Elephant in the Room Series

"Effects of Pornography and Ways to Overcome It"

YouTube video available online


The Elephant in the Room Series at OLA brought a presentation about pornography to an online audience. Dr. Peter Kleponis introduced himself as an experienced psychotherapist aligned with Catholic teaching.

He referred to the definition found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Pornography consists of removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal [marriage] act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public) since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world…”

This multi-billion industry is widespread in our society, including TV, movies, the Internet, social media, video games, printed publications and music. For profit, pornography is aimed at susceptible groups such as children as young as 8, teens, and adults who may have underlying emotional issues. It can become an addiction that requires professional help to overcome.

Young men are especially at risk. Pornograhy interferes with healthy sexual development and personal relationships. Young women may develop issues with low self-esteem and the belief that aggression is an acceptable part of any sexual relationship. Children are exposed to hard-core pornography at the average age of 8 leading to access by 80% of those 12 to 17 years of age. There is always the danger that they may fall victim to sexual predators.

Those most at risk of addiction seek comfort from loneliness, rejection, a poor body image, insecurity, marital conflict, pressure at school or work, PTSD, grief or even perfectionism. 

Suggestions for children 0-10 years:
+limit screen time
+monitor use of electronic devices
+use parental controls on devices
+do not permit social media
+teach children to tell an adult if approached by a stranger online

Suggestions for children 11+ years:
+train them to identify in appropriate images or content
+monitor electronic devices, use parental controls and limit time on devices
+never allow children to isolate themselves with technology
+no use after 9 p.m. or during family time
+teach about healthy relationships and modesty
+CovenantEyes.com is recommended

Warming signs that someone may be addicted to pornography:
+porn is found on devices
+person is isolating themselves
+student's grades are declining
+changes in mood
+disrespectful behavior

Dr. Kleponis has 20 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, families and organizations. He specializes in anger management, men’s issues, and pornography addiction recovery.