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

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  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    "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?

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    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?

  • Doklove Quincy, IL
    Feb. 18, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    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.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Feb. 18, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    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.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    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.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    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

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    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.

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    @ 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)

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    @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.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    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.

  • KanataHal Ottawa, 00
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    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.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Feb. 16, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    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.

  • Rae M. Bountiful , UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    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.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 16, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    @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??

  • Joe_Libertarian San DIego, CA
    Feb. 16, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    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.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    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?)

  • Hauulamom Hauula, HI
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    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?

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    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.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    "I worked in the county jail for nine years with inmates from all over: local, state, federal prisoners. One thing they all had in common: "addiction" to pornography."

    Oh, somehow I don't believe that. But it's cool you think you knew that much about every person that went through there.

  • sinkme Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    I agree about the, "I can't stop when I want." Issue. I am sure most men stop much sooner than they originally wanted.....

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    This issue should be viewed within the context of known valid research which includes Masters and Johnson in St. Louis. The sexes respond differently to the visual sexual stimulation of pornography.

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    I for one, and so tired of so called Science , proving that unnatural behavior and destructive behavior are "NATURAL" and every body does it.... our society is a book written by the excuse that certain behavior is just natural and there is nothing you can do about it,,, if that is the case then why are our prison full of people that hurt others because of addictions and horrible behavior? When I have seen the effects of pornography on relationships, and certainly the way men treat woman when they are addicted to it... You will never convince me that it is natural and that every body does it. It has the same effect on your brain as any drug, and eventually you become very hardened and unfeeling..It does not take a well educated Scientist to see how destructive this behavior is,

  • Voice of Experience Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    These people obviously have never been addicted to Porn, or they are in serious denial. I'm here to tell you that it is real and it is very destructive. I was a young man when I got addicted to porn. It distorted my perception of love. One sign of addiction is shame and secrecy. Another is when a little isn't enough and the more you indulge, the more you want until you have an insatiable appetite. People who suffer from porn addiction have no clue how their lust, objectifying, and attitude towards people's boundaries affect other people. Try attending an AMAC meeting (adults molested as children) if you don't believe me. The long lasting effects are devastating. If you are indulging in porn, get help and rise above it. It can and will ruin your life or someone you love if you don't quit now.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I worked in the county jail for nine years with inmates from all over: local, state, federal prisoners. One thing they all had in common: "addiction" to pornography.

  • jonjon Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    We always try to quantify and categorize things. I don't see how scientist doing research is better, in this case, than talking to real people about how it's effective their lives. An addition or not, doesn't change the fact that users have told me how it's completely changed their behavior. Two people I knew very well are in prison for terrible acts, Pornography was a major part of their life and they admitted it was the force behind their actions. Scientist disagree on a lot of things, and have change their views as more becomes available. In this case we can also use real people, the fact is it has the ability to change who you are.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Feb. 16, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    This study was not about the social and personal ills than can be experienced by people who frequently view pornography. It was a clinical study of brain activity of people thought to be porn addicts when they were shown pornographic images, and to compare those patterns of brain activity to other groups with chemical rather than behavioural addictions. Don't be sidetracked by the word addictive. The results of this study say nothing about the negative impact of the behaviour.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    There are a number of ways to use "addiction". Some of them are more politically-correct and vogue than others in contemporary culture. Certainly, within more formal definitions it seems likely that it would tend to include some things and exclude others on the list of criteria that qualify as "addiction". But redefining the terms does little to change the fact that for some, viewing pornography becomes a pernicious and destructive habit that is difficult to change without help.

  • The Minnesota Kid West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 4:05 a.m.


    I also trust science. Like the science of a little known university called Cambridge used to find patterns in the brain with pornography that exist with alcohol and drug use as well.

  • abenq slc, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:33 p.m.

    Your article doesnt make sense, your headlines states that Pornography addiction does not exist, but then you cite stories and websites that say it does. Who cares? There is no point to your article.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    I judge by evidence. In my view the evidence is clear, porn is addictive and destructive. Do you see areas that allow porn turning out great families and sky rocketing property values ? No, of course not. You see crime and grit. NYC turnaround came when they closed sex shops and cleaned area up. Now that evil is in our computers and destructs famlies in a dark room at home. For me and my house porn is the same as drugs and I don't want either in my home.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:31 p.m.

    It seems to me that everyone has a different definition of what pornography is. I hope and pray we can all agree that there is no place for violent pornography and such filth is a drain on society.

    In my experience, people can be addicted to anything. Whether that makes it an addiction or not, I don't completely understand the fine points of the psychological language being used.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:13 p.m.

    "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."

    Does one always have to be caught up in noble intentions?

    @Mainly Me:
    "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."

    They likely also found a pair of shoes at the scene. So, who's to say whether it's the porn or the pair of shoes that motivated the crime?

    "More than 50% of all divorces are because one spouse uses porn."

    Probably the same percentage of divorces could be said comes from a lack of intimacy between husband/wife... or finance troubles.

    @Kings Court:
    "Sex is addicting so therefore porn is addicting. If it completely controls your life, then it is a bad thing."

    And mother nature made it so... especially for males, so don't knock it.

  • Heidi T. Farmington, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    So many studies spending huge amounts of time and money on diagnosing the addiction we already know is rampant with very few resources or cash (grants)for helping people through recovery. Backwards? "Grants" so often refer to tax- payer dollars.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    re: Mayfair & Austin Coug

    Its interesting that more often than not, its self described byu fans and/or devout members of 'the church' who have witnessed 1st hand the destructiveness of porn yet aren't ashamed to admit it.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    I've seen it destroy too marriages to not know that this is a problem, no matter who is doing the survey or research.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    Satan is the great liar, according to the Bible. Hitler lied so repetitively that Germans believed his lies. It is a lie to say pornography is not addicting. We know the source of that lie, same as the promoter of all lies, it is the Adversary, Satan, Lucifer, whatever you want to call him. Lies such as the one heading this article can be so destructive, because they cause doubt and give justification to continuing destructive behavior.

    Pornography is not addicting, or an addiction, is a big lie, don't you believe it, anyone.

  • megatron fayetteville, NC
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    I am one who struggles with an addiction to pornography. It has been my struggle for over 20 years. When I read a story like this, it actually doesn't bother me. Pornography may or may not be an addiction according to scientific studies, it really doesn't matter to me. Over the 20 years I have been battling my "problem", treating it as an addiction has finally put it into a context that makes sense to me, and consequently this understanding has helped me make true progress in recovery. Therefore, whether scientifically defined as an addiction or not, treating pornography as such has made a difference in my life.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    I have always wondered why it is that the news media cry about Pornography and how terrible it is and yet the bigs in media such as Comcast, Dish and Direct TV push the porno channels? The Internet is much the same way making it available to anyone. Seemes like a double standard!!

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    Feb. 15, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    Studies are about as reliable as the weather forecast.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:28 p.m.

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

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    "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.

  • BYU Fan in DC Washington, DC
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    This research is debatable. Porn is an addiction in the same spectrum as video games. It is not a physical substance like drugs, 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.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    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

  • Timinator Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    Feb. 15, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • Jimmy James Salt Lake City, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    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.

  • HTSJCCAFALG Richfield, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    - 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!

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    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.....

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    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.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    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 .

  • Sister Gemma Tallahassee, FL
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    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.

  • BKB Chantilly/USA, 00
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    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 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.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:30 a.m.

    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.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 1:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 11:24 p.m.

    The religious group in Utah will not like this.

    They claim it is addictive.

    I trust science

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 10:45 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    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".