Give yourself a week, but figure out some time to raise the topic of discussion with your kids. You can really help educate them to avoid the harms of pornography.
That's part of your responsibility from my perspective as a parent. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . How do we protect our children from Internet pornography? Dr. John Fobert will join us to give some help and guidance on this important topic today. And if you go to moodybooks.org, you'll see the book that we're talking about, Protecting Your Children from Internet Pornography, Understanding the Science, Risks, and Ways to Protect Your Kids.
Just go to moodybooks.org. Gary, the world has changed a whole lot since you were a child or a teenager, especially in the area of the temptation of pornography. Well, it's a whole new world, Chris. I don't know that I even heard the word pornography when I was a child or a teenager. But yeah, now of course, I mean, it's all over the Internet. So I am really excited about our conversation today because I know this is a real problem for parents today. So yeah, I'm excited. I hope the parents will tune in and stay with us because you're going to get some practical help today. And it might even be that as your children, depending on their age, as they listen with you, this might be helpful to open up some conversations. I'll just leave that right there.
You parents be the judge of that. Our guest is Dr. John Fobert, F-O-U-B-E-R-T. He is dean of the College of Education at Union University. He serves as the highly qualified expert for sexual assault prevention for the U.S. Army. He founded the national nonprofit organization One in Four, which worked for 20 years to apply research to rape prevention programs on college campuses and in the military. He's testified before Congress has been called upon by the White House and all four branches of the military for his expertise. Lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with his wife and two children and our featured resource is the book I just mentioned, Protecting Your Children from Internet Pornography.
You can find out more at moodybooks.org. Well, Dr. Fobert, welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you so much. It's my honor to be here. Tell us how you got interested in this subject of kids and pornography. Oh, my.
That's quite the question. I would introduce myself as a researcher, and that's my training in psychology and in education. And 30 years ago I started doing research on sexual violence and how to prevent it. And another 15 years later, which was about 15 years ago, I started to research pornography after the porn industry invaded the secular campus I was on.
They actually came there with a show and had a woman stripped down to a G-string in the middle of the student union and all kinds of sorts of things. And at the time I was, of course, a believer and had arguments that were not secular, that were more sacred in terms of why this was a problem, but on a secular campus they didn't go too far. So I decided I'm the type of person, if I get angry, I do research. And so I had some justified anger, I think, there at the fact that the porn industry was on my campus. And so I started to do more research about what the harms of pornography were and discovered that they were much more than I ever dared imagine and figured that the public needed to hear more about this and that I needed to do more research on it. And why I got interested in kids with this is that about half of eighth graders have seen pornography. And some have seen it much before eighth grade and some see it after, but I really think that we need to start early to help kids learn to avoid porn because it harms them. And it leads to things like early sexual experience, unsafe sex, those sorts of things. So that's really how I got interested in the subject.
Well, I'm glad you not only got interested, but you have been doing research in this field now for 15 years. So you say that this is a book for those who aren't sure if they're ready for the conversation about pornography with their children. How many parents do you think are struggling with that? Well, I think all parents need to learn more about pornography so they can properly educate their kids, but I actually think there are fewer who are engaging in the act of struggle to have those conversations than should be. And I think the book is positioned for those who are willing to have the conversation but don't really know how to, or they don't have the arms to figure out, and I mean that by armaments, to figure out how to fight that battle. And so I'm hoping that through this conversation, through the book, and through other sorts of things, that parents can become empowered to learn more about the harms of pornography and how to educate their children about it, because I think that's just critical for children to learn how to decide for themselves that this is not something they want in their lives.
Yeah. So if there's a parent who's listening who hasn't talked with their son or daughter about this topic, and I'm sure there are those, what would you say to them? I would say start this week, no matter what their age of their child, their son or daughter is.
You know, I don't want to say start today because they're not likely to find time in the day to do that, but give yourself a week, but figure out some time to raise the topic of discussion with your kids sometime this week, and you can really help educate them to avoid the harms of pornography. And that's part of your responsibility from my perspective as a parent. If a parent is listening and thinking, oh man, how do I do this, where does your book come in? Would you encourage them to read the book first before they have that conversation, or what is your suggestion on that?
