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Porn Addiction: Causes And Effects Essay

Porn addiction is one of the current problems brought about by the advancement in the information technology sector. Like other addictions, addiction to porn exhibits some common signs and follow a similar pattern as other addiction to substances and drugs. Addiction to pornography can be seen when one spends more time engrossed with a pornographic material to a point of neglecting important people like family or friends. After these moments, the person may also exhibit “mixed feelings of well being and guilt” because they have to lie about the time they’ve spent looking at or reading the material (Help Guide).

The addict may also exhibit anxiety and depression when unable to access the material or might generally be irritable when their time to find complete sexual pleasure is interrupted or shortened. At times when the addiction becomes too serious the addict may experience hardships at the work place or in school because of frustration or may start misusing money by buying more porn materials or gambling and further much worse start engaging in flings with unknown people to satisfy new sexual fantasies.

(Help guide) pornography in the current age has become harder to control and hard to censure. The internet which is relied upon by millions of people for information and telecommunications has played a big role in spreading pornography to people of all ages. Given its simple accessibility and fairly liberal use in many countries, any person with the knowledge of using a computer can access pornographic material on the internet at any time.

According researchers to Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, meaning that it is a highly addictive leading to undesirable characters “such as, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction”, Singel (2004). The fact that the internet allows one to access numerous sites anonymously makes it ideal for porn viewing to become a habit. To make it worse even children as young as 7 yrs old have been known to access porn from the internet.

Pornography is hard to delete from the mind one an addiction sets in. compared to cocaine addicts, the porn addict has a difficult time “…recovering from their addiction than cocaine addict… since coke users can get the drug out of their system, but pornographic images stay in the brain forever…” because the chemicals released in the body are what heroin and other substance users really aim for but never achieve; thus it is hard for anyone who is an addict to ever fully recover (Singel, 2004).

The internet presents the largest challenge in the fight against porn and addictions. About 5 years ago over 1. 3 million porn sites and more than 260 million pages, making it one of the most profitable industries in the United States. In 2006 the industry raked 13. 3 billion dollars in the United States alone and more than 97 million dollars in the web. According to statistics form the internet filter review more than 72 million users accessed adult sites each month (Statistics on pornography).

According to Statistics from Divorcewizards. com “At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended “, had been divorced and they blamed the internet as a major cause of break in the marriage among the cases they pointed out, porn contributed to more than half of the reasons given. (Statistics on pornography).

Other effects the computer had on the individual were carpal syndrome and dry eyes especially those who access porn on the internet while seated; headaches and sleep disturbance; eating irregularities among other issues. The underlying causes for the development of addiction could be mental illness relationship problems and /or substance abuse. According to experts there was a big connection between people who used substances and hard drugs and porn addiction.

In other instances such as the church, many pastors admitted that they had either been tempted or had actually been accessing porn thorough the net even when they knew this was a sin. They also admitted that pornography was always an issue when it came to the congregation and the clergy alike such that a survey revealed that more than 30% of the clergy men in the past 8 years have visited the pornographic sites in and majority of them a couple of times.

( Statistics on pornography) It was also discovered according to Focus on the Family Poll carried out in October 2003, that at least 47% percent of families indicated that they hard experienced problems at home because of pornography especially with the children and adolescents. According to London school of economics, children who were aged between the ages 8 to16 were much more likely to have viewed pornography within their home setting.

This was supported by figures which showed that 9 out of 10 children within the specified age bracket had accidentally viewed porn on the internet in computers they use at home together with their families. Also important is the fact that 1 out of every 7 children who frequently used the internet had been sexually solicited; a realization that sex predators had started using the internet to lure kids. Indeed, according to the journal of Adolescent health 76% of victims in the internet initiated sexual exploitation case fell between the ages 13 to 15 and mostly girls.

In most of these cases the children were led into sexual encounters which were mostly forced. The coarse language and sexually overt material that the internet and other media, displayed became a matter of concern for the government in 1996 where the United states department of justice noted the “Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions”(statistics on pornography). A leading psychologist Dr.

James Dobson explains that “pornography addiction causes a person to become desensitized to the material,” making one develop boredom or lack of interest in what was once appealing. This is also followed by fantastic imaginations of the victim playing different roles in different scenes; begins to treat serious relationships casually and shows solitary tendency preferring to spend a lot of time privately. Dr. Dobson demonstrates how porn addicts unable to be satisfied by their partners decide to seek their fantasies and this leads to serious problems in marriage and even divorce.

Cyber sex seems to have taken the place of relational sex because in majority of the patients he was attending to, 68 % had been hooked up to cyber sex did not have relational sex. Usually, as was testified by some of his patients, the individual beginning the habit does not realize it’s an addiction until they try to stop and they can’t. The thing becomes bigger than the individual hence it alienates him from his family and friends. (Gabriel Lefrancois, 2008). Defenders of pornography have put forward arguments that pornography in itself is not harmful, and therefore Banning or regulating it is unfair.

