Psychology of Porn: A Sexual Addiction Introduction

I'm going to be writing from a perspective of a Christian worldview while holding to Psychological facts. Pornography is the most accessible form of addiction known to mankind. It checks the "Three A's" of Accessibility, Anonymity, and Affordability.  Porn is sexual and therefore classified as a subset of Sexual Addiction in Psychology. 

There are many case studies that show proponent sides and opposite sides. However, let's look at the subtle Psychological issues at hand. Destin Stewart, PhD, and Dawn Szymanski, PhD, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, surveyed female college students and found that those who perceived their boyfriends' porn use to be problematic experienced lower self-esteem, poorer relationship quality and lower sexual satisfaction (Sex Roles, 2012). Bridges and Patricia Morokoff, PhD, reported similar findings: When men used porn, they tended to report lower levels of sexual intimacy in their real-life relationships.

Compulsive viewing of cyber-pornography, a sub-group of sexual addiction, appears to have a recognizable behavior pattern similar to other addictions (Carnes, 1999). This involves acting out a pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior (e.g. compulsive masturbation, persistent viewing of pornography, having consistent affairs, etc.) In which severe mood change relate to sexual activity. The sex addict experiences severe consequences due to sexual behaviors and an inability to stop despite these consequences. These consequences can include loss of a partner, severe marital or relationship problems, loss of career opportunities, suicidal obsessions, exposure to STDs. Sex addicts gradually increase the amount of sexual activity because the current level of activity is no longer sufficiently satisfying. As tolerance develops, individuals may find themselves seeking out more unusual sexual experiences and more graphic pornography.

They did a case study in India proving that in most cases with men simple uses of Porn will turn into a sub-set sex addiction. This case study is one of many proofs that Porn is not only addictive but an increasingly bigger issue. The anonymity of the subject is a huge factor because people are able to be in secret rather than it being an alcoholic issue where it's more apparent than not.

Men inherently are wired differently than women. That's why this generally affects men far more drastically than that of women studies.  When hooked up to an EEG we see that different parts of the brain are being activated. For women, in general, it is a "love-ritual" of type when watching porn. For men, it's almost used as an escape hatch from the reality they are in. Pretty drastic differences here. 
 

There are many cases where if men cannot watch porn on a regular basis they become more irritable, stressed out and chaotic in thinking. The other side of the coin showed to affect the women by stating that they became less confident, insecure and anxious when their significant other watched porn. 

 

The Psychology is substantial and should be taken seriously. This was a brief overview of why Pornography is negative in many Psychological avenues. In the coming week, we will post a perspective from that of the Bible and what the Bible teaches us about sexual addictions. 

RC