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Adverse Effects of Pornography on Relationships

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Jacob Stelter

on 11 May 2014

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Transcript of Adverse Effects of Pornography on Relationships

Adverse Effects of Pornography on Relationships
Pornography's Effects on the Brain
Pornography and Relationships
What is Pornography?
History of Pornography
Some sources report pornographic images carved into caves by early mankind.
Greece and Rome noted for sexual imagery and art.
First book of Erotica called "Art of Love" by Roman poet Ovid.
17th century Japan and explicit sex depictions for medical professionals and married couples.
18th century Enlightenment in Europe combined with efficient printing presses made distribution easy.
19th and 20th centuries brought inventions such as the camera and motion pictures.....the rest is history! (3)
Breaking News: Fall 2013, Cambridge University, Dr. Valerie Voon:
Increased Ventral Striatum Activity in Pornography users same as cocaine addicts (7).
How Pornography Stimulates the Brain
-"the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement" (1)
Startling Statistics:
-Yearly, pornography is a $97 Billion industry
-This is more than Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo! and Netflix.......
-Every second, about $3,076 is spent purchasing pornography
-12% of all websites are pornography-based (4.2 million total)
-Number one U.S. city to search "Porn" is Elmhurst, IL. (2)
What is Pornography?
History of Pornography
Pornography's Effects on the Brain
Pornography's Relationship Effects
What can we do about it?
2005 - Nestler - Mesolimbic dysfunction (especially VTA-NAc) is the primary findings in addictions (4).
Increased use of pornography activates this DA system and the levels of DeltaFosB increase, leading to a reward response and a cycle develops (5).
"Reward circuit (dopamine) → PFC (associations formed) → feedback loop (glutamate) to reward circuit" (6).
Cocaine vs. Pornography
Addiction Pathway
Ventral Striatum Stimulation with Pornography Use (8)
Pornography's Effects on the 'Significant Other"
2002 - Bergner and Bridges (10)
Over 100 women participated
This is what they said:
Feelings of Attraction
“I am no longer sexually attractive or desirable to him.
He’s more attracted to the women depicted in his movies, magazines, and
websites than he is to me, and I feel completely unable to compete with
these women.”
“I have been excluded, isolated, barred
from intimacy with him. I have lost someone whom I thought was my best
friend and most intimate companion in life. He now has a whole secret life
from which I am completely excluded and about which he continually lies to
"She finds herself unable to believe that the loss of her partner to his pornographic interests is not a valid indicator of her true worth and desirability. In her eyes, his involvement implies that she must be one of the following things:
Sexually Undesirable
Weak and Stupid
Self Worth
Pornography's Effects on the User
Zillmann and Bryant:
"After consumption of pornography, subjects reported less satisfaction with their intimate partners—specifically, with these partners' affection, physical appearance, sexual curiosity, and sexual performance proper." (12)
So why does this happen?
Pornography is exciting and limitless.
Good feelings associated with watching pornography keep users coming back for more, and the habit gets larger and larger.
Soon, sexual intimacy with your partner becomes boring and routine.
This further perpetuates pornography use and severely affects relationships (13).
Pornography's Effects on Adolescents
For boys, first exposure to "Playboy" is at age 11 and to an X-rated film by 15 (14).
Internet has increased accessibility.
Those that have early exposure have:
Unrealistic view of "normal" sex.
More permissive sexual norms
Increase in rate of sexual harassment
Younger age at first sexual experience.
So....what do we do about it?
Pornography use starts young (15).
Pornography is everywhere
Education remains the key.
Therapy and support groups.
Fight the New Drug.org
1. Definition of Pornography [Internet]. 2014. Merriam Webster Dictionary; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pornography
2. Pornography Statistics [Internet]. 2014. Family Safe Media; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html#time
3. Jenkins JP. Pornography. Encyclopaedia Britannica [Internet] 2013 [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/470645/pornography
4. Nestler EJ. Is there a common molecular pathway for addiction? Nature Neurosci. 2005; 9:1445–9.
5. Hilton DL. Pornography addiction - A supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffect Neurosci Psychol. 2013; 3: 20767.
6. Wilson G. Why do I find porn more exciting than a partner? [Internet]. 2012. Your Brain on Porn; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://yourbrainonporn.com/why-do-i-find-porn-more-exciting-partner
7. Porn addiction is just like substance abuse – study [Internet]. 2013. Nature World News; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4107/20130923/porn-addiction-alcoholism-substance-abuse-study.htm
8. Hard core neuro-porn [Internet]. 2013. Discover; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2013/10/03/hardcore-fmri/
9. Matt’s story: Comparing his porn and drug addictions [Internet]. Fight the New Drug; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/media/v/matts-story-comparing-his-porn-and-drug-addictions
10. Bergner RM, Bridges AJ. The significance of heavy pornography involvement for romantic partners: Research and clinical implications. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 2002; 28:3, 193-206.
11. Maria’s story [Internet]. Fight the New Drug; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/media/v/marias-story1
12. Zillmann D, Bryant J. Pornography’s impact on sexual satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 1988; 18, 5: 438-53.
13. Get the facts: Porn harms in 3 ways [Internet]. Fight the New Drug; [cited 2014 Apr 19]. Available from: http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts#relationships/porn-ruins-your-sex-life
14. Brown JD, L'Engle KL. X-Rated: Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors Associated With U.S. Early Adolescents’ exposure to Sexually Explicit media. Communication Research 2009; 36: 129-151.
15. Carroll JS, et al. Generation XXX: Pornography acceptance and use among emerging adults. Journal of Adolescent Research 2008; 23: 6-30.

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