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“A life without porn is possible”

Christian psychologist Jonatan Serrano analyses the consequences of the normalisation of pornography in society. “No one would leave a child with a loaded gun in his pocket because he might hurt others or himself, but we are doing that with pornography”.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 298/Jose_Dalberto_Vargas,5/Evangelical_Focus BARCELONA 30 DE JUNIO DE 2021 16:09 h
Photo: [link]Akshar Dave[/link], Unsplash CC0.

Several studies on the consequences of pornography have been published in recent years. These reports mention that some of the negative effects are depression, insensitivity, anxiety, addiction, dysfunction and even the inability to relate to others.

In a society that normalises these practices, those affected continue to rise. There are plenty of professionals willing to offer hope in the midst of the chaos.

Spanish news website Protestante Digital has interviewed Jonatan Serrano, a Christian psychologist and sexologist in Madrid, Spain.


Question. Why do people come to you?

Answer. I see people on an individual basis, but my speciality are couples; I work with my wife who is also a sexologist and they usually come with some personal difficulty that transcends sexuality.


Q. Does pornography cause those difficulties?

A. Often it does. Pornography affects people in such a way that they are often unaware of it. One example is the guilt some peopl feel for not responding to the aggressiveness requested by their partners because of what they have seen in these audiovisual materials.

I have also dealt with cases of people who masturbate several times a day because they constantly consume porn; there are even individuals who are only aroused by extreme violence. Relationships are definitely affected to the point of considerably increasing the likelihood of destroying them.


Q. What is behind pornography and why is it so harmful?

A. Pornography is an unreal world that usually depicts a handsome male and girls who have been operated on. The industry looks for big penises for visual impact and striking women. The problem comes when people meet their real partners and compare them to the unreal.

If you talk to the actors of these films, many have complained that such practices are disgusting and do not produce any pleasure. The porn industry is not educational, it seeks addiction. They don't care about morals because they are looking for turnover.


Q. Do your colleagues agree?

A. Most of the relationships I have on a professional level are with brothers in the faith, however, I have shared cases with some non-Christian specialists and sometimes we use the same tools.

There are issues where we clearly have our differences, but we agree on others. In the treatment of most dysfunctions, for example, there is a lot of common ground.

I have been trained by non-Christian professionals and on the subject of pornography, some of them have agreed with me on the harm that such materials do. Many of us agree that it is pernicious and that there is a lot of human trafficking behind this industry.

There are disagreements, but personally, I have had coincidences, especially in the general vision of pornography.


Q. Why do you think some societies support the use of pornography?

A. We are in a society that is so eroticised, so determined to twist the original that practices such as the consumption of pornography, masturbation or prostitution have become normal. They even think that prostitution can prevent men from raping women or that masturbation is necessary to avoid exploitation, that is false.


Q. The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) warned that the average age of access to this material among minors is 8 years old. What do you think about that?

A. What we are currently experiencing is alarming; children are acquiring a totally distorted vision of the world and, on a physiological level, something is awakening that should not yet have awakened.

There are children who have not even arrived to puberty and have already fallen into an addiction. Remember that pornographic material generates a great discharge of dopamine. There are cases of children abusing other children.

We have had the opportunity to address the issue with teenagers at a pedagogical level and we have heard the testimonies of 13 to 16 year olds who know a lot of terminology about pornography and want to practice everything they see.

By normalising pornography, we normalise its influence and then we also see people using platforms to expose their bodies, their sexuality. They even do it for money.

Pornography is a silent pandemic and society is not waking up. No one would leave a child with a loaded gun in his pocket because he might hurt others or himself, but we are doing that with pornography.


Q. What advice would you give to society on this issue?

A. As parents we should filter, use parental controls. Many of us remember going to the local bookshop and seeing those adult magazines that were covered up and not sold to us, yet now we allow all that to reach children through a mobile phone.

We should talk about sexuality at home as naturally and as much as possible. If we don't talk, they will talk outside.

It is important to teach that God is the One who designs sexuality; which is an integral relationship between two adults, a man and a woman. We must talk about what love means. There is no need to be afraid, we talk about it with love and complicity.

Sexuality is something too serious and important to devalue it or offer it to the first person who comes along. Parents, even if they are not experts or therapists, have all the authority to talk about these issues with wisdom.

Sexuality is the most intimate part of a relationship between two people, and I believe it should be lived in a relationship of love and covenant, which can lead to reproduction and develop a family.

If we treat sex outside of a loving relationship, we deviate from its original design. I advocate sexuality with respect, with the aim of giving, seeking first the good and pleasure of the loved one. Porn is self-centred, it is about getting pleasure to masturbate, objectify, use and even exploit others.


Q. Is restoration possible?

A. Absolutely. I have both Christian and non-Christian couples as patients; my professional line is based on my biblical principles, although out of deontology I do not talk about my faith to non-believing patients. I simply warn, for example, about the terrible effects of pornography.

But I have seen the greatest restoration on a spiritual level. People addicted to porn, victims of trafficking, rape, prostitution who have been restored by having a real encounter with God.

To be fully restored, to find true love, to heal wounds... All of this is possible through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I see psychology as any other career that can be used as a tool in the service of the kingdom. I am honoured as a professional to be able to help.


Q. You are president and co-founder of the association Esclavitud (Slavery) XXI. What is it about?

A. We are an association focused on the fight against any form of slavery, especially those taking place in Spain, including human trafficking, prostitution and forced labour. We seek changes in legislation. We started as an initiative from the Spanish Evangelical Alliance.

In recent years, we have seen pornography as the marketing of the sex industry. A lot of the videos that are consumed today are part of a human trafficking network. Young people want to reproduce what they see in porn. We are doing educational talks to awaken society.


Q. How can society contribute to this cause?

A. There is a lot of information on our website. Families do their part by educating with values, principles and limits. Schools can help by introducing awareness and prevention materials into the curriculum.

Professionals in the internet industry can refuse to host sites that include child pornography and denounce those who try to recruit customers to be trafficked through the Internet. Our slogan is: “Towards freedom”.




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