The Impact of Porn on Men and Women in Societies (WEB.PsyD)

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porn-that-bloody-addictionMost people have complicated and mixed feelings about pornography. I’m not interested in arguing about whether it is good or bad to watch videotaped depictions of human beings engaged in sexual acts. It’s fascinating from an evolutionary standpoint that mere images can excite any reaction at all, and also fascinating that more men than women seem to prefer this material.

Some issues worthy of discussion are the disparities of power, privilege, etc. abound in this material. Also, the way pornography is used and the shame felt that keeps many from seeking help when they find themselves addicted to porn.

Abuse of pornography and excessive masturbation is considered a process “addiction.” Individuals addicted to porn spend a great amount of time engaged in the pursuit of sex and romance than in the sexual act itself. The neurochemical and dissociative high produced by their intense sexual fantasy life results in ritualistic behavior and addiction. When pornography is used as a self-soothing coping mechanism, it is problematic. Avoidance of an underlying issue is often present.

The availability of pornography is tremendous given advances in technology and the growth of social media. Individuals can find porn blogs on a variety of microblogging platforms. They can upload amateur porn to video social media or video blogs. A nationwide survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that many American couples have found technology to be a source of tension in their relationship, especially when one partner learns of the other’s use of technology to access pornographic material. 4% of internet users in a committed relationship reported they have gotten upset at something that they found out their spouse or partner was doing online.

Evolution has not prepared your brain for porn. Cambridge University scientists were able to recognize a particular type of brain activity in the brain scans in compulsive pornography users. UCLA reports that hypersexuality disorder is a mental health issue. Many young men are claiming to have had a porn addiction and are eliminating or drastically reducing their use of porn in ways that make them feel happier and healthier. Others are finding porn use and abuse to be a cause of erectile dysfunction, difficulty with ejaculation, and problems in the bedroom with their significant other (See Your Brain on Porn). These reported issues are reasonable since an overload of a particular stimulus can lead to satiation, and the brain is somewhat altered in how it experiences pleasure.

Is there such a thing as porn addiction? WebMD has a nice summary article on this issue. And apparently, the difference between describing the behavior as a compulsion or an addiction is subtle, but important, says Martin Downs, MPH.

http://www.webpsyd.org/the-impact-of-porn-on-men-and-women-in-societies/

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