Article: "Science Stopped Believing in Porn Addiction. You Should, Too"

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by Theotherstreet, Jul 18, 2020.

  1. Theotherstreet

    Theotherstreet New Fapstronaut

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    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/...ed-believing-in-porn-addiction-you-should-too

    Curious to see what thoughts people have on this. One thing that always bothered me about NoFap is that so much of their rationale for quitting porn centers around the "symptoms" of porn addiction (Erectile dysfunction, problems with ejaculation, etc.), but they don't really cite their sources on any of this. The ideas in this article certainly seem sensible to me, and don't necessarily discourage quitting porn. If they are correct that at the problems of porn use are really an effect of the cognitive dissonance between using porn and yet thinking it is immoral, than stopping porn is a method of relieving that. There are many moral issues to be found in porn use, even from a non-religious standpoint (like the fact that the industry perpetrates or at least becomes a platform for human trafficking). Maybe seeing quitting porn as a moral struggle rather than a medical one isn't such a bad idea...

    That being said, I haven't done as much research into this as I would like to, and if anyone has any suggested articles that DO support the idea of porn addiction, I would be very interested in reading them.
     
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  2. vril

    vril Fapstronaut

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    I found this article a couple days ago. I'm still 'processing' what I think about it.

    The other articles I've read about porn addiction and related dysfunctions appear to be inclusive. Researchers can't seem to determine if a problem is because of porn or the disposition of the person viewing porn.

    I also had the opposing thought than what the article suggests. I initially thought of it as a moral problem and it wasn't until I recognized it as an addiction that I could see away to overcome the problem. To me an addiction is compulsive/obsessive behavior around a particular object or activity. And that kind of behavior lacks some moral culpability because it impairs one's free will.

    And by defining PMO in that frame, recovery becomes relatively direct. Compulsive behavior is the physical component, which can be reduced by removing the stimulus (i.e. porn itself). And obsessive behavior is the mental component, which has a much more gradual decline but can be assisted by activities like mindfulness meditation.

    There is also an emotional component that I think is the most difficult to recognize and transcend. I had a situation involving the emotional component today. I was really frustrated with something that had nothing to do with sex or porn or relationships. Yet an initial thought I had was to go use porn. I'm 9+ years clean and sober and that is a really familiar game. Basically, besides the physical compulsion to use and the mental rationalizations and random images popping in one's mind, I'll emotionally set myself up to be frustrated, angry, depressed, etc. just so I can justify using to make me feel better.
     
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  3. I find this article to be a little missleading. The headline makes it sound like porn addiction "does not exist" at first. Also, it shows really well how you can cherry pick information and interpret studies to make it fit a common topic. I want to state though that the study the author bases his article on is rock solid and good!

    This statement of the author is quite amusing since it creates the impression only morality and religion are the source of all evil. Truth is, that there is an ongoing debate about if you can become addicted from pornography just by consuming it - similar to nicotin or alcohol - or if external events or believes can lead to or have a bad effect on addiction behavoir. The study the author cites, focuses on the aspect of moral incongruence and what affects these have on both the pornography-related beliefs and pornography-related behaviors. It does not question once the negative aspects and the suffering people have to face that are confronted with behaviors like this.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-018-1248-x

    Nonetheless, it should be noted that is just a small part (morality and religion) of a wide area of researches that could be coducted: How do traumatas affect porn addiction? or How do lonelyness affect porn addiction? for example! This is just a small piece of things that could have an major affect on the addicional behavior, and it is important to understand each one of them precisely. Therefore, performing a study about the affects morality and religion on addiction is good.

    This paragraph nevertheless, reflects what I believe in. I think in order to get over an addiction you have to be able to accept your issues and flaws: A fault confessed is half redressed. That this is not quite easy if there is little to probably non-existing accaptancy to your behaviors in your sourroundings. I also believe that not being able to share your issues will have a negative effect during your way of recovery (mainly will slow it down).