Ideally, yes. I think what I do is I outline the different harms of pornography, and then I give them questions or topics first to bring up with their children, and then questions to ask them based on the age of their child to get them really engaged in a conversation so it isn't just a lecture, it's more of a conversation that you can open up with your children. Yeah, and I think that's one of the reasons why this book is going to be really, really helpful to parents, because I think a lot of parents, they don't know what to say, they don't know where to start, you know.
We need help as parents. Now, you think that part of the problem with pornography in our culture is the fact that it's become so widely accepted in our society. Oh, absolutely. It is wildly accepted, used, and all of those things. And a lot of people just think that it's a private issue, and people should be able to use it on their own, and that it's no big deal, and it's a victimless crime is what sometimes people will refer to it as, but on the one hand, it ignores harms to the performers, and it also ignores harms to the users, and it certainly ignores the spiritual harms that are there, but it ignores harms to one's sexual development as well, so the rampant acceptance of this in our society makes it seem cool and vogue and okay.
Yeah, yeah. I think most parents who are listening to our program today probably agree that pornography is bad. But you say it's worse than we think.
Why do you say that? I think most adults are familiar with Playboy, but they may not know that Playboy is no longer showing news, because it really got ran out of business by free internet pornography. But they also, most adults listening today don't realize the violence that's in porn unless they're consumers themselves. I don't want to get too graphic, but there's any number of violent and demeaning acts that are scripted into pornography. And also one of the things to realize is that one thing that's very different between the magazines of 20, 30 years ago and pornography today is that high-speed internet porn really changed the game.
And what it did was it created multiple images for people to see and short movie clips for them to see. And you can really, on a porn website, look up almost anything you want to see, and it'll be there. And that creates what neurologists call a supranormal stimulus. And what a supranormal stimulus is is that it's a stimulus that God didn't design our brains to handle. And it gives us such a rush of dopamine that it becomes difficult to resist in the future.
So pornography is very bad, but it is worse than we think. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, New York Times bestselling author of "The 5 Love Languages" . If you'd like to take a free assessment of your love language, go to fivelovelanguages.com. There you'll find more ways to strengthen relationships.
Again, go to fivelovelanguages.com. Dr. John Fobert is joining us. He's the author of Protecting Your Children from Internet Pornography, Understanding the Science, Risks, and Ways to Protect Your Kids.
You can find out more at moodybooks.org. Dr. Fobert, you write about the three A's of pornography today. Walk us through those.
Sure. The three A's of pornography are that it's much more accessible, anonymous, and affordable than it was perhaps 20 years ago. So for example, today it's accessible because you can get it on any iPhone, iPad, computer, even video game systems. It's very accessible, usually without paywalls, but there are paywalls on some versions of pornography so the porn industry can make more money. But it is very accessible because there's a lot of free porn that's available that's out there and readily accessible by just anybody with an internet connection. It's anonymous because it used to be that you had to interact with another person to get pornography. So you had to go to the 7-Eleven and buy a magazine and interact with a person up at the counter and they would know that you're buying pornography and that could be embarrassing, at least to some people. And it's also no longer anonymous though because you don't have to go and interact with a person to buy pornography.
You can get it on the internet yourself without anyone knowing. And you also have the privacy of an iPhone or an iPad or whatever rather than a stationary television or something of the sort to watch it on. And the affordability is kind of self-defining. A lot of it is free, whereas you used to have to buy movies, magazines, that sort of thing.
And like I said, there is some pornography that does cost money and a lot of the functions of some of the porn sites is to get you interested in that which you have to pay for. But a lot of it is free and it's one major difference between what was now and what was years ago. So that being true, you mentioned this already, it's very different from what it was 20, 30 years ago. Absolutely very different. You don't have to go to the store anymore.
You don't have to interact with people to purchase it. And today's choices in internet clips provide that supernormal stimulus I referred to earlier that's not just a picture, but it's a video. And they're videos that people can choose from any different type of scene, type of individual they want to see, position they want to see them in.
And it just becomes something that the body wasn't designed to handle. You also make the point that I think some parents might wonder, is this really true, that we should talk with our daughters about pornography as well as our sons. Why is that important? Well, daughters are also viewing pornography. It isn't just the sons. And one of the things that the porn industry is trying to do is to make pornography that might appeal more towards females because they recognize that they saturated the male market and the markets that they don't have saturated yet are younger children and girls and women.
