General Question

willbrawn's avatar

What is your opinion on pornography addiction?

Asked by willbrawn (6609points) July 13th, 2008 from iPhone

can it hurt the individual? Can it hurt the family? Is it ok cause it’s your choice? Men do you think it’s ok if your spouse does not know? Women do would you feel degraded if your spouse had an addiction to pormography?

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31 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Pornography addiction and even regular pornography use have scientifically studied and proven conseqences. It is not a matter of opinion. From one site:

“PORN USE LEADS TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR. The changes made by porn in its users are unseen at first, but continued viewing frequently results in acting out, experts say.

A recent article in the Journal of Research in Personality reveals that 60% of men surveyed admitted that they would engage in forced sexual activity if they knew they could get away with it.

Mary Anne Layden, clinical psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said porn creates false beliefs about sexual behavior. “These messages lead to permission-giving beliefs,” she said, “for violence, sexual entitlement, that I should be able to have sex whenever I want, however I want, wherever I want, with whomever I want.”
EXPERTS LINK NEW STUDY ON AGGRESSIVE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR TO PORNOGRAPHY USAGE: U.S. Department of Justice has all the tools it needs to stop U.S. commercial pornographers but is not using those tools.

The pervasive use of pornography in western society appears to be the cause of 6 of 10 men polled indicating they would rape a woman if there was no chance of getting caught.

This is according to a recent study by the Journal of Research in Personality, a report that experts are linking to the consumption of pornography.The study showed that 60% of men polled would rape or force a woman to do something she didn’t want to do if they were sure they could do so with impunity.

Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Therapy, said there is a correlation between viewing porn and aggressive sexual behavior among individuals.

The results of the study reflect attitudes and behavior that she attributes to prolonged exposure to pornography.“These messages lead to permission-giving beliefs,” she said, “for violence, sexual entitlement, that I should be able to have sex whenever I want, however I want, wherever I want, with whomever I want.”

Layden also said that people who use pornography start to think sex is a form of recreation and that sex isn’t about intimacy, love, or respect.

“What this statistic shows is that men will go from just consuming pornography on a regular basis to acting out,” said Patrick Trueman, special counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the truth.”

stevenb's avatar

I think addiction is bad. The occasional playboy here or there is ok, as long as it is in moderation. The guys spending 3 thousand bucks a day need therapy. It also depends on the type of porn. Again, Playboy is fairly clean and tasteful, but kiddy porn or snuff porn, or any of that I believe signals issues that perhaps should be dealt with. I personally dont like porn, other than the occasional Playboy. I have never really understood watching porn, it always made me feel “dirty” I guess. The classification of “porn” is so wide, it is hard to make a blanket statement about what types are bad and not. I do think it is crazily prolific and that the availability of it on the web is aweful. I heard a statistic that said that something like 5 to 10,000(!) new online porn sited are started every day, and the money they make is mind boggling. I almost agree with what Uberbatman has said on addiction on other questions about that it could just be weak mindedness in this case. I think something is missing in your life and relationships if you turn to porn on an addiction level.

lefteh's avatar

I don’t buy that, Marina.
I just don’t.
There’s nothing wrong with regular porn use, and many of those anti-porn activists who say otherwise is most likely one of three things: very bored, very Christian, or uneasy from an experience with someone who had a porn addiction.
Furthermore, it’s hard to take ANYTHING seriously from “PhysiciansForLife.org.”
I’m expected to believe that if I watch a porno once in a while before bed, I’m going to objectify sex and become aggressive toward my partners? Give me a break.

marinelife's avatar

@lefteh I agree that was not the best source, but it was not the source of the studies. I actually think the one from this thread was much more persuasive.

*After exposure to pornography in a laboratory situation where women were depicted as enjoying rape, male college students (“average Joes” pre-screened to select out “hostile” personalities) were more prone to accept commonly held conceptions lik e “a woman really wants to be raped,” and “yes means no.” These men also denied the credibility of actual rape victims by viewing them as feeling less pain than they actually experienced, and by holding them responsible for their own rapes.

