Virtual Reality Porn is the Next Greatest Threat to the Church and Society
News Staff : Feb 6, 2018
Josh McDowell describes how churches are being caught completely unaware.
[Conquer Series/KingdomWorks] A reporter invited to experience virtual reality pornography with a Samsung Gear VR headset chronicled the lifelike details of the sexual encounter. He noted "after trying out VR porn, I don't think anyone who experiences it will be able to go back to 2D porn. It's that realistic." (Photo: Using VR/Creative Commons/via Pixabay)
The New York Times reports, "While virtual-reality pornography may feel like something out of a science fiction movie, it already has a formidable, if underground, presence. According to one porn site, views of VR porn are up 275 percent since it debuted in the summer of 2016. Now the site is averaging about 500,000 views."
Ready or not, the new frontier of pornography is here.
However, as Josh McDowell asks (and answers) in the all new Conquer Series:
"Is the Church ready for this? No, because they are not aware of it."
Many pastors are unfamiliar with virtual reality in general, unaware of Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift and the multi-billion-dollar industry around it (such as Oculus Rift being bought and developed by Facebook).
In 2016, the Barna Group, in partnership with Josh McDowell Ministry, launched a landmark study on the pervasive nature of Internet pornography and its impact on the Churchentitled The Porn Phenomenon: The Explosive Growth of Pornography and How It's Impacting Your Church, Life, and Ministry. This 800+ page study investigates the pervasiveness of pornography, particularly among American Christians.
A few of its finding include:
• Nearly half of young people are actively seeking pornography weekly or more frequently.
• More than one-in-four individuals between the ages of 25 and 30 first viewed porn before hitting puberty.
• The survey also found that 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors involved in the study are currently struggling with porn use.
However, the unique area of virtual reality has only begun to impact culture. Market Watch writer Jennifer Booton writes these interactive experiences are:
"...designed to be so powerful and immersive it tricks people into believing they are fully present in a simulated world."
The President of one VR porn company has said in an interview with Japan Times,
"If people harbor a desire for abnormal or illicit sex, fulfilling that desire may be difficult or risky in real life, to say the least. But VR can make it all possible."
The problem for consumers is that they are handing over uncontrolled access to their brains to pornographers.
We have mirror neurons in our brain that help us to learn-when we learn to tie our shoelaces by watching someone else, that is those mirror neurons at work. (Photo: Using VR/Creative Commons/via Pixabay)
Neuroscientist, Dr William Struthers, who wrote Wired For Intimacy; How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, says,
"These mirror neurons are involved when someone views pornography because what they view, they vicariously experience and learn from."
Mix that with the illicit sex acts that pornographers are showing in these high definition, virtual reality films and you have a deadly recipe that is going to have devastating impacts on the viewers and in turn on the broader community. What these viewers see in virtual reality, they will act out to some degree in reality.
If this is something you are struggling with, the Conquer Series website provides a free online Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to help determine if sex addiction is a problem.