So they're doing a good job going after that market. And it's also a problem because our daughters will often be asked to view pornography at a boy's request. And a boy may show her pornography and say, hey, why don't we try doing this? And we need to prepare our daughters for those situations. And there's other research out there that shows that the more our daughters are watching pornography, the more likely they are to accept sexual assault. And a lot of that is because of the violent nature of the porn that they're seeing. They say, well, I guess that's just natural and that's what's expected. So there are lots of reasons we should talk to our daughters about this.
Yeah. We talked earlier about the difficulty that some parents have in initiating conversations like this with their children or their teenagers. What age do you think is appropriate to start the conversation?
And why would you say that? And I'm going to surprise you with this answer. I would say about three years old. And the way that I would have that conversation, I wouldn't use the word pornography, of course, because I think you need to be age appropriate. But I think what you can do with your three year old is to have a conversation about pictures we take and pictures that we look at and how much fun we have as a family and what our family values are of taking pictures of each other and also looking at pictures of each other. But one of the things we don't do is we don't take pictures of people's private parts and we don't take a look at pictures of their private parts. And that's something that a three year old can understand and agree with. And they they tend to know what a private part is and what a private part isn't.
And they tend to feel like that shouldn't be shown to other people. So so that's a conversation I think we can have at a young age. I think around eight or so, we can have conversations about what do your friends show you on their devices so that we begin to get it into their mind that, you know, your friends may want to show you things that you don't want to look at or you shouldn't look at.
And you can refuse refuse that. Around 11, I think you can talk about, you know, do you know what pornography is? Have you heard the term before? Teach our kids to avoid it. And then in the teen years, we can talk more specifically about, you know, what sorts of things do your friends show you? Have you seen different pictures of naked people on a screen?
And do you have any questions about what you saw? Is that something you want in your life? And then go into some of the harms of pornography and show them that this is not something they want in their lives. Yeah, I think the fact that in the book you deal with the different age groups and trying to speak into this thing, you know, appropriately to each age group. What would you say to parents who are getting ready? They're thinking about this first conversation. Let's say it's a 10 year old and they haven't talked about it before.
They're just getting started. How would you start that conversation? I would start that conversation as calmly as possible. And I would say something along the lines of if they're 10, I would say, you know, there's something out there. Have you heard the word pornography before? Do you know what it is?
Can you tell me what it is? And I think it's important to teach them that what pornography does is it's going to try to get them to think that sex is violent and unloving and is the opposite of what God wants for you. And I think you can have a conversation with them about if your friends show you pictures of naked people, you should turn away and say, no, that's not something I want to look at.
And then get into some of the harms of pornography that it can lead to anxiety, depression, lower cognitive functioning, poor quality of life and health and intimacy problems. I think as I'm listening to you and realizing what you're dealing with in this book, this is a huge help to parents who are feeling like I know I want to do this. I just don't know where to start.
And I think your book is going to help them do that. Talk about the parent who catches a child watching porn. How should that parent respond? Well, I would start with saying what they should not do and they should not freak out and they should not ignore it.
And those are kind of two ends of a continuum. You know, you could freak out and say, what are you doing? Or you could just close the door and say, I didn't see that.
I saw nothing. So those are the things not to do. What you should do, I think, is you should stay calm and think of staying in your head, not in your heart. Thinking of talking about it from almost a detached point of view and a cognitive point of view. So talk about how it's natural that you're drawn to this, but it can hurt you and here are the ways that it can hurt you. I think most of us would overreact. Probably.
There's probably a significant number who would also ignore it, depending on what they might be doing with pornography sometimes. Well, that's a good question right there, Gary. What would you say, Dr. Fober, if you're the parent who did overreact and then you felt a loss of connection with your child because of that? Because you overreacted.
Can that be used to reestablish? Because Gary's big on asking for forgiveness and going to the child and saying, look, I overreact. What would you say about that? I would say that's exactly the road to travel down, is to ask for forgiveness. And it can be such a powerful thing when parents do that with their children because it's like, wait a minute, you're apologizing to me? And I think children can learn a lot of lessons about how we treat each other and how we should interact with each other when parents apologize to their children for the mistakes that they inevitably will make. And then follow it up with some good information and also some information to say, I understand why you wanted to look at that.