    For the article itself, I find it to be quite lacking objectivity. I am not super religious but some churches do offer good and helpful services for addicts to overcome their behaviors - and people do can gain lots of strength from their religion while recovering - so the generalization of this article I do not like. The author tries to make a rather fundamental research sound like a major breakthrough which it isn't. It generates clicks which leads to debates, generating even more clicks - like in this exact moment.

    One book that quite helped me to understand my issues was a book about behavior addictions. It was written by a leading expert in addiction recovery and prevention. I wrote a summary of it a few weeks ago and I will link it here. Maybe you can get some more insights!

    https://forum.nofap.com/index.php?threads/summary-junkies-like-us-by-kurosch-yazdi.280446/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2020
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  4. two-face

    two-face Fapstronaut

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    I'm no expert on this topic - but it seems to me like this one guy David J. Ley is responsible for much of the internet's PHD written articles contradicting the notion of pornography addiction. It seems to me like the main idea of this article is the notion that rather than changing our behavior to match our values, we should change our values to match our behavior. From the article:

    "In therapy, instead of trying to change people’s porn use patterns, we should instead be focused on helping them make their values and behaviors congruent, and learning to understand and recognize the impact of their moral beliefs...Many of the moral values we were raised with, about sex, race or gender, are no longer fully applicable to the modern world. Because of religious opposition to sexual education, many people struggling with masturbation don’t understand what is normal, or that their sexual interests are healthy. Helping people to consciously examine and consider their religious beliefs about sex, masturbation, and porn with modern, adult, self-determining eyes, may help them reduce the pain and suffering caused by this moral conflict."

    Ley indicates that most of this community's problem is that we are a bunch of ignorant religious zealots who "don't understand what is normal" and should reexamine our beliefs with "modern, adult, self-determining eyes". I'm fine with people re-assessing their values, but it seems to me like the majority of the people on this forum are not religious zealots, and that the general values pushed in today's media and culture is that porn and masturbation are fine. I think most of us simply see the havoc porn has wrecked on our lives, and recognize that we would be better people leading better lives without it.

    This does strike me as a very appropriate stance for a 21st century psychologist to take, however, it's not one that I'm willing to advocate. I'm unwilling to allow our modern social trends to dictate what's best for me. There are plenty of examples in history of times and places where people should have resisted the direction their society was going in rather than adjust their values to comply with it.
     
  5. If memory serves me correctly, Ley has ties to the porn industry. In fact, he may even be a pornographer of sorts. So shock, horror, he's in denial about porn addiction while making money from porn.

    I'll admit I could be wrong in some way, but I couldn't be bothered to do any fact-checking right now. Pretty sure I'm basically RIGHT though.
     
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  6. I'm not a proponent of the term "porn addiction" because I've seen a lot of mixed research on the topic. But I'm not thick-headed enough to deny that some people (myself included) have benefitted greatly from abstaining from it.
     
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  7. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    Arguing whether porn "addiction" is real or not is essentially rather useless.

    It's likely of much more importance to the porn user to know that porn impacts the brain in negative ways, paving way to desensitization and escalation. Depression and even some sexual criminal acts are largely associated with heavy pornography use. Not to mention erectile dysfunction, which is nowadays common in young men, but was highly unusual before high speed internet.

    PubMed and the scientific community can provide the curious with quite a lot of scientific studies supporting the examples mentioned above. For example, neuroscientist Norman Doidge, MD, briefly mentions the science of pornography usage in his book "The Brain that Changes Itself". A worthy read!

    While the study mentioned in the title of this thread is a couple of years old, this one came two days ago:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12147150/10-minutes-porn-increases-risk-erectile-dysfunction/

    Ultimately, there is endless of money in porn, so there will be a lot of paid lobbyists to keep people's hands firmly in their underwear for a long time to come, be sure of that.
     
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  8. His argument rests on this paragraph:
    That's not true. Those two groups do exist as anyone who has read a post or two here or on the subreddit knows.

    There are people who have zero moral qualms about porn yet find themselves unable to regulate use and/or with a limp dick.

