Growing numbers of women addicted to pornography, counseling pastor finds

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By Mark EllisCarder addiction

After 27 years in counseling ministry for a large suburban church, Dave Carder was not prepared for a sharp rise in his caseload that mirrors a disturbing trend: more and more women addicted to pornography.

“If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be seeing rapidly escalating numbers of young women involved in pornography, I would not have believed them,” says Carder, pastor of counseling ministries at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California. “There is a growing body of observation and research that suggests that women’s sexual appetites and level of desires are changing,” he notes.

David Carder
David Carder

While men are considered more visual than females, there seems to be a transformation underway. “Desire for women used to be for closeness and affection; it was more the desire for intimacy,” Carder says. “The sexual desire didn’t happen right away.”

“Women are much more sexually aggressive than they used to be,” Carder notes. “The whole sexualization of the culture is bringing about these changes.”

Radio commentator and author Dennis Prager observed that in the recent Academy Awards ceremony, many of the jokes and songs featured strong sexual innuendo. Even sporting events, which used to be a family-friendly viewing zone, are dripping with sexuality, as the Super Bowl half-time show and the ads for the event demonstrate.

Pastor Carder finds common backgrounds in the women he counsels about pornography addiction. “There is a lot of molestation history in the women’s lives as children or teens.”  Some come from broken families, with moms who had several boyfriends.

“Many of the women who struggle with pornography also struggle with alcohol and obesity,” he notes. “They are often poly-addicted, like the men.”

Two recent books suggest the neurological wiring for pornography addiction may be changing in women. “These books suggest women may have the potential to develop the same arousal response to visual stimulation as men,” Carder notes.

Another disturbing trend that Carder sees is more and more Christian couples watching pornography together. “There is a lot of conjoint pornography viewing,” he observes. This creates an artificial level of desire and arousal that cannot be maintained.

“Christian couples set up boundaries and say they will watch this, but not that. But over time, they do the second thing they said they would not do and they are headed for trouble.”

“Eventually, addiction erodes all boundaries.”

Pastor Carder has the same approach to treating men and women addicted to pornography. “First, you have to get sober,” he notes. “Pornography is a self-medication. Anytime you remove a medication from the anxiety-management arsenal there will be struggles.”

“They need the same kind of support as someone recovering from alcohol.” Sex or pornography addicts need a group, a sponsor, and at least three months for recovery. “They might need to go to 90 meetings in 90 days to get sober,” Carder says. He often uses L.I.F.E. notebooks as part of his program.

The number of Christians battling these issues is astonishing, but there is hope in Christ. “Too many women have struggled with their sexual sins and temptations in silence,” he maintains.

With Christ, freedom and victory can be won. “Eventually, they will get to the place where they develop a spirit of serenity, they stop the behavior, and they don’t struggle with the daily temptations.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. I think a key here is this quote, “There is a lot of molestation history in the women’s lives as children or teens.” These days, sexual abuse often involves visual elements. Sexual abuse is a devastating experience that can rob a person of God’s good design. This article is one example of the damage that can result if a person doesn’t find healing from being molested. As a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a neighbor, I want to say that there is hope, help and healing in Jesus. It is a journey worth taking. See my website for more information.

  2. I am a young man of 28 years, I asked many questions about sex and I realized that almost everyone who gives himself body and soul to make love with anyone. and I noticed that this is the weapon that satan is trying to use to destroy everyone.
    the same question came to my mind yesterday and I wondered why women are most interested in sex than men? sex has become an instrument for entertainment. why then? My response was “we have become more wild. Animals mate only when it is their time to reproduce. It is shameful to see women and men contribute Christians spread of pornography. I think that the Growing numbers of women addicted to pornography is due to largest number of women on earth has an effect on what happens today. “we are many, we can not all have husbands” they say. It can be concluded that there is still a diabolical influence who wants to destroy all humanity. ….

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