That's very natural for you to want to look at pictures of the other sex and them not having any clothes on, but here's how it can hurt you. And then go through chapter and verse on ways that it can hurt them. So all of those, I think, are relevant. Yeah. So let's pick up on that. You've talked a little bit about this, but what have you learned about what pornography does? Fill us in on the research. Well, pornography does a lot of things. It tends to lead to depression the more you use it and to more loneliness. If you think about it, pornography tends to be an act that's engaged in while someone is alone and it tends to reinforce loneliness and loneliness tends to reinforce pornography use.
There have been some real interesting studies on that piece. It tends to increase people's anxiety. If you think about some of the biggest mental health problems we're having today, depression and anxiety, not many people would connect those to pornography, but the research does.
So I think that's important for us to realize. It connects to stress levels. It leads to social malfunctioning. So relationships which aren't working very well with others. It leads to less sexual and relationship satisfaction, not more. The porn industry would want you to think that it leads to more sexual satisfaction or relationship satisfaction, and indeed, the opposite is true. It leads to altered sexual tastes, poorer quality of life in general, poorer quality of health, and real-life intimacy problems. And so that's just a partial list. It's overwhelming when you think about it, isn't it?
It really is. How about addiction to pornography? How long does that typically take and where does that lead? It leads down a pretty dangerous road, and it's more common than you might think. And especially with children, one of the things I found with people who are addicted is they tended to start using pornography at a younger age than other people.
And kids' brains are pretty impressionable. I mean, pornography itself will hurt your short-term memory and your ability to delay gratification. Essentially what it does is it gives you a dopamine hit, and it convinces you that you have to have it, and you'll continuously want to go after that dopamine hit. And usually the dopamine hit can happen when people are using tamer types of pornography, but they build a tolerance to it. And so they want that dopamine hit they had before, and so they'll go after that through more violent pornography or novel images that they haven't seen before. One of the interesting things about porn in the brain, which I'd like to make sure that we mention, is that when people, when neurologists have done brain scans on people looking at pornography, particularly men looking at pornography, what lights up in the brain when a man looks at pornography is the part of the brain that refers to objects and not to people.
One of the reasons that's so insidious is it's much more easy to be violent with someone if you think they're an object and not a person. And so really this whole process rewires the brain, and it can become more addictive. Not everyone who uses will be addicted to it, but many who use it do. And it's just like other addictions like gambling and alcohol. It takes place with the same biological processes. So whether we're talking about pornography or talking about drug use, which again, as we all know, is a huge problem in our country, you're saying that the results in many ways can be very similar.
Absolutely. And what happens in the brain is the same processes of where the activity takes place and how hard it can be to leave behind something like this. I had a friend who was addicted to pornography and he went through counseling and it was several years for him, but he said there was one day when he was sitting in the counseling office and he had been sober from his porn use for a while. And he said, I walked outside, I looked at the trees, I looked at the sky and everything was brighter. I could see colors again. I could hear the birds again. And what he was saying was the pornography use had so stunted him in his brain that everything was just kind of monochrome.
And getting rid of that and talking through it made him almost come alive again. Does your research bear that out? Absolutely. The research does show that. Not necessarily that the world becomes monochrome, but in a figurative sense. And for some it can be literal. But addiction is a very severe thing to be dealing with and it's very difficult to get out of. And I'm glad to hear that the person you're talking about was able to get out of it.
And yes, it does. When one gets out of a porn addiction, their quality of life increases dramatically. And they are then able to process things in the brain a little bit more effectively. Their short-term memory returns. And they're able to delay gratification a lot more. A lot of things we found out about people who are addicted to pornography is they lose the ability to delay gratification.
And they regain that once they get rid of the addiction. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . You can find out more about your love language by going to fivelovelanguages.com. You can listen to the stream or download the podcast right there and discover more ways to strengthen relationships. Go to fivelovelanguages.com. Our guest is Dr. John Fobert, author of Protecting Your Children from Internet Pornography, Understanding the Science, Risks, and Ways to Protect Your Kids.
