Concept of 'Porn Addiction' Based on Pseudoscience, Paper Says

Concept of 'Porn Addiction' Based on Pseudoscience, Paper Says

LOS ANGELES — A new paper published last week in Porn Studies, the peer-reviewed academic journal, surmises that the concept of "porn addiction" is based not on evidence but on pseudoscience.

Further, the author of the study, David J. Ley, a noted author, psychologist and “sexpert,” said that telling people they have a porn addiction does more damage than it does good.

The release of the paper, “The Pseudoscience Behind Public Health Crisis Legislation,” comes weeks after the  New York Times published two fairly negative articles about porn — one article, titled “What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn,” attempts to discern how porn impacts the sexual development of teens, while the other, “Let’s Ban Porn,” calls for an outright ban on online adult content.

Porn Studies’ latest published paper, which was edited by the group’s founders, Feona Attwood and Clarrisa Smith, places a starting point to the label of “porn addiction” on legislative debates and accompanying resolutions that state that porn acts as a neurologically altering stimulus, “changing behaviors and sexual experiences and creating patterns of self-destructive behaviors identical to those associated with substance addictions.”

Utah, first in 2016, and other states have either passed or considered passing legislation that identifies online pornography access as a “public health crisis” that would require tech manufacturers to install obscenity filters on all devices, which consumers would then have to pay to uninstall.

“Certainly, the concept of sexual or pornography addiction has been uncritically adopted by pop psychology, mainstream media and [the] general public,” Ley said in his findings. “Unfortunately, the application of an addiction model to sexual behavior, including pornography consumption, has severe limitations.”

Ley, with the paper, set out to offer research findings, theoretical weaknesses and methodological problems that are commonplace in the “pornography is addictive” justification for anti-pornography legislation.

He set out his paper under nine points to help prove his conclusion, including that the concept of pornography or sexual addiction has been uncritically adopted by the mainstream media and general public, and that proponents of “porn addiction” diagnosis rarely rely on actual research or theory regarding pornography's impact or effect.

“Instead, they suggest that pornography consumption has similar effects on the brain as drugs or alcohol,” Ley said in his paper. “Often, they point to cross-sectional studies which found neurological differences between those who use high levels of pornography and those who do not.”

Ley concluded in the paper that there are people who are experiencing challenges integrating pornography into their life, and that there are alternative strategies for supporting these individuals, including providing greater sexual health education; addressing empathy within relationships; and enhancing impulse control and mindfulness, among other ideas.

“Unfortunately, the label of porn addiction is commonly thrown at these individuals in a manner which feeds moral panic, diverts attention and resources from effective, evidence-based strategies to support these individuals, pathologizes otherwise-benign behaviors, serves a profit-driven, exploitative industry, and confuses cause and effect,” Ley said.

“To assist most effectively, we must evaluate and consider those contextual variables, and allow them to guide our individual, therapeutic, and public responses,” Ley said.

“The label of porn addict increases the sense of hopelessness that individuals struggling with their porn use experience. It takes our focus away from the person, places it on pornography, and ignores the user's social, religious and personal contexts.”

Related:  

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

Chaturbate Signs On as Presenting Sponsor of XBIZ Miami

Premier webcam community Chaturbate has signed on as the exclusive presenting sponsor of XBIZ Miami, slated for May 13-16 at the oceanfront Sagamore Hotel in South Beach.

Japanese Performers, Stakeholders Rally to Save Industry From Controversial Law

Hundreds of protesters marched alongside Japanese adult industry professionals on Friday to protest a controversial 2022 law that regulates the country’s adult video (AV) sector, and which they contend has crucially destabilized the industry.

FSC Meets With UK Baroness in Charge of Tory Government's Porn Review

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has met with Baroness Gabrielle Bertin, the House of Lords member charged by the U.K. government with conducting a full review of the country's pornography laws.

NiteFlirt Joins Free Speech Coalition as Sponsor

Phone sex service NiteFlirt has joined the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) as a Silver-level sponsor.

FSC Publishes Guide to Navigating New FinCEN Reporting Requirements

The Free Speech Coalition has published a guide for members on how to navigate the new reporting requirements implemented by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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 the impact of banking discrimination on 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.

Show More