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XXX Warning: Like Cigarettes, Porn Needs A Health Warning Label

By February 16, 2018 No Comments
Cover photo by Vadim Kaipov. 4 minute read.

We’ve all seen the label, right? When a smoker purchases a pack of cigarettes, it comes with a Surgeon General’s warning on the pack to warn the smoker of the serious health consequences of tobacco use.

Cigarette suppliers have to follow this protocol of making sure the consumer knows the harmful effects of what they’re using. It doesn’t restrict the smoker’s right to purchase or use, but it does let them know that what they’re doing is harmful and unhealthy.

But what if millions of people were unknowingly letting something unhealthy into their life every single day? What if we told you that a huge risk to your health in 2015 isn’t always talked about as a legitimate issue?

Believe it or not, one of our generation’s biggest health issues is pornography.

Science and research shows us in multiple studies that pornography is addictive. Porn changes and rewires the way the brain works and use often escalates, much like drugs. If porn producers had to put disclaimers beneath their videos they’d look something like this:

xxx-warning-3

Think about it. Millions of people around the world are engaging with something that could do real damage to their life, and many of them don’t even know it.

In a culture where being healthy is a huge deal, we think that’s pretty ironic. Every day, we hear about new chemicals that can cause cancer or new exercises that get you the most weight loss results, but not about porn’s harms. The same culture that is all about the healthiest body possible by using that new tea detox or fad diet doesn’t see anything wrong with using porn.

So what is it about porn that causes millions of people to suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally? After all, some people believe that porn is a healthy sexual activity and a harmless matter of personal choice. We’re here to tell you that this idea needs serious reevaluation.

Physically

Porn has numerous harmful effects on the human body, including damaging men’s ability to have sex with a real partner.

Thirty years ago, erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 35 was practically unheard of because it was generally caused by blocked blood vessels in a man’s aging body. [1] That’s no longer the case. Now, with the availability of porn, erectile dysfunction is a common problem for young men as young as 16 years old. [2] With more and more porn use, the brain begins to form new pathways to recognize what is pleasurable. What often ends up happening is that the brain becomes wired to be turned on by porn [3] and the man can no longer achieve an erection with a real partner. [4] After some time, even being turned on by porn may become difficult as some of the brain’s dopamine receptors begin to shut down as more porn and harder forms of porn are needed to get aroused. [5]

Basically, watching exaggerated virtual sex can make having actual sex impossible. That’s not sexy…and it’s definitely not healthy. But thankfully, the damage isn’t permanent—read here about the brain’s ability to go through synaptic pruning during the recovery process.

Mentally

Depression, anxiety, and loneliness are major problems in our world today, but did you know that consuming porn can be major fuel of all three of these issues? [6] Because of porn consumers’ desire to keep their habit a secret, their relationships can suffer, leaving them lonely and vulnerable mental health issues. [7] Studies show that porn consumers can also commonly develop body-image issues, low self-esteem, and insecurity. [8]

And not just the consumers, but their partners as well. It is very common, when partners find out that their other half has been consuming porn, for them to feel a whole range of negative emotions including rejection, humiliation, abandonment, isolation, loneliness, jealousy, anger, and shame. [9] Even if they don’t believe that porn is the same as cheating, they often feel a deep sense of loss, betrayal, and mistrust. [10] The secrecy, shame, isolation, and lies that are often introduced into a relationship by compulsive porn consumption can snowball into all kinds of problems. [11]

Emotionally

Two of the most respected pornography researchers, Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillman at the University of Alabama, studied the effects of porn and media for more than 30 years. They found that consuming pornography makes many individuals less satisfied with their own partners’ physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. [12] They also found that, over time, many porn users grow more callous toward females in general, less likely to value monogamy and marriage, and more likely to develop distorted perceptions of sexuality. [13] Other researchers have confirmed those results and added that porn consumers tend to be significantly less intimate with their partners, [14] less committed in their relationships, [15] less satisfied with their romantic and sex lives, [16] and more likely to cheat on their partners. [17]

Basically…

In other words, porn kills love. It’s clear that porn is definitely not healthy, given its ability to harm consumers without them even realizing it. Porn has become a public health crisis, and millions of people are suffering from its effects.

It’s time to spread the word that porn is not just a habit but a destructive behavior for all those involved.

What YOU Can Do

A lot of people don’t know the actual scientific harms of porn. SHARE this article and help to spread the facts.

