Pornography: Pleasure above real and lasting intimacy

Published: Thursday, May 9 2013 3:05 p.m. MDT

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach () Rabbi Shmuley Boteach ()

A recent article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for The Times of Israel (Warning: This article contains mature themes) highlights the incompatibility of pornography and long-term relationships — like marriage — despite a new study from The Journal of Sexual Medicine claiming that pornography ultimately has no serious negative effect on sexual behavior.

This new study quotes four Dutch researchers who argue that pornography is “just one factor among many that may influence the sexual behaviors of young people” and conclude that the association between pornography consumption and a variety of sexual behaviors accounted for between 0.3 percent and 4 percent of the total explained variance in investigated sexual behaviors. Researchers did caution that the study “should not be interpreted as an indication that the influence … is negligible, nonexistent or unimportant.”

But as a marital counselor, Boteach “can say that addiction to pornography is one of the most malignant forms of marital decay in our time.” His article persuasively explains how pornography preys on addictive tendencies to place pleasure above real and lasting intimacy.

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