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Review: Porn Addiction Isn’t a Real Thing

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[ Science]

The internet has laid human sexuality bare, putting it on display for anyone who cares to type a few letters into a search engine. However the wealth of stimulation available online is certainly more than humans have evolved to deal with, leading some people to value porn more than real intimacy.

Good news, then, that these same people are not in danger of becoming porn addicts. A new review article published int he journal Current Sexual Health Reports states that there is no current research supporting the concept of porn addiction.

The review was penned by clinical psychologist David Ley, who admits that some people may view pornography impusively. Ley, though, does not believe that the consequences of frequent porn viewing are all bad.

His review found that there is little evidence that what people are labeling porn addiction is harmful. Porn “addiction” was not linked to erectile disfunction, changes in adolescent behavior, or any changes in the brain of frequent porn watchers. In addition, Ley found that many studies on the topic lacked methodological rigor and were often based on bad experimental design.

While researchers seem to be set on demonstrating the negative effects of porn viewing, Ley believes that porn can actually improve sexual attitudes, increase the variety of sexual behaviors, increase pleasure for couples, and increase quality of life overall. He also controversially states that porn could be a viable legal way for those with deviant sexual urges to relieve them, pointing to research that has linked the availability of certain porn to a decrease in real-life sexual crimes.

“We need better methods to help people who struggle with the high frequency use of visual sexual stimuli, without pathologizing them or their use thereof,” wrote Ley. “Rather than helping patients who may struggle to control viewing images of a sexual nature, the ‘porn addiction’ concept instead seems to feed an industry with secondary gain from the acceptance of the idea.”

Review: Porn Addiction Isn’t a Real Thing
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