April 4, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Therapist Peter Kleponis believes it's time for Church-based marriage preparation programs to address pornography addiction and to urge assistance for addicted individuals before proceeding with marriage.

"Given the severe harm caused by pornography in marriage, pre-marriage programs have to address this issue," Kleponis said during a talk.

Typically, young couples in marriage preparation programs will hear about the dangers of drug and alcohol addictions in marriages, but little about pornography.

"We need to talk about this in marriage prep programs because a lot of guys are going into marriage addicted to this stuff," he said.

"If a man is unwilling to address and resolve this conflict, a woman should really reconsider marrying him.

"We wouldn't want a woman marrying an active alcoholic or drug addict, why would we want her marrying an active sex addict?"

The messages embedded in pornography include a plethora of false messages that pollute the user's perspective of the opposite sex, Kleponis said.

Some couples absurdly think that viewing pornography could help spice up their romantic life, he said.

"This is not about healthy relationships; the damage is an involvement in a fantasy world that undermines your ability to communicate and relate to women in a healthy manner," he said.

"It interferes with the development of a healthy personality because it fosters selfishness, and it harms your ability to understand and want to make a loving commitment in marriage."

Studies show that young adults who are regular consumers of pornography don't want to get married, and it fosters the "'hook up' culture in which porn consumers use other people for your sexual pleasure," he said.

STRIPPED OF MANHOOD

"Pornography does not make you a man; if anything it takes away your manhood," Kleponis said. The effect of pornography on women is equally damaging and hurtful to a woman's self-image.

He noted alarming statistics showing that today's young adult women increasingly admit to being regular consumers of pornographic imagery, whereas older women have favoured using online tools and social media for anonymous, often dangerous relationships.