Looking at pornography, is it more good or bad?


 by Anna Waldrop

Some people say it is the culprit of brain atrophy, sexual incompetence, divorce and pedophilia. In April of this year, Utah also announced that it is a threat to public health.

It is pornography.

Can pornography make people addicted?

Reminders about pornography come not only from religious organizations or conservative groups, but even Pamela Anderson, who used to be a model and actor in Playboy magazine, recently warned that pornography has a "corrosive effect."

However, a survey shows that pornography is commonplace for men, and women are not too familiar with it. So is it really dangerous? Or will there be some benefits?

Although there have been some studies on the effects of pornography, many of the results are contradictory. Even for the same study, both sides of the debate can make different interpretations. Some people feel that it is threatening society, and some people think that this attitude is not necessary for people in the 1980s to be nervous about horror videos.

The main point of anti-pornography is that pornography can make people addicted and hijack the normal reward path of the human brain. Just as heroin addicts need higher and higher doses to reach their previous excitement, viewers of pornography can no longer be satisfied with true sex, and can only continue to pursue more and more explicit works – theoretically.

Of course, there are other concerns about pornography, such as mistakes portraying sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and permission for sexual activity. However, the increasing emphasis on anti-pornography is still the problem of male addiction.

Anti-pornography claims that rampant pornography is causing viewers to leave their partners and look for images of rape, rape and child abuse. Some schools in Scotland warn that watching adult images can lead to inaction, coercion and abuse. According to Gary Wilson, a retired biology lecturer, “such an escalation has recurred in research.” Wilson is also the book “Your Brain on Porn” and the website of the same name. Author.

So is porn addiction true? Several studies cited by Wilson have shown that people who watch a large number of pornographic works have significantly different brain activities from others, and those that appear separately are also areas where drug addicts are different from ordinary people.

However, although studies have shown that viewers of pornography respond particularly strongly to sexual cues (PLoS One, doi.org/bqvh), studies have shown that their response is lower (Biological Psychology, doi.org/bqvj). In either case, this does not prove that pornography has changed your mind. People who are vulnerable to pornography may have different brains. Perhaps they are sexually strong, and this may be caused by biological differences.

Perhaps we don't have to resort to brain scans, but should ask viewers of pornography whether they often appear to be unsuccessful and upgraded, or whether their behavior is similar to drug addicts.

In a recent review co-authored by Wilson, Wilson pointed out that the current sexual incompetence rate of young men is already higher than any era - some studies have set this ratio at 33%, and before the emergence of free pornography on the Internet, this The number is only 5%. (Behavioral Sciences, doi.org/bqvk)

However, Kirstin Mitchell of the University of Glasgow in the UK has warned that comparing sexual incompetence studies at different times may lead to erroneous conclusions because they do not necessarily use the same definition.

Is pornography an epidemic?

Michelle pointed out that it is normal for young men to occasionally "poor performance", which is often caused by mental stress or alcohol, so the severity of "incompetence" must be defined in the study. “The authors of this type of review may only choose research that is good for them,” she said.

Michelle is the operator of the National Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL) project, one of the largest studies of human sexuality, conducted every ten years in the UK. The most recent one was in 2011. The study found that the most common sexual problem among men aged 16 to 21 was premature ejaculation, and only 3.3% reported that they did not mention the degree of “pain”. (Journal of Adolescent Health, doi.org/bqvm)

The previous two surveys did not link the answer to this question with age, so we don't know if this number has increased, but even if it is, this is obviously only a small problem. "I don't think anyone would argue that the 3.3% incidence is an epidemic," Michelle said.

However, the upgrade problem is true. A survey interviewed 434 men, mainly from France and Belgium. The results showed that nearly half of them saw images that were "not interested before, even disgusted." (Computers in Human Behavior, doi.org/bqvg)

"Their brains may indeed have changes related to addiction," Wilson said. However, this is also vague – a man who answers “yes” may just have seen an unbearable image, or just seen it a few times. We can't tell if they really like these subjects.

So what about addiction? The general definition of addiction is that a certain behavior begins to have a negative impact on other aspects of a person's life (such as work or love), and he wants to stop or reduce it, but it is difficult to change. Websites such as "The brain is addicted to pornography" are filled with confessions of many men, and their behaviors meet these standards.

Another color-free website, NoFap, claims that about 1 million users visit each month.

But to determine the prevalence of addiction, we need to randomly select viewers of pornography, rather than just those who are looking for a website. Previous surveys have shown that among all male viewers, users who think they have "psychological problems" are between 6% and 13%. The French/Belgian study yielded a ratio of 28%, which is an outlier, but it may also reflect recent growth.

David Ley, director of a drug addiction clinic called New Mexico Solution, said that in general, pornography itself is not a problem, and people are guilty of watching content. The feeling is. “One study after another shows that self-identified addicts are no more pornographic than others, but their values ​​and viewing behavior are in conflict.”

Anyway, someone is not happy with the frequency of their own viewing. But does this mean that we should consider limiting the voice of pornography?

For many, and perhaps most, the benefits of pornography outweigh the disadvantages – a conclusion drawn from a study of about 700 Danish heterosexual men and women. Both men and women believe that, in general, pornography is helpful for their sexual life, sexual knowledge and even their entire lives. (Archives of Sexual Behavior, doi.org/bs7537)

“It’s always good to be able to make yourself happy,” said Dan Miller of James Cook University in Australia, who found similar results in a survey of 470 men. This study has not yet been published. He pointed out that watching pornography can make some gay men feel that they are not alone.

Miller also found that heterosexual boys often watch pornographic content at an early age, and the earliest one in his survey was 15 years old. He therefore proposed the importance of education for young people. "But that can't be a preaching way to promote the bad things about pornography," but to show that pornography does not necessarily faithfully express true sex and love.

In other words, we can judge the portrayal and influence of pornography on society, but we don't have to exaggerate it into a health crisis.

"Some people think that pornography is poisoning their lives, I will not belittle this idea; but to say that pornography will destroy society, I have not seen much good evidence to support this argument." Miller said, "I think everyone I should calm down a bit."

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