You can find out more if you go to the website moodybooks.org. Dr. Fobert, some children and teenagers end up seeing pornography at a friend's house or maybe on a friend's device at school. How can parents protect their children in that situation because they're out of the house? That is one of the main reasons why I think it's important for us to have conversations with our kids about why they should want to turn away if they're viewing or if they're shown pornography because we can't control every situation that they're in as hard as we try. What we need to do is try and build their internal filter so that they want to make the decision not to look at pornography. I think it's also helpful to talk to our kids' friends' parents about having protected devices if they have an iPhone or an iPad or the TV or anything like that, and so that we have conversations about, you know, I'm trying to keep my kid from looking at pornography. Do you have covenant eyes or one of the different filtering and accountability software on your devices or do you have parental controls on them? That's certainly not a foolproof method to make sure that your kids aren't looking at pornography because, you know, there are ways to get around filters, but it is wise, I think, to have filters and parental controls on devices so that at least we delay their access to pornography and hopefully limit it and make it more frustrating to get to. Do you in the book give some suggestions as to where they can get those filtering programs?
I mentioned a few of them. Covenant eyes is the most common one, and I also have a portion of my website where I mention different filtering and accountability devices, and my website is, if you can spell my name, you can get to it. It's JohnFobert.com.
So there are ways of taking a look at some of the different filtering devices that are there. Again, that's John Fobert, F-O-U-B-E-R-T.com. The book is a great resource. The website's a great resource, too, John. Thank you.
I try and put a lot of information on there that I think will be helpful to people that isn't restricted to the limits of a book, and I can update it frequently, and so that's something I hope will be of use to people. Son, you alluded earlier to the pornography industry and the abuses and all that they're actually doing, and I think you said it made you angry. It should make us angry. What can we do to push back against this, what I'm calling, evil in our culture?
Oh, I would definitely call it evil. There's an organization I would point people towards. It's called ANCOSI, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and I'm on the board of directors for that organization, just in the sense of fairness. And their particular URL is endexploitation.org, and one of the things, if you have righteous anger about pornography, is that you can either donate to them or you can also sign up to be notified when there are different political actions taking place, which can be as simple as writing a pre-written letter to your congressman or senator when there are different things that ANCOSI is supporting or not supporting in the Congress. And they've had a lot of victories. I'm real proud to be affiliated with that organization. They have been successful in really pushing a lot of the major porn companies to fire a lot of their employees, to take down child sexual abuse material, and that sort of thing. So if you want to get more involved, that's one great way of doing it. How do you think the church is doing with this whole matter of pornography, and especially with kids and teenagers?
I'd give them about a D-, if you want to be honest. And there are a lot of reasons for that. I think there are a lot of pastors who really don't know how to start the conversation, just as there are parents who don't know how to start the conversation. But moreover, I think there are a lot of congregations who aren't supporting their pastors enough in this. And pastors can be reticent to introduce a subject that's going to create controversy in the church because they want to keep their jobs or they want to keep their parishioners happy. And so I think what we need is we need a lot of people who are members of congregations to say to their pastors, you know, I'd really like it if you talk about the issue of pornography. I think it's an important thing in our culture. And if we can't talk about sin in church, where can we talk about it?
So I think it's very important to do that. I think it's important to have recovery programs out of churches, multi-age education training for pastors and small group leaders, support systems, all that sort of thing. You know, there are churches, especially churches that are a little larger than 30 or 40 people, who have classes for parents on parenting.
But sometimes even in those classes, they don't deal with pornography. They deal with other concepts of parenting. It seems to me like your book would be a really good tool for someone in a church that has a youth minister working with young people or adults or someone leading the adult education program where they do have parenting classes.
So this would be just a normal subject to be discussing in there if they have the help that's in your book. So I just would really encourage anyone in a place of leadership in a church who's listening to us today to, first of all, get this book, read it yourself, and begin thinking about how this can be used in the church. Because this is an issue that really needs to be addressed in the church. If anyone should be talking about this, it is Christians. And those of us who are Christian leaders, I think, need to take that responsibility.
Amen. Part of your research has shown a connection, and you alluded to this earlier, a connection between pornography and sexual violence. Why is that true, first of all, and why does that reality need to be surfaced? Well, I think we need to surface it because when someone is sexually assaulted, they're a child of God.
