HEADlines: Porn and Incels



HEADlines: Porn and Incels

By Nancy E. Head

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.” The Matrix, 1999

Morpheus offers Neo the truth. It’s a key scene in the movie, a crucial moment. Do we want to know the truth–or would we rather just go on believing “whatever you want to believe”?

Much of America sees the truth about the harm pornography causes. But does that mean we will act on this truth–or will we choose to look away?

In the News

The Kansas City Royals have been trying to discourage porn usage among the team members. Last spring, a seminar for players featured speakers from a “non-religious” organization called “Fight the New Drug,” a group that invites participants to make an “informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness of its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.” (In other words—not by invoking a religious moral code.)

The Royals’ management presents porn as a drug–harmful, addictive, life-changing–and never for the better.

General Manager Dayton Moore explains the organization’s interest in the subject: “We talk about pornography, and the effects of what that does to the minds of players and the distractions, and how that leads to abuse of—domestic abuse—to abuse of women.”

The Royals have legitimate concerns about porn distracting players enough to lower their game statistics, and prompting unsavory off-the-field misdeeds–public relations nightmares.

Apparently, the Royals’ owners think being anti-porn is good for the business of baseball.

Harmful Addiction to Porn


But they have their work cut out for them. Most often, men are boys when they first see porn. Young brains capture the images and often can never erase them.

Those images—and the addiction to keeping fresh images coming—causes more harm than just high earned run counts, lower batting averages, and players in the news for the wrong reasons.

From Fight the New Drug: “Many porn consumers find themselves getting aroused by things that used to disgust them or things that they might have previously considered to be inappropriate or unethical. As individuals consume more extreme and dangerous sex acts, they gradually begin to feel that those behaviors are more common and acceptable than they really are.”

Porn wears down a natural revulsion toward the unsavory. And that wearing down process begins even before porn use.

Children and Porn

Before children first see porn (usually around age 11), they receive messages from television, movies, and music that set them up for a fall. From Psychology Today: “Media messages normalize early sexual experimentation and portray sex as casual, unprotected and consequence-free, encouraging sexual activity long before children are emotionally, socially or intellectually ready. . . .The earlier a child is exposed to sexual content and begins having sex, the likelier they are to engage in high-risk sex.”

The Media and Porn

Combining media messages with porn is a recipe for disaster that is living itself out in our families. Porn use increases marital infidelity by 300 percent—which has led us to fifty-six percent of American divorces involving one party’s “obsessive interest” in porn websites.

Victims of Porn

When I was a college freshman, my administration of justice instructor tried to convince me that pornography was a victimless crime. The VCR was just dawning. We didn’t realize then that a moving picture is more compelling—and more addictive—than a still one.

My classroom encounter came before we understood the concept of sex trafficking. And before we could connect the dots between porn use and abortion.

Arina O. Grossu and Sean Maguire write: “Pornography viewers’ use of pornographic material fuels the demand for sexual exploitation. Pornographers frequently use children and women who are forced, coerced, or fraudulently induced to be filmed or photographed engaging in sexual acts; this pornographic media is then sold for profit.” Porn comes from trafficking and feeds more trafficking.

Grossu and Maguire cite a study showing that women who escape sex trafficking report high rates of abortion. “Steven Wagner, former director of the Human Trafficking Program at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, argued that coercion to abort among pregnant women who are being sex trafficked is universal.”

Furthermore, 64 percent of women who are not involved in trafficking but underwent abortion felt pressure not to give birth. What was supposed to be a woman’s liberating choice is just the opposite.

Porn, trafficking, and abortion have caused a great deal of confusion today over what is normal and acceptable. And sometimes, when those who don’t experience what they perceive as normal—when they perceive everyone else is getting something and they are not—they react and cause untold pain.

Incels—Involuntarily Celibate

On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger killed his two housemates and a friend—then went on a shooting spree near the UC Santa Barbara campus. At the end of the day, he had wounded 14 and killed six–then himself.

In a Youtube video he recorded between killings, he said, “You denied me a happy life. And in return, I will deny all of you life. It’s only fair.”


Elliot’s complaint? He was a 22-year-old virgin. He had suffered the injustice of not being chosen.

In 2018, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida.

According to Amia Srinivasan, Cruz had commented on another Youtube video that “Elliot Rodger will not be forgotten.”

Srinivasan also points out that Reddit—an online discussion forum website—shut down a 40,000 member “incel” support group (Incel means involuntarily celibate)—“for people who lack romantic relationships and sex.” Reddit also banned a second such group for calling for, among other things, reduced penalties for the crime of rape.

Incels are an unexpected consequence of the sexual revolution. The marginalized. The lonely. The excluded. Elliot Rodger and Nikolas Cruz were incels.

Brave New World

It’s a situation Aldous Huxley avoided in his futuristic masterpiece Brave New World. Huxley’s “civilized society” encouraged sex and conditioned children to understand that “everyone belongs to everyone.” The society conditioned children by wearing away their natural inclinations to modesty and sexual exclusivity. It took work to wear away these protections.

Huxley even created an alpha male character who was less than perfect. Bernard Marx was smaller and less attractive than other men of his social rank–as was Elliot Rodger.

Yet unlike Elliot, Bernard still had his share of the action–so to speak. Conditioned to always say yes, women accommodated even Bernard. There was no rejection. Therefore, there were no Elliot Rodgers or Nikolas Cruzes feeling that they had to kill in order to even the tilted score of life.

Aside from incels, there are others for whom the score of life is tilted.

Accounts of Sexual Assault

This account came from an eighth-grade girl in my city—alleging that she suffered repeated sexual assaults at school. And the administration did nothing to help her.

There was first one boy (then there were two). They thought they could have their way with her without any consequence. They were right.

If you think this girl is alone, think again.

We’ve taught more than one generation that their desires and inclinations trump all else. We have reached a shocking place, but we cannot claim to be surprised.

We have simply reached the logical conclusion of the sexual revolution: If sex is free–all are entitled to participate.

We’ve told kids to follow their inclinations. We’ve promoted the idea that anyone is entitled to have whatever kind of sex they desire, and at the frequency they desire. And we’ve let technology control us more than we control our use of it.

What Will We Choose?

Christ calls us to love and respect our sacred selves and sacred others.

Will today’s children have the understanding they need to make the right choice? Or will they swallow the blue pill and live lives of false belief, never embracing the truth?

The Church is Morpheus, and we offer truth.

The truth people miss in making the wrong choice will cost them the essence of what it means to be human. And in losing that, they will have lost all.

About the Author


Author Nancy E. Head was a single mother with five children under the age of 14 when many in the Church came to her aid. Her story illustrates common problems in our society such as the fracturing of families and communities, reflecting a splintering Church. Alienated families and a riven Church cannot minister as effectively to their own members or others until they find accord. Nancy is the author of Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ's Love Through the Church in One Accord. She leads a small group ministering to the needy in her community.

Connect with Nancy on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can read Nancy’s HEADlines column on the 4th Saturday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.


#Porn #Pornography #Incels #NancyEHead #HEADlines

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