Is porn addiction real? The question that has triggered countless debates among psychologists and found its way into the pop culture is not the easiest of questions to answer. While there may be some, who argue porn encourages sexual violence, portrays women as sexual objects, and even harm relationships, there are also people who think they cannot ever be over-consumption of porn.
The idea of being addicted to porn is itself highly controversial as this is not a disorder issued in the current edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association.
How the brain functions on porn?
In a study, researchers at the University of Cambridge conducted brain scans on 19 men who were watching porn. And it was found that the reward centers of the brain that were activated on porn are the same as the centers that get activated when addicts see their choice of drugs. According to Nicole Prause, formerly a University of California researcher said that the use of porn shouldn’t be lumped with alcohol and drug addiction.
In another study, researchers gathered opinion from about 122 men and women about their viewing habits. Some of them admitted that they struggled to control their urge to watch porn while some others said that they’re perfectly okay with their frequency of viewing porn. The participants were shown a variety of images, both sexual and nonsexual in context, and their brainwaves responses were monitored through electroencephalography.
The results showed that the participant’s brain was not sensitized to sexually explicit images, contrary to the sensitization on other behavioral and substance addiction.
So what’s the verdict?
While there are people who struggle with the uncontrollable urge to watch porn, categorizing this behavior as addictive can lead to no use. So, the answer is No! Porn addiction is not real, and the chances are that there are organizations making money by selling ineffective yet expensive treatments to those who believe they are addicted. Nicole Prause said that some treatment providers claim to treat this condition but in reality do not have any evidence that the treatments indeed work.
Problems with watching too much porn
So, why are there so many people who claim that their lives have been negatively affected by excessive porn consumption? The simple answer is that watching too much sexual content can be harmful just as doing too much of everything can. Some of the other issues of porn overconsumption are:
- Ignoring friends and family, not going to work, missing school, or failing to form meaningful relationships
- Frequent masturbation that may lead to feeling of guilt, damage of penile tissues, desensitization to particular types of arousal stimuli
- Failure to perform due to lack of arousal, resulting in an unhealthy sex life and low confidence
- Experiencing erectile dysfunction due to excessive masturbation while watching porn
- Developing a false idea about healthy sexual practices and what constitutes as safe sex
- Attempting to imitate stunts performed by porn stars may lead to fatal injury to either of the partners
- Porn often shows objectification of women, which may have a terrible effect on impressionable minds
Is there a solution?
Of course! But to find the solution to this problem, you must first admit that you indeed spend too much time viewing porn. After acceptance, you may have to obtain some of the steps to thwart the activity
- Delete all pornographic content: This includes deleting every picture and video from your computer, laptop, smartphone, or any other device that you access often. As long as the material is around, there is always a chance of you falling back to the habit.
- Don’t use the Internet unnecessarily: Since the web is the hub of pornographic material, it would be a wise idea to limit Internet usage unless necessary. Log out of your Wi-Fi, unplugged the ethernet cable, or use the software to block connectivity. Do whatever that is needed.
- Find a new hobby: People often get the urge to masturbate when they’re bored, leading to the viewing of porn more frequently. If you find yourself always bored and filled with thoughts of lust, it might be time to find a new hobby that will take much of your idle time.
- Seek professional help: If attempting to quit pornography by yourself has failed or is causing excessive stress in your life, it might be time to seek advice from a qualified therapist.