And they're made in God's image, and we need to make sure that we are holding them up in proper regard. I think one of the worst results of pornography is the way in which it encourages people to commit sexual violence. And certainly, I have to be careful to say, not everyone who watches pornography is going to commit sexual violence, but those who are somewhat prone to commit sexual violence are energized by pornography. And there have actually been 50 studies that have shown a direct link between pornography and sexual violence. And the interesting thing about that is that there's some pro-porn researchers out there who say, oh, well, there's no research out there that connects pornography and sexual violence. And one of the ways I like to respond to that is, well, we have 50 studies showing the link between porn and sexual violence. Those 50 studies all showed the same thing. The odds that you could find 50 studies all showing the same thing and be wrong is one in 88 decillion. I mean, that's, you know, decillion, nonillion, septillion, sextillion, quintillion, quadrillion, and so on. And in order to try to describe what 88 decillion is, if you took pennies and put them in the Empire State Building and had a billion Empire State Buildings, that's how many Empire State Buildings filled with pennies it would take to have 88 decillion pennies. And so, you know, the other side is saying, oh, sure, I can pick the one out of a billion Empire State Buildings, go to the right room, the right floor, pick out that right penny, just by random chance. I'm going with the real odds.
Yeah, yeah. And I think this is why research is important in this area, and the fact that you have done the research and much of what you're saying is not only in keeping with Christian perspectives, but it's based upon the research in reality. So this should encourage, I think, Christians to be more involved in dealing with this issue.
I certainly hope so. Dr. Fobert, I was looking at your website and seeing questions about video games, and I think this is another area that parents might not understand, that their sexuality has gone into video games and in some cases saturate video games. Would you talk about that and how kids are exposed to pornography there?
Yeah, so there are a couple of ways. One is that a lot of video game systems can access the internet, and then, you know, parents won't know that their kids are accessing a hardcore pornography through their video game system. So that's one thing to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are video games themselves which are sexualized or have incidents of sexual assault in them, which you can find out usually by reading the warnings on the exterior labels of games, which I think is one important reason why parents have to be very careful about what their kids want to see. Do an internet search on the game before you let them buy it, or if they bring it into the house, have them get rid of it if you find that it's one that glamorizes sexual violence or uses sexuality in a way that God would not approve of. Dr. Fobbert, what about pornography use by others?
You know, I've corralled this in my family, I've got the filters, but Uncle Jim or Aunt Mary come to Thanksgiving and they've been viewing pornography for years and years. What about the external influence and how it's affecting my family, my children? Well, I think it can affect your children and family if there are people in your family who have been taught that women are essentially objects and not people, and that they're objects for sex, and that can come through in, I think, some subtle and some overt ways. And the odds are there are people in your family who are or will access it.
You certainly don't want them accessing it while they're in your home, and if they're addicted, they may take that risk. And I think, generally speaking, how it affects the family is, with adolescence, there's some research out there showing that it leads to disturbed family relationships, worse relationships with parents, and a lower commitment to the family. And so, pornography is very much an enemy of the family, and we need to make sure that we're fighting against it because of that.
Yeah, yeah. Now there's the chapter that talks about the way porn changes sexual scripts. What do you mean by that? A sexual script is essentially an idea you have in your mind in terms of how a sexual encounter might go, what are the proper ways and circumstances for those to go, and what are the different behaviors that are involved. And what the pornography industry is bent on doing is to convince people that sex isn't something just between a husband and a wife, and it isn't something that's loving, but it's rather something that's violent between people who hardly know each other. Acts like slapping and acts to make a woman vomit and sort of those sorts of things are pretty common in pornography, and what that does is it creates an idea in the viewer that, oh, well, these things happen in sex, and so I should try them out.
It can also lead to some unrealistic expectations about what our bodies should look like, how they should act, and how they should react to different sexual stimulation that really isn't real life and is different from what's reality. Yeah. I think as parents listen today, they're hopefully coming to realize that pornography has a much more detrimental effect upon our teenagers and children from what we might have imagined.
Absolutely. Now, if a parent realizes that their child is addicted or they think that their child is addicted to pornography, what do they do? Where do they go? If they're a Christian family, what I would suggest is there's a website called thefreedomfight.org. It's thefreedomfight.org, which is a wonderful online porn recovery program, which can be wonderful for kids to go through to really, and adults, to go through to really understand what pornography is doing to their bodies and how they can get away from it. That would be particularly for Christians. There's a secular program, which I think is almost as good, and that would be joinfortify.com, that has some good outcomes. But the one resource that I'd recommend for families who are struggling that has so much to offer is Pure Desire Ministries. They're based out in Portland, Oregon, and they have online counseling through the internet. They have lots of resources for both men and women, for children, for families, for churches. And that's where I tend to direct people who are looking for help and may not have it in their communities or aren't sure where to go. Now, in the book, do you have all of those listed in the book?
