Critiques of Questionable & Misleading Studies; Debunking Propaganda Pieces

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bogusThis section of the site provides critiques studies about which YBOP and others have reservations. In some, the methodology raises concerns. In others, the conclusions appear inadequately supported. In others, the title or terminology used is misleading given the actual study results. Some grossly misrepresent the real findings. For most papers, clicking on a study title takes you directly to an analysis of it. In the analysis you will find links to the original papers. In addition to critiques of studies, a few selected propaganda pieces are debunked.

In response to proliferation of biased articles in the press YBOP wrote this: How to recognize biased articles: They cite Prause et al. 2015 (falsely claiming it debunks porn addiction), while omitting over 3 dozen neurological studies supporting porn addiction (April, 2016). If you are looking for studies relevant to Internet porn use visit this page. If you want a simple video addressing many of the myths propagated by researchers or bloggers see: (Video) PORN MYTHS - The Truth Behind Addiction And Sexual Dysfunctions, by Gabe Deem. The following talks were presented at the 2018 NCOSE conference:

  1. "People Recognize Porn-Science Propaganda When They See It" by Jacob Hess - An overview of tactics employed by “astroturfers” who deny the possible negative effects of porn use.
  2. Gary Wilson - Porn Research: Fact or Fiction? - Wilson exposes the truth behind 5 studies propagandists cite (all listed below) to support their claims that porn addiction doesn't exist or that porn use is largely beneficial.

Commentaries Published in Academic Journals

  1. Critique of: Letter to the editor “Prause et al. (2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions" (2016), Nicole Prause, Vaughn R. Steele, Cameron Staley, Dean Sabatinelli, Greg Hajcake
  2. The Emperor Has No Clothes: A Review of the 'Pornography Addiction' Model (2014), David Ley, Nicole Prause & Peter Finn
  3. Dismantling the “group position” paper opposing porn and sex addiction (November, 2017)

The CPUI-9 and “Perceived Pornography Addiction”

  1. Porn use levels are by far the strongest predictor of self-perceived porn addiction
  2. Is Joshua Grubbs pulling the wool over our eyes with his "perceived porn addiction" research? (2016)
  3. New study invalidates the Grubbs CPUI-9 as an instrument to assess either “perceived pornography addiction” or actual pornography addiction (2017)
  4. Religious People Use Less Porn and Are No More Likely to Believe They Are Addicted (2017)
  5. Perceived Addiction to Internet Pornography and Psychological Distress: Examining Relationships Concurrently and Over Time (2015). Grubbs JB, Stauner N, Exline JJ, Pargament KI, Lindberg MJ.
  6. Critique of: "Damaged Goods: Perception of Pornography Addiction as a Mediator Between Religiosity and Relationship Anxiety Surrounding Pornography Use" (Leonhardt, Willoughby, & Young-Petersen, 2017)
  7. Transgression as addiction: religiosity and moral disapproval as predictors of perceived addiction to pornography (2015), Grubbs JB, Exline JJ, Pargament KI, Hook JN, Carlisle RD.

Two Highly Publicized Nicole Prause EEG Studies

1) Sexual Desire, Not Hypersexuality, is Related to Neurophysiological Responses Elicited by Sexual Images (2013). Vaughn R. Steele, Cameron Staley, Timothy Fong, Nicole Prause

2) Modulation of Late Positive Potentials by Sexual Images in Problem Users and Controls Inconsistent with "Porn Addiction" (2015). Nicole Prause, Vaughn R. Steele, Cameron Staley, Dean Sabatinelli, Greg Hajcake

Porn Related Sexual Dysfunctions

1) Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction (2015). Nicole Prause & Jim Pfaus

  1. Is Pornography Use Associated With Sexual Difficulties and Dysfunctions among Younger Heterosexual Men? (2015), Ivan Landripet, Aleksandar Štulhofer
  2. Sexual Function in 16- to 21-Year-Olds in Britain (2016)
  3. General Erectile Functioning among Young, Heterosexual Men Who Do and Do Not Report Condom-Associated Erection Problems (CAEP) (2015)
  4. Cyberpornography: Time Use, Perceived Addiction, Sexual Functioning, and Sexual Satisfaction (2016), Sarah Blais-Lecours, Marie-Pier Vaillancourt-Morel, Stéphane Sabourin, Natacha Godbout
  5. Profiles of Cyberpornography Use and Sexual Well-Being in Adults (2017) Marie-Pier Vaillancourt-Morel, Sarah Blais-Lecours, Chloé Labadie, Sophie Bergeron, Stéphane Sabourin, Natacha Godbout

