OTTAWA, Ontario — After successfully battling an addiction to pornography, Matthew Fradd has dedicated himself to helping others.
“Porn is not just naughty — it’s evil,” said Fradd, a 27-year-old Australian living in Ottawa, Ontario. “It emasculates men, degrades women and destroys marriages.”
Fradd has begun his second year operating his anti-pornography website, ThePornEffect.com . He launched it on Aug. 14, 2009, on the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron of addicts, using $12,000 in seed money donated to him by a priest-friend.
Fradd’s is a lonely voice going against the culture on the issue, especially considering that nearly 25 million websites (12% of all websites) and 25% of all daily search-engine requests are pornography-related.
In addition, a surprising number of women are regular viewers of pornography. A third of those Americans regularly visiting porn websites are women.
A variety of polls have revealed that those active in Christian churches have difficulties with porn. Promise Keepers, one of the largest Christian men’s conferences in the United States, asked men at their 2008 conferences in anonymous polls if they had viewed porn in the last week; 53% of the nearly 10,000 who responded admitted that they had.
Pornography is hard on marriages, too. In a 2002 survey of 350 members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an association of divorce attorneys, for example, 56% said “obsessive interest in pornographic sites” was a factor leading to marital breakups.
Fradd’s site features information about how pornography affects men, women and marriages, inspirational stories of individuals who have become porn-free, information on how to beat porn addictions, videos, and opportunities to offer support to those who want to be free of porn. Fradd launched the site, he explained, because while there are millions of websites that feature pornography, “there’s not a lot out there for men and women who are struggling to be free from porn.”
‘Hooked’ at 8
Fradd, who is from southern Australia, got “hooked” on pornography at the age of 8 when he found some in his grandfather’s shed. By age 12, he was stealing porn from neighborhood stores, and in his teen years, he had acquired a vast collection.
“No one had to tell me it was a bad thing,” he said. “I knew it was shameful. I was hoping I’d grow out of it.”
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