On February 21st Michael Leahy, a guest speaker for Porn Nation, appeared in the Student Activity Center to touch on the highly controversial issue of pornography. It had a good turnout of 40 to 50 people. Michael Leahy gave a riveting account of how pornography had affected his marriage, children, professional and personal relationships. The overall question Mike wanted people to ask themselves was, “Does Pornography Affect Me?” and his goal was to get people to begin “Thinking Critically” about the potentially dangerous effects of pornography.
In the start of the presentation the viewers were given some daunting statistics such as “The pornography industry makes more than professional football, baseball, and basketball combined”, “teens between the ages of 12 – 17 make up the largest consumers of pornography”, “the average age of exposure to pornography is 11 years old… and of hardcore pornography 15 – 17 years old” and “child pornography generates $3 billion annually worldwide.” The industry is aware of these statistics and understands that teens are their primary consumer. In the United States, this growing industry already contains more adult bookstores than there are McDonalds restaurants. Also, while Hollywood releases only 4 to 5 hundred new movies a year, the pornography industry releases an astounding 10 to 11 thousand.
Mike understood that in order to debate pornography it must be defined. He used the dictionary’s definition which is “any material developed with the express purpose to arouse.” This definition shows that much of the material presented on cable television and in magazines would qualify as pornography. The industry relies on the argument that as long as no one is getting hurt, then pornography is a safe form of entertainment. Leahy suggests that the more culturally sexualized a society becomes, the more sexual pressure it endures. Statistically he showed “1 in 4 women on campuses have an eating disorder” and “5 out of 8 rapes go unreported.” Much of pornography sends a signal to society that “No means yes” and many women have fallen victim to the conceptualization that they are required to be thin and submissive in order to get men.
How is it that a society falls victim to this cultural sexualization? Mike points out that “we are soaking in the stuff”, new technologies have given individuals access to the media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and even the magazine racks at a local gas stations serve as a reminder. Every corner someone turns there is another portrayal of sexual innuendos, adultery, humor, and goals. Men are portrayed as being truly a man if they are able to get many women, and women are portrayed as being truly women if they submit themselves to many men.
One of the videos showed “the way that Hollywood sells love is a huge distortion of how it really is and over time, the culture begins to reflect the fantasy.” There are two contradicting things happening here. Men are looking for women who will be sexually submissive, but will rarely respect those who are and women are looking for a man who will commit to them, but won’t be desirable unless they are sexually submissive. This is the way many of those who have been culturally sexualized view sex, not realizing that the concepts contradict each-other.
The Vision respects Michael Leahy for talking about such a controversial issue, and expressing his own personal encounter with sexual addiction. The addiction got so bad that it ended in the loss of his wife, job and his two children. Mike didn’t feel sorry for himself though, once he hit rock bottom he realized “I got exactly what I deserved”. He wanted people to understand that his addiction started when he was age 11 and that “had anyone told me thirty years prior that I would be addicted to pornography, I would have told them they were crazy.” He went on to state “The good news is that only 10% of you will have a story like mine.”
In the final part of his presentation Leahy gave people a chance to leave so that he could share the spiritual side of his recovery. Most students returned and he revealed that the most influential part of his recovery involved Jesus Christ, and Christianity gave him unspeakable comfort and acceptance so that he could move beyond and grow through what he had experienced. “Porn is not just a moral issue, it’s one part behavioral and another part spiritual, it emerges from the common desire to be wanted.”
Michael Leahy revealed many strong truths involving the issue of pornography, and is very brave for being able to share those with campuses around the world. We’d like to thank the Campus Crusade for Christ for bringing him in to discuss it because it’s definitely an issue that isn’t touched upon enough. There is much more than couldn’t be addressed in this article, if you’d like more information you can download Mike Leahy’s PDF handout with his personal story and some more statistics from our website or you can also visit
Click Here to Download the PDF Handout