Basing their argument on the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, 1970, they reject the apparent relationship between exposure pornographic material and the resulting behavior. However over the years many researches have conclusively shown there is a significant relationship between conditioning and human behavior. Psychologists at the Wisconsin University found that “brief exposure to violent forms of pornography can lead to anti-social attitudes and behavior. Male viewers tend to be more aggressive towards women, less responsive to pain and suffering of rape victims, and more willing to accept various myths about rape”.

The psychologists showed that continued exposure to such materials made people insensitive to rape as a criminal offense thereby changing their attitude attitudes toward women in particular the way they viewed and treated women (Documented Effects of Porn). In addition, increased exposure to the materials also created an unusual desire for violent sex, conflict and suffering deviant behavior like abuse as well as molestation and pedophilias. Sociologists such as Murray Straus and Larry Baron of University of New Hampshire found out that rape increased exponentially with rates of high sales of sexually laden magazines.

This was also confirmed by experiments carried out to show that exposure to violent and no violent pornography over some time yielded different results. Exposure to non- violent pornography made the subjects in the research very accommodating and understanding of women and they tended to be much gentler with them, however exposure to violent pornography gave the opposite results proving that ‘exposure to violent pornography, even after provocation , produced essentially no antiwoman aggression, fantasies, or attitudes”( American Psychological Association).

A University of Texas Professor Robert Jensen in 2008, showed how attitudes expressed in porn spread from the California valley where the porn films were made “…to the bedrooms of real people in real places,” Jensen explained how this permeating effect of pornography was harmful due to racial undertones it carried which to a larger extent have continued to a main feature of television programs. He argued that porn expressed the desire by woman to be mistreated and the right of men to do so.

He finally conclude that in order to tackle individual and societal harms produced by porn, we must acknowledge a moral quality to our relationships with one another and must come to a consensus on what the “limits of the sexual experience are. ” (Kalloch Andrew, 2009) Pornography is very much in the public domain. In the US for instance, almost all theatres show x- rated films; almost every book or video store offer porn materials and most of the movies shown on box office which have sexually exploitive material rake in about 50 million dollars each year.

Pamela Paul, a writer notes that “often pornography use ruins relationships, increases sexual dysfunction, and changes what men expect from women”. She reveals how a person who thinks it is harmless, found out that the moment they got used to pornography, their sex lives changed. They lost the human form of sex and adopted the computerized one. She explains how before the advent of the internet men and women alike used to see porn from time to time but the internet has made it so easy and so harmless that one cannot see when they are slipping in to addiction until it is too late.

I fact most of them are usually happy and in complete denial that they are addicted until their marriages or jobs are lost (Paul Pamela, 2005) Though it is evident that the causes of porn addiction may be very few and subtle. The fact that we rely on the internet to communicate and do most of our work puts us in the direct pipeline of pornographic materials available. It is only our curiosity which separates us from clicking the button and accessing millions of materials filled with porn.

Like some of the critics have shown, it might be very hard to take the experiments by the psychologists as conclusive because they do not take into account the fact that addicts seek out porn materials by themselves even before the addiction actually sets in and therefore the action by the psychologists in the experiments to give or expose the subjects to pornographic materials in order to observe change in behavior is absurd. The part which makes porn addictive is when it is sought by the person themselves.

This trains and conditions the mind such that the body is always guided by the mind to imagine and seek the object of imagination as opposed to merely being given a specific material. Explaining further, there are other sexually stimulating materials which may not be considered stimulating in the general sense of the word for instance wearing boots or uniform of a certain kind. They may be appealing to some people and not elicit any feeling in others.

It is therefore the responsibility of the individual to make a choice of weather to avoid visiting porn websites all together in order to have a healthy relationship or to pop in once in a while and risk getting addicted. The choice is yours. References A Help Guide: Internet porn and cyber sex addiction http://www. helpguide. org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction. htm [Accessed 24th April 2009 Documented effects of pornography http://www. forerunner. com/forerunner/X0388_Effects_of_Pornograp.

html [Accessed 24th April 2009] Kalloch Andrews (2009) Texas professor decries porn permeating media: Harvard law record http://media. www. hlrecord. org/media/storage/paper609/news/2009/04/16/News/Texas. Prof. Decries. Porns. Permeating. Effect-3712817. shtml [Accessed 24th April 2009] Lefrancois Gabriel (2008) Online porn addiction, Hitched Magazine [Online] http://www. hitchedmag. com/article. php? id=134 [Accessed 24 April 2009] Paul, Pamela (2005) How porn destroys lives, belief net 2005 http://www. beliefnet.

com/News/2005/10/How-Porn-Destroys-Lives. aspx [Accessed 24th April 2009 Ryan Singel, (2004), Internet porn, worse than crack? http://www. wired. com/science/discoveries/news/2004/11/65772 [Accessed 24th April] 2009] Statistics on Pornography, sexual addiction and online perpetrators, http://www. safefamilies. org/sfStats. php [Accessed 24th April 2009] Studies on effects of pornography, Data from PsycLIT Database – American Psychological Association. http://www. netspeed. com. au/ttguy/refs2. htm [Accessed 24th April 2009]


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