these people are kept in the shadows. I know there are good reasons for keeping anonymous (hey, I do it, too), especially where there are kids in the family who might suffer ridicule at the hands of other children who find out that Dad is a sex addict. Still, I wish this disease could come out of the shadows and people didn’t feel fear, shame and humiliation–three of the biggest triggers for relapse in addicts.
I can’t seem to figure out how to embed the video in my post, so here’s the link.
Perhaps the most important 15 or so seconds come at 18:43 when Rick Schatz, president of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, says that in seventeen years in the field, he has yet to see a single man who overcome the addiction on his own. A repeated message in the piece is that you can’t get over it in isolation.
Oh, by the way, Emmy-award winner Jane Clayson (of Good Morning America fame) narrates.
**WARNING** Some of the color shots are images of adult magazines and websites. While they’re opaqued, they’re probably not opaqued enough so they’re still pretty graphic and could be triggering. View with caution!
They also kind of the dance around the solution too much, too vaguely. I’ll be clear about it: Sexaholics Anonymous for sex and pornography addicts; S-Anon for the spouses and adult children of addicts. In certain areas where there is proper training and significant experience in recovery, the Church’s Pornography Addiction Support Group (PASG) (a part of the Addiction Recovery Program) and spouses’ meeting can also be effective, but your mileage may vary.