I do. I'm just trying to help parents realize that there's help. You don't have to remember everything we're saying today. In this book, there's help. There's recapping some of what we're saying, but there's much more there that can help you deal with whatever situation you're dealing with. Dr. Fulbert, can you give us some good news? We've been focusing on the problems here. Do you have any stories of families who have gone through this and come out on the other side?
I'd like to have those stories, and I'm hoping that my next book will have them. But where we were for a while, in the research, we were documenting the problem, and now we're at the point where we're suggesting solutions. And the next place we'll go is to figure out if those solutions work or not. I know one of the things that I'm doing right now is I'm doing a study evaluating a group of students, college students, who are going through a book study and are holding each other accountable to lessen their pornography use. And we're just going to try and see, did this work or not?
Because those studies aren't being done yet. So there's that. I would give you some hope, too, in saying that many of the big porn sites are laying off workers. One just got kicked off Instagram. Their new Snapchat family center controls visas facing a lawsuit from a trafficking survivor, child sexual abuse materials being recognized and taken off porn sites. And a lot of those victories are due to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation I mentioned earlier. And there's lots of exciting things that are happening now, and I think we're ready for a new day of successfully battling the porn industry.
Dr. Forward, I've heard, said to me, this is always going to be with me about pornography. This is always going to be something that I'm hooked on, that I'm going to be using, meaning I don't want to, but it's there and it's just my reality. My guess is you don't think that's true.
Not at all. I think that's an excuse. And the person needs to think about this in an adult way, not in a child way, and think about how their life can be when pornography is out of their lives. Now, they may be discouraged that they've tried to leave porn behind and have been unable to, but it is fully possible to. And I have talked to many people who have gotten out of porn addictions, and their lives are very different. And I would point to their stories as testimony that you can leave behind a porn addiction. It's very hard, just like it would be for a gambling addiction or something of that variety. But it is possible, and life can get better. What about the parent where, let's say the father, I guess it could be the mother as well, is hooked on porn themselves? And now they've got children coming up. I think that's a very dangerous situation, and it should give the parent, the father or mother the impetus to say, I need to get this out of my life so that I can properly educate my children in getting it out of their lives without being a hypocrite in doing so. Because our model is often more powerful than our words, right? Certainly so.
Well, Dr. Fulbright, as we come toward the end of our time together, is there anything else you'd like to say to our listeners today? I would say that one of the things that your listeners are probably doing are encouraging their adolescents to go to church and to go to religious services, go to youth group, those sorts of things. And the research has shown that those things tend to be effective at getting kids to look at pornography less than they would otherwise. So there's some many, many new things that parents need to do, but there's some things that they need to just continue on with what they're doing now.
Bring their kid to church every Sunday, send them to youth group, find them a spiritual leader who they can follow and look up to. And those are so important in the struggle against pornography because those people can have credibility. And when they say don't look at porn, it means something very different than when a parent says it. Hearing a voice outside the family speaking the same message that the parent has been discussing with them, it can affirm what the parent has been saying. Absolutely. Well, this is a heavy subject, but it's an important subject. And I appreciate you being with us today and all the research that you've done over the last 15 years on this topic.
And I do trust that our listeners will get the book, they will read it themselves, they'll share it with their friends, and that churches will begin to utilize this in study groups for parents as well. So, again, thank you for being with us today. Thank you.
It's my honor to be here. If you want to find out more about this excellent resource, go to moodybooks.org. Click the radio microphone right there. The title is Protecting Your Children from Internet Pornography, Understanding the Science, Risks, and Ways to Protect Your Kids. You can find that at moodybooks.org.
Dr. Fobert's website is johnfobert, F-O-U-B-E-R-T, johnfobert.com. And next week, we open the phone lines for your questions and comments about the love languages or your relationship struggles. Our November Dear Gary is coming up in one week. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio, in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
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