Comments about ‘Pornography addiction doesn't exist, research says, but that's not the whole story’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 14 2014 10:35 p.m. MST

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Bountiful, UT

I don't think there's any question that some people have addictive personalities.

Some people drink one beer, and they're alcoholics. Or play a video game for a couple of hours, and then this activity becomes a problem, disrupting family time, even causing marital problems. Some people are thrill-seekers, become "addicted" to base jumping, or sky diving, or surfing big waves, or whatever.

I've known people who've been fired from their jobs because they called in sick too many times to go surfing. And yet, somehow, we don't have organizations and churches and sincere individuals lining up to ban surfing.

One government phrase that will remain as useful wisdom for a broad range of life experiences for generations is "Your Mileage May Vary".

Bountiful, UT

Pornography addiction is not just a problem that befalls those with "addictive personalities." It is a problem for those with "addictive behavior" and "addictive hormonal stimulation." Ask a smoker who has no intention of quitting, and he will say, "I can stop anytime I want to." But he doesn't want to, because he loves his addiction. Ask someone who loves his pornography addiction, and he will tell you he looks at pornography for recreation, and could easily give it up if he didn't enjoy it so much. So much, in fact, that he chooses to continue it while his marriage falls apart, and he loses his job, and he loses his relationship to his children.
Not addictive? Ha! I'm guessing we have researchers behind this study with a pornography problem of their own. Ask those who have been there and escaped it. They will tell it like it is.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The religious group in Utah will not like this.

They claim it is addictive.

I trust science

St. George, UT

Kudos to the DN for presenting research that challenges their favored position on an issue. I'm glad they are presenting both sides here.

I am a free-thinking progressive but on this issue, I stand with my conservative and religious friends. It matters little if such a thing as pornography "addiction" exists. The truth is that pornography, generally speaking, is harmful to those who consume it, and those who participate in it (as actors). Even though I personally would not label it a "sin", I can not imagine a scenario in which a person who watches porn is motivated by noble intentions. We can find pleasure in more worthwhile activities such as cultivating mindfulness, compassion, loving-kindness, etc. Instead of watching porn for 30 minutes a day, call a friend in need. Go for a hike or a run. Water your plants. Read scriptures. Meditate. Write in a gratitude journal. I guarantee any of this activities will do more to improve your long-term happiness that porn ever could. Furthermore, each of these activities promote connection with others, connection with nature, or connection with God. These are ends worth perusing.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

Porn is so highly destructive and it contributes to crime. FBI statistics show that in 80% of cases of violent sex crimes, they find porn either at the scene or at the home of the offenders. More than 50% of all divorces are because one spouse uses porn. It victimizes everyone involved in it.

Chantilly/USA, 00

One key part of the research being cited is this statement not mentioned by the Deseret News article, “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..." The study is receiving a lot of publicity because of its headline that porn addiction isn't real but the author merely renames it as "struggle with the high frequency use of visual sexual stimuli." That seems to be the only valid point of the research article.

The research article discredits itself by not acknowledging the real negative consequences of porn use. Apparently the author was very selective in the research he used for his review article. The negative consequences of porn use are well-documented (see www.poweroverpornography.com/ consequences for a list of consequences and their references). It's unfortunate that the headline of this study and its poorly drawn conclusions are receiving so much publicity. Porn addiction, whatever you want to call it, is real and is ruining the lives of viewers and their families.

Sister Gemma
Tallahassee, FL

I highly recommend a book by Sally Satel (a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction) and Scott Lilienfeld, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience. This book exposes some of the myths about brain scans and neuroscientific findings, including the fact that just because someone's brain lights up when viewing something, it doesn't mean that we can draw conclusions about addiction. Even the claims of drug addiction and brain scans are highly controversial and although popular, have very little scientific evidence and even less so for pornography addiction.

salt lake city, utah

The Sydney study said that 47% of respondents watched porn from 30 minutes to 3 hours every day..seriously. I'm sorry that would be nearly impossible to do and at the same time carry on any kind of a normal life. Yet they want you to believe that half of the population behaves like this.

I'm sorry I laughed out loud when the one woman said her marriage was destroyed by her husbands porn addiction, that caused him to objectify women. Hey..look around you. The world objectifies women. Sometimes/many times sexually. Sometimes women are raised to be the objects of a mans authority (religion). Females are the objects of gender roles.

The list goes on and on.

I don't say any of this to belittle the trouble some people have in their lives. I simply think a lot of it is as Holden Caulfield would say, is phony .

