New Study Debunks Myth About Men Who Watch Porn

New Study Debunks Myth About Men Who Watch Porn

LOS ANGELES — A new study by a neuroscientist from the Kinsey Institute found no scientific basis to the persistent myth, peddled by religiously inspired War On Porn crusaders and #NoFap semen-retention cultists, claiming that watching porn can cause erectile disfunction in men.

The study, conducted by Erick Janssen, Senior Research Fellow of The Kinsey Institute, and Professor in the Department of Neuroscienciences at the University of Leuven, examined the sexual responses of a statistically significant 211 men, and, as Psychology Today reported, determined that “a history of watching pornography had no effect on the ability of men to achieve an erection.”

The test group, wrote Psychology Today’s David J. Ley, comprised “men who have sex with men, a group whose concerns about hypersexuality and risky sexual behaviors have been heavily studied since the days of the HIV crisis.”

As Ley noted, “the penises of gay men do not work any differently than the penises of straight men.”

The researchers, Ley continued, “used diagnostic expert clinical interviews and questionnaires to distinguish men who fit the criteria for compulsive, or problematic sexuality, and 81 of the 211 men did. Then the researchers showed these men a variety of video images, designed to elicit positive and negative emotions, as well as pornographic films to elicit sexual arousal. While watching these films, the men’s penises were monitored using devices called strain gauges, which objectively measure the erection.”

As Ley explained, the lack of correlation between exposure to porn and erectile dysfunction suggests that "rather than getting distracted by pornography use, we can best support men struggling with erections by attending to personal motivational and behavioral factors. These men are, sadly, in a lot of pain, experiencing tremendous fear and shame, feeling that their difficulties with erection mean something about them, and their masculinity.”

Lay also pointed out that “blaming porn doesn't help these men. Instead, addressing elements of anxiety, attitudes towards relationships and particularly examining how these men feel about their sexuality and sexual arousal should be the focus of supportive treatment, as well as helping them realize that their very fear, shame and anxiety are causing the thing they are so ashamed and afraid of.”

To read the full article, “Study: Porn Is Not to Blame for E.D.,” click here.

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