There is an epidemic that nobody is talking about (in Nigeria, at least). Several epidemics have set off a flurry of activities from both the WHO and liberal donors. During the Ebola outbreak that occurred in West and Central Africa, the international community swiftly contributed more than US$459 million to the WHO Ebola Response Fund.
True, the epidemic in focus is yet to take 11,000 lives like Ebola did during that period; neither has it manifested the same destructive potential as drug addiction in Nigeria. It does not even have the same fanciful description and obviously dangerous capacity as “bluetoothing” in South Africa. Yet, this epidemic is real and we are either denying its existence or downplaying its effect on our generation.
Apart from pathological outbreaks, atmospheric concerns have also set off a burst of political activities. The outcomes of climate change, due to the atmospheric pollution by greenhouse gases, have prompted nations to invest billions of dollars in green energy. This is clearly due to our concern about the impacts of climate change on future generations. Oddly, we are unconcerned about the emotional and spiritual climate that these “future generations” will live in.
We appear to be focused on physical and economic prosperity to the detriment of emotional, mental and spiritual prosperity. The well-being of the present generation is fast-declining due to pornography and its offshoots. This attitude is probably because the symptoms are mostly emotional and psychological. The pornography addiction epidemic is real. Some people invest lots of time in the semantics. They say that there is nothing like pornography addiction. They prefer to call it a compulsive pornography consumption disorder.
Whatever your preferred moniker is is fine. I will stick to Porndemic.
The statistics on this subject speak for themselves. 47% of Christians say that they have a problem with pornography in their home. 72% of males visit pornography websites, as do 28% of females. Also, the porn industry is larger than the combined revenue of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink. In addition, more than 64% of South African children have seen porn images online (South Africa Film and Publications Board). Bringing this home to Nigeria, we rank very high on Google search ranking for porn and gay porn. Our percentage search for the subject relative to other terms sometimes ranks higher than the popularity of the search in America. So, just like Subomi Plumtre noted, Nigerians are obsessed with sex. We just pretend not to be.
It is common knowledge that sexual lust is a congenital weakness that we ought to keep under check. Habits like porn-use feed the “beast of lust” with “hard drugs,” making self-control very difficult or practically impossible. Internet porn fuels the modern man or woman’s sex addiction. This may be the reason some have labeled the internet the crack cocaine of sex addiction.
This uncontrolled sex drive is causing a surge in violent sex crimes. Rape is one category of reported crime that is on the increase in Nigeria. The FBI reports that porn is found at 80% of the scenes of violent sex crimes or in the homes of perpetrators. Similarly, US states with the highest rates of readership of porn magazines have the highest rates of rape. Hence, the high level of sex addiction
and sex crimes we record today are closely linked to pornography.
Times have changed. Society has evolved. However, the direction of change and evolution calls for concern. In the past, it was the norm for guys to chase girls just for fun or to satisfy their lust. Those who were too timid to do so aspired for the day they would be courageous enough to ask girls out.
In contrast, today, we have a category of males and females who do not bother about relationships with partners because they have found alternative fantasies and satisfaction in porn. And as we have learned from the statistics on the porn epidemic, while the early business model of the industry targeted men as the main clients. The industry today has a sizeable number of females who use their products too.
Likewise, the odds of a divorce are at an all-time high of 50%, with infidelity contributing significantly to this. What’s more, our ivory towers that were once the exclusive factory of brilliant minds are now breeding sites of intellectual drug addicts and sex addicts as well.
With all that has been said, it is obvious that an enormous challenge has come to us. We need to engage in constructive dialogue to solve this problem. Ingenious techniques to address this product of globalization need to be proffered. As Africans, we were raised in a culture that forbade the discussion of private issues like this in the public domain. Unfortunately, this loud silence is killing many. We must act very quickly and decisively in order to protect ourselves and our children. Everyone needs to get involved. An attitude of indifference to this matter may boomerang, because someone very close to you may be addicted already without your knowledge.
Collective, concerted efforts are required to first create a solid movement and then a revolution against all that is corroding our humanity.
This article was originally published at BellaNaija.