Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo on porn-induced ED

Printer-friendly version

This comment can be found under David Ley's post -   An Erectile Dysfunction Myth: Pornography is not the problem. It is the second comment by an expert disputing Ley's assertions.


re: the problem with conclusions

I'm sorry, Dr. Ley, but your conclusions are not valid because the research you quote does not address the specific type of sexually explicit material that these men are watching. The problem with most pornography research is that it almost always uses still porn (pictures of sexual acts or nudes), or films chosen by the researchers. These films are often uninteresting to the participants in the study.

I don't know of a study that has allowed users of internet porn who state that they have ED to simply cruise the web as they normally would, look at what they normally look at (from most accounts, multiple, brief clips of a huge variety of sexual acts, sometimes more and more extreme), and then measure something relevant over an extended period. These men could then be compared with a control group. I would like to see a study done this way. If there is one, will someone on this thread please forward it to me? I need it for my research. But I don't think it exists yet.

In the absence of such a study, I have to agree with the young men here. They have removed one variable, and they are seeing consistent results. And no one is giving them credit for figuring out what their problem is and finding a simple solution. I read the Reddit threads. Hundreds of posts, I read. What I found was that over a year or so of conversation about it, the men who stopped masturbating figured out (with the help of others on the thread) that they could return to masturbation after a short period, as long as they didn't turn back to internet, video porn.

What is not being said here is that many of my colleagues and fellow sexologists are tremendously concerned about the rhetoric against pornography. They are afraid, and rightly so, of censorship. Censorship is pernicious, and undermines all research. It kills curiosity, debilitates progress. I have NO INTEREST in censoring anyone's use of sexually explicit material (though I do agree with the control of depictions of children or non-consenting adults, or animals, who cannot consent).

But as a professor and a professional who teaches daily about human sexuality, I think we can certainly afford a scientific, multi-disciplined look at all of these issues. Indeed, we can't afford not to. As a human being and as a former therapist, I am tired of people who halt conversations midway because they refuse to look at their own motives, fears, and interests. Let's keep having the conversation. Let's deal with WHY we don't like what "the other side" is saying. Let's remain CURIOUS about each issue. And let's continue to LISTEN to each other as well as declare our lines in the sand.