    There are people who didn't have anything against porn until the compulsion destroyed their relationships and/or careers.
     
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  9. I think that's a misinterpretation of Grubbs et al. That is, if the author is citing Grubbs 2015. I believe the conclusion of that study was that moral disapproval was correlated with emotional distress. But I believe they also found a correlation between problematic use and emotional distress. If I remember correctly. Also, I don't think any of the existing literature on porn discusses having a "limp dick."
     
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  10. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    They also have a study saying porn doesn’t cause Ed. It most certainly did for my husband. He had Ed from 45 yrs to 51 years old. Only after quitting porn at 4-6 months clean his erections came back. We’ve had a year of no pied. Every time he has “ slipped” with porn his erections get very soft! I love it because it tells me when he’s clean and when he’s not! I know if he should ever fully relapse pied will return. Just one hour will effect him for days.
     
  11. Mistersofty

    Mistersofty Fapstronaut

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    You should change your user name to “THE PORN POLICE”
     
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  12. I didn’t believe in PMO addiction until I saw what it did to myself and other people. I remember binge relapsing one night and woke up the next morning not having my usual morning wood. Then I would stop PMO a few days then the boner came back. Then I would relapse again, only to have my dick not get hard at all. One of my buddies told me that he had a similar problem and was so scared he had erectile dysfunction that he went to go see his doctor. You know, men don’t like going to see the doctor. I was scared too, man. I thought I had to be on medications. Sooner than later, I discovered NoFap and it completely solved the problem that I was having.
     
    Psalm27:1my light likes this.
  13. Oh wow, that’s sounds terrible. Can’t even imagine 4-6 months of zero erections. Let alone erectile dysfunction.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2020
  14. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    5 years. He had pied for 5 years. It took 4-6 months clean before his erections came back.
     
  15. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Why? I don’t believe in banning porn? I do believe it should be much harder for under 18 to get to it.
     
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  16. Mistersofty

    Mistersofty Fapstronaut

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    What I meant was that you seem to be really good at sniffing out your husband’s porn use. So “porn detective” might be more fitting. Anyway I agree that it shouldn’t be so easy for minors to access.
     
  17. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Lol! Omg. Yes my husband says my gut tells on him every time. I do not “ check” or snoop on my husband. I never had his password for his phone/iPad/computer. However, I always know when he has used. He literally told me that I’ve never been wrong. Unfortunately, because he would lie about his use, he has destroyed my ability to ever trust him.
     
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  18. Ferns

    Ferns Fapstronaut

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    Sooo is this article true? There’s always people who believe that porn is not harmful smfh. Not everyone is blessed enough to be a chad naturally that can watch these kind of things and still be a chad.

    Others have to self-improve themselves in order to become their ideal self. Not saying that Nofap is the only thing that’s needed to do though.
     
  19. fredisthebes

    fredisthebes Fapstronaut

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    The study the article refers to looks interesting, but it's a sloppily written article, and it doesn't really say what the headline is claiming either.

    Whether 'porn addiction' exists isn't really a debate worth having - I watch porn, I am unable to stop watching porn although I want to, therefore I am addicted. Many other people feel the same way.

    There is a debate to be had on the nature of the addiction, though. or even whether it is serious enough to tackle at all. But don't tell us that there is no addiction!
     
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  20. Theotherstreet

    Theotherstreet New Fapstronaut

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    :emoji_joy:I know, I've seen a ton on of them since I wrote the initial post for this thread.

    To everyone sharing their own experiences: I just want to make it clear I'm not doubting anything that as I have many of the same effects in myself. However, I have a tendency to want either a body of scientific evidence in my favor before I actually believe myself. Unfortunately, this approach isn't proving especially effective, so I'm looking for other ways of looking at the reasons to stop porn.

    I appreciate tavla's analysis:
    Having thought about it some more, this article is too narrow in scope to make such a large claim. There's a lot left to look into.

    At any rate, thank you everyone for your responses. This is the first time I've started any reasonable amount of discussion on here, and it was enlightening to read everyone's reactions.
     

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