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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Old Scarecrow
Brigham City, UT

I trust science, as well. Pornography viewing is addictive, as shown by the studies mentioned and others, and common sense. Religion does not decide who is an addict of any substance or practice. Natural physical processes have been shown to account for addictive practices over and over again. Religion's role in life is to preserve and teach principles that time has tested and proven to lead to happiness and freedom, and to avoid the bondage of addictive and self-destructive practices.

Hauula, HI

Did anyone actually link to and read the original article? The reporter got it wrong. The article criticizes the methodology of previous studies implying they might be flawed and therefore nothing has been effectively proven. In science, math and logic there is a HUGE difference between “It hasn’t been effectively proven” and “it isn’t a real thing”. It goes back to beginning statistics: Failure to reject the null hypothesis does not prove the alternative hypothesis is false. Chris B you should trust science only if you understand science (including statistics) and check out the original sources for their validity & methodology. Otherwise it is impossible to judge if those commentating on a study have interpreted it correctly.
Am I the only one who thinks it is ironic that an “I trust science” statement is made in reference to a study saying you can’t trust some previous scientific efforts?

Woodland Hills, UT

Sounds like the study was one of those "sientistic" ones. Probably conducted in Berkley with an agenda, and where the results are affected by how much weed they have had that day. ( wonder if I'll be rejected yet again by DN screeners?)

San DIego, CA

Amazing how the Religious Right can take a scientific idea, add a few pieces of baloney to serve their own needs, and then twist an idea and re-report it, to benefit their own view point.

Pornography is not inheriently "bad". People who watch pornography are not inheriently "bad". People who are stupid enough to let anything interfere with their relationships, alchohol, television, sports, religion (yes!), work and yes, pornography, are not only being ignorant, but are being harmful to themselves.

Let's take Religion for example. Spending too much time in the church, avoiding the wife at home? Wasting too many Sundays in sermon, instead of taking the children for a hike in the mountains? Reading too much of the Bible, and not talking to your family about their lives?

I'm picking on Religion to make a point: moderation is the key to everything. Living a whole and complete life will make the individual happy, but obsessing with any one thing in our lives can often yield an unhappy life.

Danbury, CT

@Chris B

If you trust "Science" then you will be able to find dozens of studies showing the addictive effects of pornography. They teach it in social sciences departments here in the East Coast. Dopamine is triggered in the brain by exposure to pornography which requires more releases to be satisfied. That's addiction, plain and simple...

I don't know where they dug up the people that ran this study but most researchers would not agree.

Yet another study saying we can ingest or expose ourselves to whatever, with no effect.

Where's our "Catharsis" guy from the "Violent Video Games Have No Effect" blogs? Do people do porn for catharsis as well??

Rae M.
Bountiful , UT

It seems sympathy isn't as commonplace as it once was. And even if society objectifies women, society didn't marry the women it objectifies. I find that an incongruent comparison.
It may come as a surprise, but members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were never taught that they are perfect. We just try to be Christians.
We were given desires by our creator, but we still are the ones who choose to misuse and abuse those desires. We are not at the mercy of any other entity. We are the ones to act for ourselves.
And we can function better if we choose to avoid pornography. I saw 2 claims that it is not a sin or wrong. So, submitted here is my opinion. I say it's a sin. I know it's wrong and bad. Those of us who let it interfere with relationships, may have an illness called addiction. We are free to choose, but addiction makes subsequent choices so much harder.

Maryville, MO

One should really take and read the survey that was done in Great Britain which really spells out the effect of pornography on the brains of teenagers. It is compares the effect of pornography just one viewing to getting high on Meth, Heroin, LDS, marijuana and alcohol. In the end the effect is that it is damaging to the brain of the youth and the images never leave. So yes as President Hinkley stated pornography needs to be avoided like the plague. That failure to do is will and does result in addiction that many are just now striving to overcome.

Those who continue to say moderation are being deceived into thinking that there is no harm in it. Just as many are deceived by the effects of marijuana and other drugs. When the realization finally comes out then it is too late. For the Youth and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the Strength of Youth is very prophetic and full of truth where those who preach moderation teach a very deceiving principle.

Ottawa, 00

There is little hope of quantifying pornography in the same way as let's say, a two-pack-a-day tobacco addiction. A few minutes of pornography cannot be made equivalent to a few puffs on a cigarrette. It is more rightly compared to experimenting with hard core drugs, where the toxicity and the impurities are unknown. What is really troubling is the '30 minutes to three hours' reference. It is possible that a person reading this might think they are OK when they are, in reality, deeply addicted. A person can lose their spirituality in far less than 30 minutes a day. It is a very serious sin, to be sure.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

I'm confused by Deseret News' approach to this story.

