A Message from the Heart to the Heart
Prepared by: Saad Pervez
(Honours Bachelor of Science: Double Major in Neuroscience and Integrative Biology)
University of Toronto, Canada
Idea of, and reviewed by : Dr. Abdulwahab Arrazaghi
MBBCH, FDABIM, FRCPC, Specialist of internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases, university of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Pornography addiction has been described asa behavioral addiction characterized by compulsiverepeated use of pornographic material until it causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.However, the existence of porn addiction has been hotly contested by scientists and clinicians. Addiction to Internet pornography is also a form of cybersex addiction.There is no diagnosis of pornography addiction in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Pornography is addictive, and neuroscientists are beginning to map the biological substrate of this addiction.
Children and Pornography
Children who are victims of pornography often feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, and are usually psychologically and emotionally scarred for the rest of their life. As a result, many of the "children . enter into the world of prostitution, and . grow up to be abusers themselves." (Research Pornography, 2005)
A direct link has been established between pornography and child abuse. This is evident when one considers pedophiles, people who are likely to live out their fantasies once they have watched videos and movies that affirm the normalcy of their desires. Recent studies have shown that between 35 and 50 percent of people who collect child pornography have a history of abusing children, and a study conducted by Watch Foundation ranked Canada as the number four provider of child pornography to the Internet, due to the fact that Canadians accounted for 36 percent of all images found on the day of the survey. (Child pornography, 2005)
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, 25% of children who have a computer in their home have been invited to meet a stranger with whom they had chatted online.As well, about 70 % of all pornographic material falls into the hands of 12 to 17 year olds(Porn laws, 2003)
Impact on Children
The impact of a parent's use of pornography on young children is varied and disturbing. Pornography eliminates the warmth of affectionate family life, which is the natural social nutrient for a growing child. Other losses and traumas related to the use of pornography when a child is young include:
- encountering pornographic material a parent has acquired
- encountering a parent masturbating
- overhearing a parent engaged in "phone sex"
- witnessing and experiencing stress in the home caused by online sexual activities
- increased risk of the children becoming consumers of pornography themselves
- witnessing and being involved in parental conflict
- increased risk of parental job loss and financial strain
- increased risk of parental separation and divorce
- Decreased parental time and attention-both from the pornography-addicted parent and from the parent preoccupied with the addicted spouse.
Impact on teenagers
Pornography viewing among teenagers disorients them during that developmental phase. A study of 2,343 teenagers found that sexually explicit Internet material significantly increased their uncertainties about sexuality. The study also showed that increased exposure to sexually explicit Internet material increased favorable attitudes toward sexual exploration with others outside of marriage and decreased marital commitment to the other spouse. Another study by Todd G. Morrison, professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, and colleagues found that teenagers exposed to high levels of pornography had lower levels of sexual self-esteem. A significant relationship also exists between frequent pornography use and feelings of loneliness, including major depression.Moreover, viewing pornography can engender feelings of shame: In a study of high school students, the majority of those who had viewed pornography felt some degree of shame for viewing it. However, 36% of males and 26% of females said they were never ashamed of viewing pornography, giving some idea of the level of desensitization already reached in society.
Marriage, Family and Society
Pornography is a major threat to marriages, the family, and the society at large. Pornography alters both sexual attitudes and behavior, undermining marriage, which in turn, undermines the stability of the entire community.
The Family and Pornography
- Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives.
- Pornography use is a pathway to infidelity and divorce, and is frequently a major factor in these family disasters.
- Couples affected by one spouse's addiction usually experience a loss of interest in sexual intercourse and good family relations.
- Pornography viewing leads to a loss of interest in good family relations.
The community and pornography
- The presence of sexually-oriented businesses significantly harms the surrounding community, leading to increases in crime and decreases in property values.
- Pornography viewing and sexual offense are inextricably linked.
- There is a connection between the consumption of violent pornography with behavioral aggression and the incidence of rape.
Aggression and Abuse
Intense use of pornography is strongly related to sexual aggression.Among frequent viewers of pornography, there is a marked increase in sexual cruelty, including the "rape myth acceptance" .A significant portion of pornography is violent in content. A study of different pornographic media found violence in almost a quarter of magazine scenes, in more than a quarter of video scenes, and in almost half (over 42 percent) of online pornography. A second study found that almost half the violent Internet scenes included nonconsensual sex.
The data suggest "a modest connection between exposure to pornography and subsequent behavioral aggression," though when men consume violent pornography (i.e. depicting rape or torture), they are more likely to commit acts of sexual aggression. Dangerously, pornography strongly affects psychotic men, who are more likely to act out their impulses. Consumption of nonviolent pornography also increases men's self-acknowledged willingness to force compliance with their particular sexual desires on reluctant partners.
How To Break A Porn Addiction
Learning how to break a porn addiction can be difficult as pornography is so readily available on the Internet, it is easy to get addicted to it. Here are some tips to break your addiction to porn.
Get rid of all porn
The first step is to stop looking at porn. But that also includes getting rid of anything you might have on your computer.
Get a filter or an ISP that filters porn sites.
Out in the open
Confess to your spouse or a religious leader. And move your computer to a common area of the house so everyone in the household can see what you are doing while online.
Identify your trigger
There is likely something that triggers looking at porn. Identify what that is, and then do something else besides indulging your urge.
If these self-help steps do not work, you may need to seek therapy. There are online therapists who specialize in porn addiction, and there are also12-step programs that could help.