6.24.2011

Is Sexual Addiction Boys Being Boys, Or Is It A Behavioral Disorder? Isn’t It Who You Ask? Christian Or Secular?


By Lawrence W. Daly

            In 2002, I wrote and published, Battles of the Flesh, a book dealing with the issues surrounding sexual addiction. At that time there were several books out which dealt with sexual addiction, how it happens, why it happens and the healing process. The one area which had been over looked was the problem in the church where the pastors themselves, were having great difficulty in not viewing pornography.
               It is reported that pornography is a 12 billion dollar industry and 50 percent of men who attended a Promise Keeper’s stadium event viewed pornography within that following week…54 percent of pastors said they viewed pornography within the past year…47 percent stated that pornography is a serious problem in their home.
            Knowing these statistics should tell us that sexual addiction of pornography is more serious then first imagined. So where do we take our sexually addicted? Every Christian is looking for the Promised Land, but when the Pastors leading the churches are having problems, then where do those sitting in the pews supposed to turn to? The answers are not easy and the recovery is long and complicated. Nobody wants to be a sexual addict. The problems associated with it are burdensome, harmful, mentally problematic and so much more.
            Since men lead the way in being sexually addicted, this article will deal with men and sexual addiction. First, sexual addiction doesn’t mean that you are currently addicted to pornography. Statistics have demonstrated that pornography is just the beginning of the sexual addiction problem. Most men who disclose they believe they are a sexual addict talk about masturbating as early as nine years old to their father’s magazines. Many then move on to the Internet and the many sexual websites where they quickly find their favorites.
The Internet has changed the accessibility methods for men and women who seek pleasure by surfing the net. The exposure of pornography, sexual encounters, dating, escorts, prostitution and so forth is available 24/7 on the Internet. So when everyone goes to bed, the man of the house can begin his journey inside the Internet, going to places which have relationship-based sexual encounters. Facebook, Craigslist, MySpace, and so forth are just a few places one can explore for a sexual partner. I have been counseling men and women for the past 25 years and what I hear on a daily basis is that sex is non-existence at home, I truly love my wife, but I need sex and she isn’t willing to give it to me. She never really enjoyed it, so I have always had one eye which wonders and sometimes it gets me into trouble. What a bunch of garbage. These men are making excuses to have sex outside the confines of their marriage. Cheating on your wife is a major problem. Statistics have demonstrated that men just like to cheat on their significant other. It is the sex they want and need and until they get caught everything is great. Then the tears begin to flow and the man begins to tell how difficult it is to stop the desire and need for sex and how he has a sexual addiction problem. Since Tiger Woods, every man who gets caught cheating on his wife has a sexual addiction problem. The story  of being sexually addicted gains strength as one by one a politician, a movie star, a special person who you and your significant other know, just got caught cheating on their significant other. It is a vicious cycle and because the elite have mental and sexual problems it is alright for the man to have one to. Just imagine what the wife is able to tell her family and friends, indeed my husband suffers from sexual addiction; he is in therapy and we are working things out. These types of statements make marital discourse more bearable for all of the parties.
According to Patrick Carnes, a pioneer and respected authority in the field of sex addiction:
Points to low self-esteem, isolation, and trust issues as the psychological fuel of sexual addiction, "Generally, addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons. Nor do they believe that other people would care for them or meet their needs if everything was known about them, including the addiction. Finally, they believe that sex is their most important need. Sex is what makes isolation bearable. If you do not trust people, one thing that is true about sex (and alcohol, food, gambling, and risk) is that it always does what it promises, for the moment." Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes.
Other statistics across different groups, from lawyers to Catholic high school boys, provided the following statistics:
            The problems most cited by the attorneys were:
1)      Met new love interest over the Internet - 68 percent
2)      Obsessive interest in pornographic sites - 56 percent
3)      Excessive time on computer - 47 percent
4)       Excessive time communicating in chat rooms - 33 percent
And:
1)      The results of the survey indicated that 48% were viewing pornography one or more times each week;
2)      Out of the boys who had viewed pornography, 36% had feelings of addiction to pornography;
3)      And 68% said that their parents were unaware of their pornography use;
4)      The high school also surveyed their entire freshman class, and 29% of the freshman boys were viewing pornography one or more times each week;
5)      Out of the freshman boys who had viewed pornography, 12% had feelings of addiction, and 74% said that their parents were unaware of their pornography use.
6)      Almost 90% of these students were from Catholic families, and the school has conducted other surveys on pornography over the last three years, and found results that were quite similar.
7)      Of the boys that were viewing pornography, between 80-85% indicated that they were accessing pornography through the Internet. (Used with permission from the school, as long as we referred to them as a Catholic high school in the Midwest.)
The question I asked at the beginning of this article is sexual addiction boys being boys or is it a behavioral problem(s)? Obviously there are numerous conditions which answer my questions. At this point, pornography leads the way in behaviour for men acting out sexually. Parents are failing to address what is appropriate behaviour for children sexually. Other questions arise about what steps are parents taking to minimize the pornography aspects when their children are accessing the Internet? Why are children under the age of 10 years old acting out sexually, by themselves, with peers and the opposite sex? Is it possible that it is just normal curiosity; and/or is it more than curiosity? I will address some of these questions in tomorrow’s article. In the meantime think about what you are doing sexually.
Are you a sexual addict? If you are a Christian does the church you attend deal with the issues surrounding sexual addiction? Are the youths you know into pornography? Have you sat down with your children and talked to them about sex; sexual boundaries; what is right and wrong about sexual needs, desires, what is appropriate and inappropriate? Whatever, the sexual issues are, they need to be addressed. These statistics I have discussed in this article may raise some questions, like, if you fit into one or more of these categories, then maybe you need to seek assistance i.e. counselling. Today may be too late, because you need to decide if sexual addiction is affecting one or more of your relationships. Maybe certain professional agencies do not believe that sexual addiction isn’t a true psychological title, but it has been used for the past century, and that should say something for it to be significant to gain some integrity for its usage. 

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