The lede seems to be that researchers say that there's no such thing as porn addiction. The entire rest of the story ignores that and ploughs right in to detailed indictment of porn addiction and the damage it does.

If you want this to be a news story in your National section, you need a different lede, such as "Social scientists condemn researchers who deny existence of porn addiction."

If you just want to dispute the findings of the research yourself, then this should be published as an editorial piece, on the editorial page.

I wouldn't dispute for a second that your editorial stance should be condemnatory of the people who produce pornography and the people who enjoy viewing it. That seems wholly consistent with your world view. But if you thought you were going to somehow conceal that in your journalism, you need a much lighter touch. As it is now, this article is just a mess.

Farmington, Utah

@mark, to be more specific: the inmates I worked with all had one thing in common: addiction to pornography. And that would be the male inmates, not the female inmates. I did not work with all the inmates in the jail, but did see about 45 a week on a daily basis. In my mind, pornography not only ruins intimate relationships, it also so desensitizes the user that he does not show normal restraint in certain behaviors. Not enough time and space to go into it in depth. This addiction is taking a terrible toll on our country, especially our youth.

Kaysville, UT

@ ChrisB -
If you trust science so much then you will surely appreciate the several other articles cited in this one, that conclude that pornography IS an addiction.


(But if that is the enough for you, but maybe you will believe others first-hand accounts in this comments section)


Once again we see how "science" can be used to come to two completely different conclusions, rendering it almost wholly unreliable as a tool for discerning truth at a fundamental level. Tell anyone who has struggled with pornography addiction—myself included—that they don't have a problem. It's the same as telling an alcoholic to take another drink, encouraging self-destructive and harmful behavior, just so that some can feel justified in their sin.

layton, UT

RE:A study by Cambridge University found that brain activities seen in alcoholics and drug abusers were similar to those found in compulsive pornography users:

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication=(*porneia), uncleanness, lasciviousness,

*G4202 "porneia-graphia"(pornographic) which literally means "visual prostitution",

v.20 Idolatry, witchcraft,=(**pharmakeia) hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

**G5331 or(pharmacy)- the use or the administering of drugs, sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry

Midwest City, USA, OK

True story, personal experience!

Compulsion to arouse ones' self with sexually gratifying images, actions, and ideas, at times even at the expense of attention to one's current concerns and surroundings, is absolutely a real thing. It is born from and maintained by pornography, and does not constitute "sex health", because it is not normal or inevitable.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

So one "study" claims that pornography is not addicting.


The researchers would be disregarding, A) dozens of other studies that say the exact opposite and even more importantly, B) thousands and thousands of people here in America who HAVE been involved in pornography to the extent that it took over and destroyed their lives and are not bashful about saying so.

Choose wisely.

Quincy, IL

If it is a substance that destroys lives, ruins marriages, is potentially addictive, impairs normal sexual function and relations, leads (in some) to further sexual perversions or crimes, lowers self-confidence, and wastes productive time, then why is there any argument about what it is? It is bad.

Are there some people who can engage in pornography and have minimal effect on the quality of their lives? Maybe, that could be debated, but as a society it is bad. That is not debatable.

Everything has a risk/benefit ratio. With pornography there is a real and dangerous risk coupled with no discernible benefit other than short term personal gratification. Similar to drugs, alcohol, gambling and other addictions.

If someone wants to engage in it, that is their right granted to all of us by free agency. They will be forced to pay the consequences that result. But no one can argue that it is good. And it makes no sense to argue about how bad it is. It is bad, very bad.


I thought the study was saying the religious people suffer greater addictions to pornography. Hasn't science established that masturbation is normal? Perhaps its just religion creating the notion that viewing any pornography is an addiction?

Salt Lake City, UT

"mark, to be more specific: the inmates I worked with all had one thing in common: addiction to pornography. And that would be the male inmates, not the female inmates. I did not work with all the inmates in the jail, "

Well, that's more like it fowsesjl, that makes a bit more sense. But I wonder why you felt a need to, uh. . . misrepresent. . . the situation in the first place. It's a long ways from ALL inmates to a small percentage of 45. After all, what's the capacity for the county jail? Over 2000. And what was the inmate population when you say you were there? Over 1500 I'm sure. So why the huge misrepresentation on your part?

And what did you do there? A therapist? Hmnn. . .


So anyway, I'm curious. I always ask this question, here, and I have yet to receive an answer. What is porn? Simple question. Define it. And what would you do about it?


People talk about how addictive it is and all the studies. Okay, cool. Anyone looking at how addictive, say, reality TV is? Or just plain TV? How many marriages has addictive television use ruined?

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