Archives for Pornography

Intimacy & Fidelity

Men, Pornography, and the Desire to Quit

A few months ago I wrote about a recent French study looking at porn use among adult males and its consequences. In that study the research team concluded, among other findings, that men who look at porn to self-soothe and regulate their emotions were significantly more likely to experience porn related consequences and to view their usage as problematic. (Click here to read my earlier article.)

Now we have...
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Addictions

Pornography: Shame-Based Clients vs. Addicted Clients


Just Because a Client Says He’s Porn Addicted…

As digital technologies become more ubiquitous and porn usage becomes more prevalent and socially acceptable, clinicians, especially certified sex addiction therapists (CSATs), have seen a corresponding increase in the number (and variety) of people seeking help with shameful and/or compulsive porn use and related life problems. Importantly, there are multiple and often very different populations seeking such assistance. For instance, some clients seek treatment because they are addicted, while others seek treatment...
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Pornography

New Study Links Compulsive Porn Abuse and Sexual Dysfunction


A recent study by Aline Wéry and Joel Billieux, both from the Université Catholique de Louvain, published in the journal, Computers in Human Behavior, sheds light on the characteristics, usage patterns, motives, and consequences of addictive online sexual activity.

Wéry and Billieux conducted a large-scale online study of French speaking men recruited on a university messaging service, social networks, research networks, and sexuality related forums. Anonymity of participants was guaranteed in an effort to achieve more...
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Addictions

Problematic Porn Use: Quantity vs. Consequences

A new study by Mateusz Gola, Karol Lewczuk, and Maciej Skorko, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, looks at the factors that drive people into treatment for problematic porn use. In particular, Gola and his team wanted to determine if frequency of porn use or consequences related to porn use are more important. Unsurprisingly, as sex addiction treatment specialists like myself and Dr. Patrick Carnes have been stating and writing for more than a decade, when diagnosing and treating porn addicts the amount of porn a person uses is considerably less relevant than his or her porn-related consequences. In fact, Dr. Carnes and I have consistently defined porn addiction based on the following three factors:
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Pornography

Can Women Get Addicted to Porn?

Do Women Even Look at Porn?
It’s no secret that the Internet is bursting at the seams with pornography, and lots of people are looking at it. For instance, research conducted in 2009 and 2010 by neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed 400 million Internet searches (representing more than 2 million people), finding that approximately 55 million of those searches (13%) sought some form of erotic content. And this analysis didn’t include...
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Pornography

Celebrity Hypocrisy – It’s Not Just Them

Same Story, Different News Cycle Fame: Reality TV star Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting was an active, respected member of a highly visible conservative Christian church, and he served as Executive Director of FRC Action, a conservative Christian political group affiliated with and sponsored by the equally conservative Family Research Council. Reality: Duggar has admitted to molesting at least five underage girls, including two of his younger sisters, to repeatedly cheating on his wife, and to being a porn addict. Fame: Weight loss icon and Subway sandwich pitchman Jared Fogle presented himself as an advocate for childhood health and wellbeing via speeches and his Jared Foundation – an organization focused on raising awareness about childhood obesity through educational programs and tools provided to parents, schools, and community organizations. Reality: Fogle recently pled guilty to a variety of child porn charges and to crossing state lines to pay for sex with minors. These, of course, are just a few of the stories about supposedly exemplary people betraying the public trust. Think about Tiger Woods acting as a role model while cheating on his supermodel wife. Think about famed evangelical pastor Ted Haggard repeatedly condemning homosexuality while secretly having sex with male prostitutes. Think also about General David Petraeus, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Congressman Mark Foley, Senator Larry Craig, Senator John Edwards, Governor Eliot Spitzer, actor Rob Lowe, actor David Duchovny, actor John Travolta, biker Jesse James, President Bill Clinton, and dozens of other well-known men who’ve been caught with their pants down.
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Pornography

Does Porn Re-Wire the Brain?

The Plastic Brain The brains of human beings are highly adaptive. This is actually one of our most useful evolutionary traits, helping us to not only survive, but thrive. In fact, our wonderfully malleable brains are why we, and not tigers or sharks or bull elephants, are at the top of the food chain. In other words, as humans we are not entirely reliant on our instincts like most other species. Instead, our brains receive, process, and adapt to external inputs – learning and mutating along the way. This neurobiological ability to quickly adapt and evolve is known as neuroplasticity, and, in most respects, it is a uniquely human trait. Sharks, for instance, think and behave almost exactly the same today as they did 100 million years ago. Their non-plastic brains have not evolved in 100,000 millennia. Meanwhile, human brains are evolving almost by the minute in response to our environment and experience.
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Pornography

Child Porn Offenders and the Sentencing Process: Part Two, Psychosexual Evaluations

Different Motivations, Different Risks In part one of this posting I discussed the increasingly aggressive sanctions[i] that are levied against most child porn offenders, noting that current sentencing guidelines have been driven primarily by media, political, and social paranoia rather than research based facts about offenders and their behaviors. Essentially, the legal system seems to think that if a person is looking at child pornography, a hands-on offense is sure to follow. This is not in fact the case. Unfortunately, this shortsighted approach is the tactic du jour in most US courtrooms.
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Addictions

Child Porn Offenders and the Sentencing Process Part One: Recidivism and Escalation

In previous postings to this site, I have written about the differences between sexual addiction and sexual offending, the various types of sexual offenders, the treatment of sexual offenders, and therapist reporting requirements when dealing with sexual offenders. However, I have for the most part left a crucial aspect of this therapeutic relationship unaddressed – advocating for (or against) sexual offenders (in particular, child porn offenders) in the sentencing process.
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