Teens & youth pastors struggle with porn, new study shows

by Michael Foust |

(REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT))Porn actresses line-up at the opening of the "Venus" erotic fair in Berlin October 17, 2013. The event, which represents the erotic business in the German capital, is open till October 20, 2013.

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Teen boys and girls view pornography weekly according to a study commissioned by the Josh McDowell Ministry that shows pornography also has a grip on an alarming number of pastors and youth pastors. 

Nearly half of young people seek out porn at least weekly and 41 percent of teens and young adults have sent a sexuality explicit image to a friend, a groundbreaking new study by the Barna Group has shown.

Full details of the research will be announced Tuesday, although abbreviated findings were released Friday.

The nationally representative online survey of 3,000 people also found that about 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors say they struggle with using porn, and 12 percent of youth pastors and 5 percent of pastors say they're addicted to it.

Additionally, 27 percent of young adults (ages 25-30) say they first viewed pornography prior to puberty.

A news release said the research is the "most comprehensive, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American population."

"It is vital to raise awareness about the threat of Internet pornography," said Josh McDowell. "Pornography violates all relational values between the individual and self, the individual and society, the unity of our families and our moral fabric and fiber as a nation. When we objectify and demean life by removing the sanctity of the human person, our future is at risk."

The research included in-depth surveys of the general population, American teenagers, Christian pastors and the Christian church. All total, the research involved four online studies.

The research also found that:

  • Teens and young adults say "not recycling" is more immoral than viewing porn.
  • Teenage girls and young women are significantly more likely to view porn than women over age 25.
  • 66 percent of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image.
  • More than half of Christian youth pastors have had at least one teen come to them in the past 12 months for help in dealing with porn.

The study is titled "."

A press release said the research "reveals a younger and younger exposure to pornography, increased desensitization and an escalating usage of pornography."

"We hope and pray that the findings of 'The Porn Phenomenon' survey, will not only point to the seriousness of the situation, but open ways to creatively seek solutions and help us network with other organizations to help families and individuals of all ages and stages," McDowell said.