Documentary Highlights Harms of Pornography

by David Nussman  •  •  November 27, 2018   

Three-part docuseries [i]Brain, Heart, World[/i] tells how pornography harms the person, relationships and society

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DETROIT ( - A new documentary is exposing the evil effects of internet pornography.

The three-part documentary series titled Brain, Heart, World came out Nov. 12. It was made by Fight the New Drug, a secular non-profit that raises awareness about the harmful effects of internet pornography addiction.

The series' three parts describe how pornography use damages the human mind, relationships with others and society at large. It is available for free online through the end of November.

Fight the New Drug states in a webpage about the film series that it is meant for middle-schoolers and older: "As a youth-focused organization, we designed this three-part series to be an educational resource for those in middle school and older."

As unfiltered internet access becomes more common, so does access to pornography. Many children in the United States today see pornography for the first time in their pre-teens or early teens. Some say the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. Others have put it as young as eight.

The filmmakers make clear that they are not making moral arguments against porn, but are presenting information from neurology, psychology, statistics and so on that challenges the widespread acceptance of pornography in contemporary culture.

Owing to how it affects the brain, pornography usage can become as addicting as illegal narcotics, with some calling it "the new crack cocaine." One of the experts interviewed in Brain, Heart, World says, "Everything that we do, each and every day, shapes our brains. So if I watch a lot of porn, I will train my brain regions responsible for porn processing a lot more."

The video's narrator explains how pornography takes things the brain is naturally stimulated by and imitates them in such an exaggerated way that many porn viewers prefer the exaggerated imitation over the normal reality.

Pornography takes a toll on the user's ability to interact with others. The self-centered fantasy world created by porn makes it hard for porn users to feel confident around real people. One expert told the filmmakers, "Pornography consumption changes you in ways that will handicap your ability to connect and attach in healthy, loving ways."

In the case of marriage, porn use by a spouse is often a contributing cause for divorce, as it gives the user a faster, easier source of sexual gratification than intimacy with a spouse.

Pornography consumption changes you in ways that will handicap your ability to connect and attach in healthy, loving ways.

The film makes the case that pornography is harmful to society at large in several ways. One way that pornography damages society is through the connection between the porn industry and sex trafficking. One of the experts interviewed in the film claims, "There isn't pornography over here and trafficking over there. ... They're interlinked."

Rampant addiction to internet porn also makes its consumers more likely to commit sexual violence. Among men, porn's hypersexual view of women makes men who view it more likely to think that even women who reject sexual advances just secretly "want it."

Speaking to Catholic News Agency, Fight the New Drug President Clay Olsen was hopeful that the film series would be a new way to get his organization's message out to more people. He said, "We believe that this [movie] format will be able to reach individuals more quickly and in the medium in which they are more accustomed to learning."

Some Catholic leaders have spoken out on the immorality of pornography and the evil consequences it has on individuals and society. The U.S. bishops conference states, "Pornography is a grave offense against God and His gifts to men and women."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes so far as to say that, due to how immoral and destructive pornography is, "Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials" (no. 2354).

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