Dr. John Foubert has been studying pornography and its effects on people for over a decade. I have written and spoken extensively on pornography, so I was eager when Dr. Foubert graciously asked me to endorse his recent book How Pornography Harms. And it did not disappoint. In fact, I would consider an indispensable resource for students, parents, teachers, and pastors to be informed about how pornography is changing the way people think about sex.

Check out this quick interview with Dr. Foubert. And then think about getting a copy of his excellent book. You can get a hard copy here or the e-book for a discount. Enjoy!

SEAN MCDOWELL: The first line in your book struck me: "This book pulls no punches." Your writing style is direct, hard hitting, and real. Why did you write How Pornography Harms that way?

JOHN FOUBERT: You can’t clean up the topic of pornography. So many of us have been pretending it isn’t a problem with people we know. Many parents think that if their kids look at today’s porn, it is the same kind of thing they saw as kids and is no big deal. All of these people would be wrong. In order to educate the public about the harms of pornography, I decided to let people know about the level of violence and degradation that is really going on in today’s pornography. My intent is not to be gratuitously graphic, but to be shocking enough to wake up people’s consciences.

MCDOWELL: There are lots of books out there about pornography that are written from a Biblical worldview. How is yours different from the others?

FOUBERT: There are so many wonderful books out there about pornography that do a great job of helping people who are struggling with porn to get out from under that struggle. How Pornography Harms is different, in that it distills the results from 150 peer reviewed studies, 2 dozen books, 2 dozen anecdotes from people who have been hurt by porn, and a dozen interviews with scholars who do cutting edge research in this area. As I wove together research and people’s personal experience, I wrote a book that is accessible, real, and well documented – all from a Biblical worldview.

MCDOWELL: You obviously did a lot of research for How Pornography Harms. What are some of the things that surprised you the most?

FOUBERT: I’ve researched porn for 10 years, and sexual violence for 25. Not much surprises me anymore. However, I was surprised at how the people I interviewed were so profoundly hurt by pornography. For example, a woman who appeared in porn films for over a year, reaching the point of attempting suicide. I was surprised at how ‘normal’ the man I met who went to prison for child pornography seemed. I was deeply moved by the young mother of two who recalled an experience when she was 5 of walking in on her 9-year-old brother and 7-year-old sister watching porn and performing sexual acts on each other. She never told anyone but me about what happened, and wanted to share her story with others. Porn has devastating consequences for people’s lives. I want to share that with as many people as possible.

MCDOWELL: What is your best advice for teens and young adults who can't seem to stay away from pornography?

FOUBERT: If you can’t seem to stay away from pornography, get more intense help than you are now. If you have an accountability partner, find a certified sex addiction therapist. If you have a great therapist, go to a weekend or week long workshop to detox and get on a healthier path. If you’ve done the weekend thing, to a treatment center for 6-9 months to kill off this cancer. If what you are doing right now isn’t working, you need to take more drastic measures. I have a list of ideas on my website at http://www.johnfoubert.com/resources-i-recommend.

MCDOWELL: In your experience and research, how does viewing pornography affect the worldview of young people?

FOUBERT: Young people live in a world where “truth’ is presumed to be within the person, is erroneously called subjective, and is situational. If it feels good for you, it must be okay and true. These lies can be strongly reinforced by experiences young people have with porn. They think it is okay for them, masturbate to it and experience sexual release, and then are drawn to it all the more. Pornography draws people further and further away from the one true God, and makes a god out of one’s sexual desire. Anytime we put something above God, it becomes an idol. The great challenge believers face is to make sure that their identity as a follower of Jesus is their one identity, that everything else in their lives should flow from that Truth, and that we fight against anything that seeks to crawl to the top of our list of identities like the snake in the Garden of Eden.

MCDOWELL: How would you make a case against pornography to a non-Christian?

FOUBERT: I’d start by asking the person if they want to have good sex with another person. If they do, they should stay away from pornography. What pornography does is teaches people to be violent. It also has a direct link to erectile dysfunction. Right now 1/3 of men under 30 have erectile dysfunction. 60% of guys whose pornography use is an addiction also have erectile dysfunction with a person, but not with the porn on their iPhone. The porn industry is trying to sell the lie that watching porn will improve your sex life. The mountain of evidence available shows that porn makes your sex life a lot worse.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org, where you can find the original version of this article.