* Fifty-seven percent of these males indicated some likelihood that they would commit a rape if guaranteed that they would not be caught. They also claimed that 30 percent of the women they know would enjoy being aggressively forced into sexual i ntercourse.

* With a repeated exposure period of only two weeks, the subjects found violent pornography to be less and less violent, and they were increasingly less offended by the material. Most important, contrary to the cathartic benefits which some Ordin ance opponents mention, these men’s sexual arousal did not decrease but in some cases increased.

* Finally, the researchers found that themes of violence and domination in pornography had very strong effects on adolescent boys who are beginning to form stereotypes about human sexuality, rape and violence.

Sources: Pornography and Sexual Aggression edited by Dr. Neil Malamuth and Dr. Edward Donnerstein (New York: Academic Press, 1984); Connections Between Sex and Aggre ssion by Dolf Zillman (Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1984); and in the work of sociologist Dr. Diana Russell (see “Pornography and Rape: a Causal Model” by Russell in Political Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1988).

Also, “just not buying it” my very bright young friend does not cut it intellectually. Where are the studies showing no brain and behavior changes?

cyrusbond's avatar

Marina, from your first post, something that they neglect to acknowledge is an individuals predispostion to agressive behavior. Its possible that they are simply more agressive people who choose to find an outlet in pornography.

Then you can get into all of the Id, Ego, and Superego.

I’ve always held the stance that someone is addicted as they allow themselves to be. If a person truly sees what they are doing as a problem to themselves and those around them, they will cease.

iwamoto's avatar

it’s pretty funny, i have sort of a pornography addiction, but i’m also very pacifistic, i think it’s just baloney…

aren’t people who play videogames supposed to go and shoot up schools?

so that would make me a rapist and a murderer, uh oh, and i also listen to heavy music, i must be some kind of anti christ…

wildflower's avatar

Any addiction is harmful to the addicted and their surroundings. Addiction to pornography might be one of the harder ones to tackle because of tabu associated with pornography and the hesitation in talking about it.

gailcalled's avatar

I can’t imagine any more boring addiction. Ya seen one, ya seen them all. There are just so many variations on the theme. Groucho Marx once said that if he wanted to see a naked person, he’d take off his clothes and look in a mirror for free.

Me, I think it would be more interesting to watch someone trying to put his elbow in his mouth.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I agree with lefteh there is nothing wrong with regular porn use. I actually think the inverse theres something wrong with you, if you dont look at porn. I have a ginormous porn collection(somewhere around 300GB last time i checked) yet have a very healthy relationship.It really means nothing special to me, just a tool to get me “where im going” thats it.

Its just another bullshit scapegoat we make up so we dont have to blame ourselves for our actions. Like iwamoto said, videogamers are shooting up schools and people who listen to metal worship satan <rolls eyes>

A very wise man once said to me, “Porn is like pokemon cards, you just got to have them all”

marinelife's avatar

@cyrusbond If it were true that people simply ceased their addictions, there would be a lot fewer addicted people. I think of lot of addicts die before they cease.

stevenb's avatar

I know a lot of couples who use porn as Uber says, to get them where they are going. They are nice people and have fun with it, but thay are not addicted! I think there is a HUGE difference between use and addiction.

MissAnthrope's avatar

It’s not a bullshit scapegoat. I definitely buy it, just based on my own experience. I love it when there are studies to back up my own observations, though. :)

It’s one thing if you watch porn occasionally, another if you watch it multiple times a day, every day. Addiction is unhealthy. It’s also another thing if you have no real-life experience and all you know is what you’ve seen in porn videos (i.e. the adolescents mentioned in Marina’s post).

