Porn Addiction Part 1: A Modern Day Problem

The debate on pornography’s ethical implications is still ongoing, but its popularity is as great as ever. Most users view it only once in a while in search of titillation or to satisfy their curiosity. They view it either alone or with a partner. However, some individuals will use a much bigger portion of their time watching porn, which led to the question of “When is it too much?”

When does consuming porn become problematic?

Watching porn can distort your idea of what sex is and make you look at other people as objects for your satisfaction. However, just because you look at it regularly does not necessarily mean it has a hold on you.

Leaving pornography’s ethical implications aside, addiction occurs only when you’ve lost the ability to control your behavior. Addicted individuals cannot stop watching porn even when negative consequences start to pile up.

Can you become a porn addict?

Drug addiction is no longer contested by anyone, but society’s attitude towards sex is still very judgmental. Many people dealing with porn-related problems are too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. It’s still somewhat taboo to talk about this subject, despite almost all western country adults having watched pornography at least once.

Can porn become a problem similar to alcohol?

Although the consequences of obsessing over porn can cause grave consequences, is it enough to call it an addiction? Porn addiction is not listed in the Mental Disorders Statistical and Diagnostic Manual, considered the most prominent source of identifying medical conditions.

According to Research, Drug and Porn Addiction have Many Things in Common

We are constantly expanding our knowledge of what an addiction is, and we are now quite certain that drugs and pornography have similar effects on their users. Max Planck’s research discovered watching pornography regularly changes the way our minds work, dulling our response to the stimuli, similar to the tolerance addicts develop for drugs.

Porn also affects the rewards system of your mind, similar to other addictions. Cambridge University did some research on the subject with MRI scans and discovered porn addicts react to videos similarly to how alcoholics or drug addicts react to their substances.

Addiction Definition

The United States’ Addiction Medicine Society considers addiction as a pathological reward pursuit and/or seeking relief using a certain behavior or substance. Hypersexual disorder was almost included in their 5th Mental Disorders Statistical and Diagnostic Manual, but it was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

How large has the pornography problem become?

Montreal University organized a study trying to see how prevalent watching porn was among those in their twenties, specifically men. Every one of them had watched pornographic materials. They began doing so at an average of 10 years old. According to research on the subject, up to 30% of internet usage involves pornographic materials.

According to the U.S. Psychological Association, 86% of women and 99% of men have used pornographic materials. 10% of them are suffering from negative consequences, though only a small minority is actually addicted. Because of this, we can safely say there is more to pornography than mere ethical implications. But what are porn’s side effects and symptoms. How do we treat it?

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