Murray, UT

See Jay Evensen, Feb 13, 2014. He is right.

Let us giggle and mock as anyone dares call porn an addiction, as people struggle (and fail) to stay away from it, and leave their spouses and children for it.

It is just pictures, right? People willingly choose to lose their families and jobs for this?

Any sensible person can see otherwise. Porn clearly damages the ability to choose, and there is nothing funny about it.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

I'm also glad to see that the DN is willing to broaden their coverage on this topic. One of my biggest gripes about porn is the black/white stance that ignores some realities, such as what qualifies as "porn" in the first place. Lingerie ads? Topless selfies? Art in museums?

In our quest for modesty we have turned the naked human form into something taboo, which is where pornography gets its foothold. Modesty isn't about how much skin is showing but about the intent of the person. Just look at women's sports teams at BYU and you can see that swimmers, runners and VB players etc are showing a lot more skin than the Honor Code allows.

If the naked form is something to be hidden then people will be titillated by its exposure, intended or not. Ideally we would have a mature society that wasn't alarmed by the naked form but trained the brain that one's erotic responses were only connected to their spouse.

Please note the 30 minute time frame used in the study. Your average guy looking at erotic material will have finished his business before then and have moved on.

City, Ut

Linus said: "I'm guessing we have researchers behind this study with a pornography problem of their own."

Yup-- purveyors and proponents of porn always tell on themselves.....

Richfield, UT

- Chris B. -

Three things:

1)I hate byu too, but if you trust science then you realize this is hocus pocus.

2) Everything you read on the internet isn't exactly true!

3) Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery!! "Trust science" is just an excuse!

Jimmy James
Salt Lake City, Ut

Addiction is defined by continued use of something despite adverse effects. How often do we hear of people being fired from their job because of compulsory use of porn while on the the job? Or people who lose their marriages, because they simply can't stop using porn?

His basis for his research is to debunk the "large, lucrative industry [that's] promised treatments for pornography addiction". Really!?! Porn is a multibillion dollar industry. The Anti-porn industry is orders of magnitued smaller and much less lucrative.

In looking at David Ley's website, he's a clinical psychologist who appears to have built a practice around normalizing much of what society would term as deviant sexual behavior. Consistent with his apparent inability to assess who has what bias and incentives, it's funny how this "research" only confirms his prior beliefs and helps expand his clinical practice, as well as gets him a good amount of public attention.His website only provides links to news stations that have covered his "research" or books that he's written. Where's his list of prior peer reviewed articles?

This isn't science.

Austin Coug
Pflugerville, TX

@ Chris B

And I will choose to believe the results that i have seen firsthand from family members that have gotten involved with pornography. The endless lies, dropping out of school, lost jobs, marrital strife, infediltiy, divorce and families torn apart. Pornogrpahy is destructive and that is a fact no matter how you or "science" puts lipstick on that big, ugly pig called pornography.

Taylorsville, UT

I can only say that pornography has led to a job loss with a good company, severely damaged my wifes self esteem, isolated me from my kids, lots of lost productive time while looking at porn and going to 12 step meetings, and in general destroying my self confidence. I strongly disagree with this study based on my own experience. I met about 250 other men in my meetings that would agree with me.

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

Ridculous who funded this study?
and Chris many studies show it is addicitve. This study is the complete minority kind of like only one guy out of step in a marching band claiming he is the only one in step and everyone else is wrong

BYU Fan in DC
Washington, DC

This research is debatable. Porn is an addiction in the same spectrum as video games. It is not a physical substance like drugs, alcohol...it is a visual substance. In fact, it is more potent than any physical substance. I have personal experience of drinking and smoking in high school, yet I can not remember a great deal about it nor have the desire to try again. However, after watching something at a friends at the age of 12, the images come back readily and if I do not move on to something else, the desire to watch porn again is formed. I have to fight that impulse every time. That is called an addiction.

Phoenix, AZ

"I don't think there's any question that some people have addictive personalities."

I'll tell you where the real addition is... the people who make porn. Who are mostly the female gender.

"I've known people who've been fired from their jobs because they called in sick too many times to go surfing."

You do surfing in Bountiful, Utah?

"And yet, somehow, we don't have organizations and churches and sincere individuals lining up to ban surfing."

Perhaps that's because the leaders of the organizations and churches and sincere individuals like surfing. It's easy to criticize activities you don't like and tough to criticize activities that you like.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Sex is addicting so therefore porn is addicting. If it completely controls your life, then it is a bad thing.

Kuna, ID

Studies are about as reliable as the weather forecast.

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