Anti-Pornography? You Should Be…

Posted on by Dr. Kevin Skinner

Are you anti-pornography or are you one of the 38% of Americans who don’t think pornography is a problem? Do you argue that pornography is part of our freedom of speech? I may not convince you to think otherwise, but at least read reason. Have you ever sat down with someone who is addicted to drugs and asked them what it is like to go through withdrawal symptoms? Or have you ever asked an alcoholic to describe the shakes they experience when trying to sober up? Porn addicts go through the same withdrawl symptoms when they separate themselves from the images that were giving them a hormonal high. Those who argue that pornography cannot be addictive because it is not a chemical substance are misinformed and woefully limited by their definitions.

Here’s a few questions you may want to ask yourself if you think pornography is not addictive.

1. Is gambling addictive? Ask those who live in Vegas who are attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings. They will tell you about their addiction. But wait, gambling isn’t a substance taken into the body. How could it be addictive?

2. Have you ever talked with someone who cannot stop viewing pornography? When grown men and women cry because the desire for pornography has taken control over their lives, it may mean that pornography has more to it than what meets the eye (pun intended).

3. Would you like your 12-year-old son viewing pornography? Pornography alters the minds of children. Not to mention the damage it does in skewing normal, healthy desires into deviant, difficult-to-fulfill appetites. I have 100s of clients who began viewing pornography between the ages of 12-14 and now cannot stop. Try telling these grown men that pornography is not addictive.

Here’s a few responses that have been shared with me by men who were asked if they thought they were addicted to pornography:

  • Yes, because it interferes with my day-to-day life. I started lying to my spouse, and utimately she chose to separate from me.
  • I go on a binge about every 2 months. I am probably addicted because when it happens, I can’t stop it. I spend even more time fantasizing in addition to all the lost time I spent watching porn. I feel most guilty and frusrated at my lack of control. I am generally an in-control guy.
  • I do believe I am addicted, because I have no idea why I go back to it. It hurts my fiance and does nothing for me. We are sexually active and she satisfies me plenty, I do not know why I always go back to porn.

I could go on and on with stories of individuals who simply cannot stop on their own. The criteria for an addiction include:

  1. Loss of control (compulsivity)—Notice the responses above. “I cannot stop it” and “I feel moste guilty and frustrated at my lack of control.”
  2. Continuation despite adverse consequences—”It hurts my fiance” and “My spouse separated from me.”
  3. Obsession or preoccupation—”It interferes with my day to day life” and “I spend even more time fantasizing in addition to all the lost time I spent watching porn.”

These are voluntary responses from men and women who have visited the assessing addiction page of this website. Clearly, these individuals share experiences that would meet all of the criteria for substance dependence according to the DSM-IV.

Furthermore, around 10% of all adults who engage in viewing pornography feel that they are addicted. These are self-reports of men and women who cannot stop viewing pornography. The consequences of pornography addiction (dependence) may not always be clear, but let me list a few consequences that I have personally observed.

  • Separation and divorce
  • Being unavailable to children
  • Job loss
  • A fiance ending the relationship
  • An increased tendency to argue
  • Lack of trust in relationships
  • Sexually acting out

While many argue that pornography is a matter of freedom of speech, they are missing the point. Pornography hurts people. Do you really wonder who it hurts? It hurts marriages. It hurts employers (see #1 below). Finally, it hurts the individual who becomes addicted. Those caught in this addiction are likely to be depressed and feel out of control. They will not be as focused in their relationships with others.

If you aren’t anti-pornography—you might want to consider the social implications that pornography is having upon all of us. It is time to wake up and realize that pornography is destroying far too many good men and women’s lives.

#1. More than 30% of 1,500 surveyed companies have terminated employees for inappropriate use of the Internet, while only 37.5% of companies use filtering software. Websense Incorporated and The Center for Internet Studies, 2000.

One Response to Anti-Pornography? You Should Be…

  1. Excellent Blog !!!! Thanks for your info

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