I mentioned in the “Guys, in your experience, do girls like play rape” thread that I have definitely noticed guys who predominantly watch a lot of porn (as opposed to having sex in a healthy relationship) tend to treat women objectively in bed. The theme of male-oriented porn is the use and denigration of women for sexual gratification, regardless of the woman’s arousal or mental well-being. I realize that the women in these videos are being paid and it’s their choice, but I definitely see a trend that the more porn a guy watches, the less he knows how to really please or treat a woman in bed.

Not everyone who watches porn will become a rapist. Not everyone who plays violent video games becomes a killer. However, there is something to the idea that constant consumption of violent media will desensitize people. We’ve gotten to the point, as a country, where hinting at violence isn’t enough anymore. If you look back at movies in the past decades, the gore factor was fairly limited. Today, it’s not enough to suggest the violence, take Nip/Tuck, for example; we have to show every bloody, disgusting, gory detail. You can’t tell me that people don’t get desensitized to violence or the mistreatment of others. It’s been proven!

iwamoto's avatar

hey jackson, wasn’t that what i said? hahaha

MercenaryWriter's avatar

In the 1970’s, porn of every type was make 100% legal in the Netherlands. Within one year, there rate of violent, sexualy motivated crime had reduced by 92%. Imply what you will. Personal opinion- any uncontrollable addiction is bad, but that’s a different issue from whether porn itself is bad. Addiction to pornography is a psychological issue, not a moral one.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@iwamoto yes it was oh wise one.

PupnTaco's avatar

Opinion on porn addiction: sad, get some counseling.

Opinion on porn: mostly boring.

gailcalled's avatar

@pup; we agree again. (What’s your blood type and zodiac sign?)

marinelife's avatar

@MW That is interesting. What is the source for that? I would like to read if there were other legislative changes at the time that might also have been factors and to read what conclusions were drawn by scientists about the reduction.

I want to make clear to all here that I do not favor making all pornography illegal.

I also do not care what any adult does in their home with pornography even if they are addicted.

I do have concerns that electronic access makes adolescent exposure more likely. Adolescents are much less able to process overexposure and much more likely to be damaged by it.

I also think that child pornography and snuff films should be illegal.

Finally, I think the industry should be regulated to protect its workers.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Marina child porn and snuff films are illegal.

marinelife's avatar

@ubt Good, but they are still being made.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yes, and probably will be for the rest of time. As with any other thing thats illegal, just because its illegal, doesnt make it cease to exist.

Trance24's avatar

@Marina – I watched a BBC special on the history of Snuff films, and in the special it had said that there was never a real one found, or released. Now my memory is sketchy, because I watched it a while ago. Here it Is

As for child porn thats just disgusting. And should be stopped. But sadly it is impossible.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Trance24 there are real snuff films out there. Faces of death for one.

PupnTaco's avatar

People don’t whack off to “Faces of Death,” do they? Tell me they don’t.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Ahahah they may? but they have bigger issues than porn addiction. Point was there have been snuff films featured in faces of death.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

any addiction is bad.
Too much of anything is bad.
Porn is fantasy and should just be left as that, knowing limits is needed.

Self limitation to something is needed for your own good.

eadinad's avatar

Porn addiction is a problem, just as any addiction is a problem. I would think that small amounts of porn would be acceptable, though I can’t say for sure as neither I nor my partner ever use/view pornography.

Knotmyday's avatar

The perennial internal conflict of the human male: physiognomy vs. titillation.
Sex is far more exciting and satisfying within the context of a relationship. Besides, humans need to touch each other in order to remain healthy and maintain mental and emotional well-being.
Porn is just not as much fun.

gailcalled's avatar

Guys who use “physiognomy” really light my fire.

peterlavetti's avatar

” Porno is a good example of voluntary delusion. It is neither sex nor love. It’s just voyeurism and big business together in one.” — Peter Lavetti, artist and photographer

BBQsomeCows's avatar

“Can an addition be hurtful?”

yes

addiction to ____. It doesn’t matter what’s in the blank.

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