Citations

[1] Robinson, M. and Wilson, G. (2011). Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction: A Growing Problem. Psychology Today, July 11; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 105.
[2] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 105.
[3] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered in the Context of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 3:20767; Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721.  Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 108.
[4] Cera, N., Delli Pizzi, S., Di Pierro, E. D., Gambi, F., Tartaro, A., et al. (2012). Macrostructural Alterations of Subcortical Grey Matter in Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction. PLoS ONE 7, 6: e39118.
[5] Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence of Unrestrained Access to Erotica on Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health 27, 2: 41–44.
[6] Flisher, C. (2010). Getting Plugged In: An Overview of Internet Addiction. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 46: 557–9; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 82; Kafka, M. P. (2000). The Paraphilia-Related Disorders: Nonparaphilic Hypersexuality and Sexual Compulsivity/Addiction. In S. R. Leiblum and R. C. Rosen (Eds.) Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, 3rd Ed. (pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford Press.
[7]  Laird, R. D., Marrero, M. D., Melching, J. A., and Kuhn, E. S. (2013). Information Management Strategies in Early Adolescence: Developmental Change in Use and Transactional Associations with Psychological Adjustment. Developmental Psychology 49, 5: 928–937; Luoma, J. B., Nobles, R. H., Drake, C. E., Hayes, S. C., O’Hair, A., Fletcher, L., and Kohlenberg, B. S. (2013). Self-Stigma in Substance Abuse: Development of a New Measure. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 35: 223–234; Rotenberg, K. J., Bharathi, C., Davies, H., and Finch, T. (2013). Bulimic Symptoms and the Social Withdrawal Syndrome. Eating Behaviors 14: 281–284; Frijns, T. and Finkenauer, C. (2009). Longitudinal Associations Between Keeping a Secret and Psychosocial Adjustment in Adolescence. International Journal of Behavioral Development 33, 2: 145–154.
[8] Flisher, C. (2010). Getting Plugged In: An Overview of Internet Addiction. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 46: 557–9; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Kafka, M. P. (2000). The Paraphilia-Related Disorders: Nonparaphilic Hypersexuality and Sexual Compulsivity/Addiction. In S. R. Leiblum and R. C. Rosen (Eds.) Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, 3rd Ed. (pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford Press.
[9] Kalman, T. P., (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography, Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4), 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Bergner, R.M., & Bridges, A. J. (2002). The Significance Of Heavy Pornography Involvement For Romantic Partners: Research And Clinical Implications. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 28, 193-206. Doi:10.1080/009262302760328235
[10] Bridges, A. J., Bergner, R. M., & Hesson-McInnis, M. (2003). Romantic Partners’ Use Of Pornography: Its Significance For Women. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 29(1), 1-14. Doi:10.1080/713847097; Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7(1), 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206
[11] Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4; Wildmon-White, M., & Young, J. (2002). Family-Of-Origin Characteristics Among Women Married To Sexually Addicted Men. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 9(4), 263-273. Doi:10.1080/10720760216042; Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7(1), 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206
[12] Zillman, D. & Bryant, J. (1988) Pornography’s Impact On Sexual Satisfaction. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 438-453. Doi: 10.1111/J.1559-1816.1988.Tb00027.X
[13] Zillman, D., & Bryant, J. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Disposition Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27(2 Suppl), 41-44. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00137-3; D. & Bryant, J. (1988) Pornography’s Impact On Sexual Satisfaction. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 438-453. Doi: 10.1111/J.1559-1816.1988.Tb00027.X; Zillman, D. & Bryant, J. (1984). Effects Of Massive Exposure To Pornography. In Malamuth, N. M. & Donnerstein, E. (Eds.), Pornography And Sexual Aggression (Pp. 115-138). New York, NY: Academic Press.
[14] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysunction? A Review With Clinical Reports, Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The Effects Of Sexually Explicit Material Use On Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. Doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., Ezzell, M., (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4; Bergner, R. M., & Bridges, A. J. (2002). The Significance Of Heavy Pornography Involvement For Romantic Partners: Research And Clinical Implications. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 28, 193-206. Doi:10.1080/009262302760328235
[15] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The Effects Of Sexually Explicit Material Use On Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. Doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4
[16] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The Effects Of Sexually Explicit Material Use On Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. Doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations Between Young Adults’ Use Of Sexually Explicit Materials And Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, And Satisfaction. Journal Of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4; Yucel, D. & Gassanov, M. A. (2010). Exploring Actor And Partner Correlates Of Sexual Satisfaction Among Married Couples. Social Science Research, 39(5), 725-738. Doi:10.1016/J.Ssresearch.20009.09,002
[17] Braithwaite, S. R., Coulson, G., Keddington, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2015). The Influence Of Pornography On Sexual Scripts And Hooking Up Among Emerging Adults In College. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 111-123. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0351-X; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4

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