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Porn addiction at crisis level

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 10/23/2012 @ 8:10 pm In Opinion | No Comments

By Rachel Alexander

More than 50 percent of men now look at pornography regularly, thanks to easy access and constant bombardment of images on the Internet. Men cannot go online without seeing air-brushed provocative women inviting them to click. Twenty-five percent of Internet searches are related to pornography, and one-third of all who look at porn on the Internet are women.

Looking at pornography frequently is an addiction. Yet society looks the other way at pornography, dismissing it as harmless “men’s entertainment.” The pornography industry renamed itself the “adult entertainment industry” to create the perception that it’s just entertainment. The reality is that porn is extremely addictive, and along with the addiction comes life-destroying side effects. It puts the addict into a creepy bondage that affects the lives of those around him or her. It is not a victimless crime. It has become a chilling epidemic that is ruining the minds, families and jobs of possibly half the men in the country.

Although porn eroticizes male supremacy and degrades women, it is ironically women who are responsible for instituting this laissez-faire attitude toward porn. Feminists in the 1960s ushered in a sexual revolution of anything goes, free love, free sex. Sexologist Alfred Kinsey also played a major role normalizing porn. He performed research on subjects that included a high percentage of pedophiles, inmates, sex offenders, pimps and prostitutes. He claimed his results proved that men need deviant sexual behavior and that it is normal. His findings were widely adopted in schools and universities and by psychologists, even though it became well-known later that he was a deviant himself who welcomed the sexualization of children. Culture theorist and author Jackson Katz explains what is wrong with normalizing pornography: “It normalizes the men’s pleasure-taking as it sexualizes the woman’s degradation.”

Viewing pornography overstimulates a neurochemical in the body called dopamine. After repeatedly looking at porn, a tolerance is built up, and it becomes difficult for ordinary romance to provide pleasure. Musician John Mayer has publicly admitted that his pornography habit is so strong he prefers to stay home with it instead of spending time with a real woman. Some men end up forcing the pornographic acts they watch on their unwilling wives to try and become interested in them again. The rise in men’s erectile-dysfunction aids is no doubt due in part to the increase in pornographic addictions.

The latest book from the foremost expert on how sexuality has been twisted in our day: “Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America”

Ironically, pornography addicts don’t seek out increasingly hardcore porn for more pleasure, but because they are obtaining less pleasure. Several studies reveal that pornography addicts have the same brain changes as drug addicts. It radically alters the structure of the brain, as the pleasure parts of the brain become more dominant, literally turning into a “one-track mind.” The structural brain changes have been compared to brain damage. Porn destroys intelligence, ruining the ability to concentrate and causing forgetfulness. It reduced one engineer’s ability to hold down any job except at minimum wage level. Twenty-nine percent of working adults access adult websites form work computers, according to a Nielsen report.

The American Society of Addiction has added pornography, stating that it can be associated with the “pathological pursuit of rewards.” It is difficult to cure, because recovery involves withdrawal symptoms like irritability, concentration problems and even flu-like symptoms. It takes six to 12 weeks after stopping to be able to enjoy normal romance fully again.

Porn creates images of women that are not based in reality. Most porn stars are deeply troubled, and a high proportion are sexual abuse survivors. Many are now speaking out about how how terrible the industry really is. It is not glamorous; the average male porn star makes $40,000 annually. There are 15 new cases of STDs reported in the industry every week. One porn star claims that 99.9 percent of industry actors have herpes. Another said they are all on drugs: It’s “an empty lifestyle trying to fill up a void.” Shelley Luben, a former porn actress, revealed, “The porn industry wants YOU to think we porn actresses love sex. They want you to think we enjoy being degraded by all kinds of repulsive acts. … The truth is there IS NO fantasy in porn. It’s all a lie.” She says to men, “We want you to throw out our movies and help piece together the shattered fragments of our lives.” Each year, 20,000 pornographic videos are produced in California’s San Fernando Valley.

The most disturbing part about pornography addiction is that it can lead to child pornography. Between 2005 and 2009, there was a 432 percent increase in child pornography. It can also lead to rape. Clinical psychologist Dr. Victor Cline, author of “Pornography’s Effects on Adults & Children,” found that almost half of the rapists he studied used pornography to arouse themselves before they sought out a victim. Dr. M.J. Goldstein studied sex offenders and found that many of them acted out the sex acts they watched in pornography on their victims. Most admitted that watching pornography increased their desire for deviant activities.

Men who are addicted to pornography frequently defend their addiction by claiming they have “needs.” However, pornography has not been around or easily accessible until recently. Cavemen got by just fine without it.

There needs to be a shift in cultural attitudes regarding pornography. Communities used to be able to zone adult stores away from sight. With the advent of the Internet, any attempt now to regulate pornography raises cries of censorship, yet there is no absolute right to pornography. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that some hardcore pornography is obscene and can be prohibited.

Dr. Patrick Carnes, who researches sexual addictions, has found that most sexual addicts come from dysfunctional families. Instead of dismissing this unhealthy addiction as “free speech,” society should help addicts understand that their behavior is not normal, and they need to take steps to correct it, such as joining a 12-step support group or using self-help websites like yourbrainonporn.com. Addicts are not using pornography for “entertainment,” but to mask their emotional problems. Porn does not liberate men, but puts them in virtual bondage. Their unhappiness is still there, their relationship problems are still there, and they risk damaging their lives further as the addiction increases. Sadly, most pornography addicts are probably unaware they have an addiction.

Christians must speak up against pornography from a moral basis. The Bible calls it a sin. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus said that looking at a woman lustfully is the same as the sin of adultery. 2nd Peter 2:14 speaks to the addiction aspect: “They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied.” Christian leader James Dobson produced a report for the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography under President Reagan, in which he explained how pornography has gone from airbrushed naked models to serious perversion, due to addicts needing more stimulation.

“This is the world of pornography today, and I believe the public would rise up in wrath to condemn it if they knew of its prominence,” wrote Dobson.

It is over 25 years later, and pornography is more prevalent and disgusting than ever. Why hasn’t the public risen up against it? Because half of the men in our society are addicted themselves.


Rachel Alexander is the editor of IntellectualConservative.com.


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