Pornography addiction in United States topic for Theology on Tap

Samantha Rauch

Worldwide, the pornography industry is a $57 billion business with $12 billion being contributed by the U.S. Child pornography accounts for 20 percent of all the traffic.

The Catholic Campus Center thought the students of Washburn University needed to know this valuable information, so Patti Lyon, director and campus minister of the Catholic Campus Center, held a special meeting for Theology on Tap to inform students of the growing addiction. Lyon chose to hold this meeting after the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas expressed its concern about pornography expanding in families.

At the meeting, three representatives were present: Father George Seuferling, Karen Buyle of Mater Dei Perish and Lyon. A film was shown, called “As for Me and My House” that told a true story about a man and his battle with pornography addiction, which led in an open discussion for those who wished to participate. During the discussion time, students learned that the average age of initial exposure to Internet pornography is 11 years old.

“Porn in our society isn’t seen as a problem…it’s a private thing,” said Lyon.

A major question at the meeting was how to protect children. Lyon said it’s not a matter of whether or not society is sheltering children, it’s how children react in group situations. When your child is in a group environment, are they going to follow their own moral code or will they do what everyone else says is right?

“What once started out with Playboy is now directed towards children.” says Lyon.

According to, the largest single group of Internet pornography consumers is between the ages of 12 and 17. This means children are accessing this information and gathering their opinions on relationships, love and sex through these Web sites.

There were a total of 11 people at the meeting, which Lyon thought was a very good number. Lyon was also pleased with the discussion after the showing of the movie.