WebMD Weighs in on ‘Porn Addiction’ Debate

NEW YORK — WebMD, publisher of a popular website and magazine covering a broad range of medical issues, recently surveyed a number of psychologists hoping to clarify the long-running debate over whether pornography can be considered addictive.

While the publication’s findings were inconclusive, the report, titled “Is Pornography Addictive?”, did present a more balanced view of the issue than has been typical of the mainstream media.

“The difference between describing the behavior as a compulsion or an addiction is subtle, but important,” says the report’s author, Martin Downs.

Downs points to abuses of the term “addictive” by supposed experts during testimony before a Senate subcommittee last year in which one psychologist claimed "prolonged exposure to pornography stimulates a preference for depictions of group sex, sadomasochistic practices and sexual contact with animals."

Such hyperbole is refuted by Dr. Erick Janssen, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute, who criticizes the use of the term addiction when talking about porn, and sex therapist Dr. Louanne Cole Weston, who argues that it would be more responsible of her colleagues to use the word “compulsion.”

Unfortunately, neither Janssen nor Weston — nor anyone involved in the adult entertainment industry — were invited to testify at last year’s Congressional hearings.

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychologist, was invited to testify, and she contends that the same criteria used to diagnose substance abuse can be applied to problematic porn use.

For example, she says, frequent porn users are apt to develop a tolerance to the material and gradually require more — and more intense — content to find sexual satisfaction.

"Most of the addicts will say, well, here's the stuff I would never look at, it's so disgusting I would never look at it, whatever that is — sex with kids, sex with animals, sex involving feces," Layden says. "At some point they often cross over."

But Janssen says such arguments are pure conjecture and are not supported by any scientific evidence.

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Canada: Age Verification of Adult Content Becomes Election Issue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized on Thursday at an event in Cape Breton comments by Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre stating that his government would require age verification for adult content if elected.

Nebraska Republican Asserts Age Verification Aims to 'Protect Women' From Adult Content

The Nebraska Republican legislator behind the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists asserted Wednesday that his bill aims not only to shield minors from adult content but also to “protect women.”

MindBrowse Spotlights 'Minx' Creators at XBIZ LA, Session Now Streaming

Mindbrowse and Sssh.com have made available for streaming the full-length recording of “The Making of 'Minx' – Comedy, Culture, and Fictionalized Porn,” a discussion panel held at XBIZ LA in January.

FSC Meets With Treasury Department Officials on Banking Discrimination

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) met with U.S. Department of Treasury officials last week to discuss ending banking discrimination in the adult industry.

Kansas Senator Dismisses Free Speech Concerns About Her Age Verification Bill

The Kansas state Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, despite Democratic senators expressing concerns about potential implications for free speech.

Mile High Media Debuts Streaming Service 'AdultMobile'

Mile High Media has launched its new streaming service, AdultMobile.com, featuring the studio's entire library of content.

2024 XBIZ Creator Awards Categories Announced, Pre-Noms Now Open

XBIZ is pleased to announce the award categories and opening of the pre-nomination period for the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards.

South Dakota Republicans Admit Age Verification is Part of National Campaign Against Online 'Filth'

The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, which the bill’s backers have described as part of a national campaign to fight online “filth.”

BranditScan, Pineapple Support Partner for Mental Health Awareness Week

BranditScan is teaming up with Pineapple Support for Mental Health Awareness Week, today through Sunday.

Fansly Signs On as Presenting Sponsor of 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards

Premium creator platform Fansly has signed on as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards, the adult creator community’s biggest night.

Show More