Taylor Kohut Studies

  1. Perceived Effects of Pornography on the Couple Relationship: Initial Findings of Open-Ended, Participant-Informed, "Bottom-Up" Research (2016), Taylor Kohut, William A. Fisher, Lorne Campbell
  2. Critique of "Is Pornography Really about "Making Hate to Women"? Pornography Users Hold More Gender Egalitarian Attitudes Than Nonusers in a Representative American Sample" (2016), Taylor Kohut, Jodie L. Baer, Brendan Watts

Assorted Academic Papers

  1. Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption (2008), Hald GM, Malamuth NM (PCES)
  2. No Evidence of Emotion Dysregulation in “Hypersexuals” Reporting Their Emotions to a Sexual Film (2013), Nicole Prause, Cameron Staley & Timothy W. Fong.
  3. Does Viewing Explain Doing? Assessing the Association Between Sexually Explicit Materials Use and Sexual Behaviors in a Large Sample of Dutch Adolescents and Young Adults (2013), Gert Martin Hald, Lisette Kuyper, Philippe C.G. Adam, John B.F. de Wit.
  4. Prevalence and characteristics of vibrator use by women in the United States: results from a nationally representative study (2009), Herbenick D, Reece M, Sanders S, Dodge B, Ghassemi A, Fortenberry JD.
  5. A Profile of Pornography Users in Australia: Findings From the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships (2016), Chris Rissel, Juliet Richters, Richard O. de Visser, Alan McKee, Anna Yeung & Theresa Caruana
  6. 'Porn Studies Journal', Fiona Attwood and Clarissa Smith (2013).

Lay Articles Related to Porn-induced Sexual Dysfunctions

  1. More on porn: guard your manhood—a response to Marty Klein, by Philip Zimbardo & Gary Wilson (April, 2016)
  2. Sexologists deny porn-induced ED by claiming masturbation is the problem (2016)
  3. Debunking Kris Taylor's "A Few Hard Truths about Porn and Erectile Dysfunction" (2017)
  4. Debunking "Should you be worried about porn-induced erectile dysfunction?" - by The Daily Dot's Claire Downs. (2018)
  5. Debunking the "Men's Health" article by Gavin Evans: "Can Watching Too Much Porn Give You Erectile Dysfunction?" (2018)

Lay Articles Related to Escalation of Porn Use

  1. Rethinking Ogas and Gaddam's 'A Billion Wicked Thoughts' (2012) 
  2. 'A Billion Wicked Thoughts' Is Only A Snapshot: Longitudinal studies are needed to reveal morphing porn tastes (2012)
  3. Studies Find Escalation (and Habituation) in Porn Users

Debunking two Nicole Prause Op-ed's targeting Fight The New Drug

  1. Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed and 'Fight the New Drug' (2016)
  2. Op-ed: Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography? (2016)

Uncategorized Lay Articles

  1. Debunking "Why Are We Still So Worried About Wat­­ching Porn?", by Marty Klein, Taylor Kohut, and Nicole Prause (2018)
  2. Dismantling David Ley's response to Philip Zimbardo: "We must rely on good science in porn debate" (March, 2016)
  3. YBOP response to Jim Pfaus's "Trust a scientist: sex addiction is a myth" (January, 2016)
  4. Commentary on "Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong - In a Nutshell" (Johann Hari)




I have a question. Having this habit for the past 18 years but not exactly with high speed internet rather through TV or imagining women in day to day life, once or twice a day.

It started like this, whenever I felt horny, I would masturbate thinking that I'm letting out my suppressed desires so that I wont do anything wrong in a big way, that was years back and got addicted gradually....

After going through this site and getting convinced that I should quit fapping, have gone upto 28 days max in the past 4 months, my brain is trying to trick me saying that you should not suppress your desires and it is good to vent out my sexual urges. I know deep down that this shouldn't be right, but this thought keeps coming back to me, " Aint I suppressing my basic desires and wont it burst like some active volcano some day?"

YBOP is about Internet porn only, not masturbation, nor suppression of genuine desires. The stories have only one thing in common - giving up porn to see what effects it has had on their lives. Many guys continue to masturbate and just eliminate porn and porn-based fantasies during their reboot period.


I'm wondering what studies the author of this article is using as back up?
I personally dispute it from the off as I have had first hand experience of the negative effects of porn (and I saw it even before the internet as access to hardcore material from a young age can start the ball rolling re: the coolidge effect and escalating neeeds for stimuli); and do not doubt the endless accounts of rewiring that i have read of late.

....for the response; am gonna read it now.