Early this year I conducted on online survey on pomography for a series of seminars I was giving at the Keswick Convention and for a booklet – and probably now a full scale book – that I’m planning to write on the topic.
A big thank you to everyone who took part.
The survey was an anonymous qualitative questionnaire rather than a true quantitative survey – most of the questions offered open-ended text responses. I had over 50,000 words of stories, advice, testimonies, experiences. This is where the true value of the data lies. It’s proved invaulable both in shaping what I say and backing it up with real life experiences.
Nevertheless here’s a summary of the quantitative data for those who are interested. (I’ve written pom and put gaps in other words because my blog software filters out inappropriate content.)
There were 108 responses. Half were from the UK, a quarter were from the United States, a tenth from Australia and the rest were from 13 others countries and six continents.
Ninety-three percent were men, seven percent were women. Just under half were in their twenties, a third were in the thirties. The survey was aimed at Christians so 99 percent currently attended a church and over half (57 percent) were in some position of leadership. Two-thirds were married and a third were single with three widowed or divorced respondents. The vast majority view their use of pom as sinful, but three percent do not see anything wrong with pom with one person describing it as ‘a gift from God’ and another as ‘a healthy expression of my sexuality’ (though they did call it an addiction).
One in three had first viewed pom in their early teens (between 12 and 16).
Of those who described how they first accessed pom, 82 percent sought it out for themselves, ten percent stumbled upon it in some way and seven percent were introduced to it by other people. Around ten percent first encountered pom when they came across their father’s pom.
Thirty percent of respondents no longer use pomography, fifty percent continue to struggle with it and twenty percent did not say. Everyone who described how they continue to access pom does so through the internet with some also accessing it through the television.
Ninety-four percent had viewed hardc ore pom (defined as pom which depicts sexual acts as opposed to sof tcore pom that simply depicts nak ed people) and 68 percent had viewed se xual acts they would not consider appropriate within marriage. In both cases it made little difference whether the respondent was themselves married, nor whether they were in a position of leadership within the church. One reason I asked this question was to test the theory that pom creates ‘tolerance’ so that users seek increasingly extreme images. Pom promises so much, but does not deliver real satisfaction so users are left needing more and more. The survey evidence bears this out.