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No Such Thing as Porn Addiction, Researchers Say

By    |   Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 04:19 PM

"Porn addiction" is a purely cultural idea without much scientific backing to justify it as a bona fide psychological diagnosis. That's the conclusion of a leading mental-health expert who analyzed dozens of studies of compulsive sexual behavior and found there is little evidence to support the idea that "porn addicts" actually exist.
 
David Ley, a clinical psychologist in Albuquerque, N.M., and executive director of the behavioral health program New Mexico Solutions, found that only 37 percent of 49 articles he reviewed about high frequency sexual behavior described compulsive viewing of porn as an addiction. His analysis, published in the journal Current Sexual Health Reports, also found just 13 of the articles on the subject contained actual data.
 
As a result, Ley concluded there is very little evidence — "if any at all" — to support some of the purported negative side effects of porn "addiction." There was no sign that use of pornography is connected to erectile dysfunction or causes any changes to the brains of users.
 
Instead, Ley and his team believe that the positive benefits attached to viewing such images can actually improve attitudes towards sexuality, increase the quality of life, and even increase pleasure in long-term relationships.
 
"We need better methods to help people who struggle with the high frequency use of visual sexual stimuli, without pathologizing them or their use thereof," said Ley. "Rather than helping patients who may struggle to control viewing images of a sexual nature, the 'porn addiction' concept instead seems to feed an industry with secondary gain from the acceptance of the idea."
 
Clinicians should be aware that people reporting "addiction" are likely to be men, have a high libido, and religious values that conflict with their sexual behavior and desires.

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Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 04:19 PM
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