Porn and Mental Health: 10 Facts from the Experts

Is porn use associated with greater mental health or the opposite? Here are 10 facts from the experts.

1. Multiple studies have shown that frequently viewing porn is correlated with more casual sexual partners, sex with friends, and sex at an earlier age. 1 2 3 4

2. According to a study of college-age men, the more men watch pornography, the more likely they are to have lower self esteem. 5

3. According to a study among adolescents, porn use is frequently associated with cheating on one’s girlfriend. 6

4. According to a study of Dutch adolescents, exposure to sexually explicit movies online is significantly correlated with the belief that women are sex objects. 7

5. According to another study in the Journal of Sex Research, the more frequent someone’s porn use is, the less satisfied they tend to be with sex and human relationships. 8

6. According to a study at the University of Sidney of 800 regular porn users, 20% said they prefer porn over sex with a partner. 9

7. According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, just as it is with those who have substance dependencies, porn use was shown to interfere with someone’s working memory capacity. 10

8. According to a study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, when men view porn the regions of the brain called the thalamus and hypothalamus are significantly activated. These are the regions responsible for some of our core drives like food, water, and sex. This means when men view porn, it doesn’t register to them as something they just desire. Their brain experiences it as a survival need. 11

9. According to a study of youth ages 10 to 17, there’s a significant correlation between watching porn and feelings of loneliness and major depression. 12

10. According to a study of adolescents from Israel, boys who viewed more porn were less likely to have pro-social attitudes, meaning they were less likely to desire or actually be involved in behaviors that benefited society as a whole. 13

The evidence is clear. Consuming porn is associated with all kinds of mental health concerns. We deserve better as a society. Our kids deserve better. The women in our lives deserve better.

As commonplace as porn use is today, if porn made us healthier, we would be healthy by now.

LEARN MORE PORN STATISTICS


1. Jill Manning, “Hearing on pornography’s impact on marriage & the family,” U.S. Senate Hearing: Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, Committee on Judiciary, Nov. 10, 2005.

2. E. Haggstrom-Nordin, U. Hanson, and T Tydén, “Associations between pornography consumption and sexual practices among adolescents in Sweden,” International Journal of STDs & AIDS 16 (2005): 102-107.

3. Ven-hwei Lo and Ran Wei, “Exposure to Internet Pornography and Taiwanese Adolescents’ Sexual Attitudes and Behavior,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 49 (2005): 221-237.

4. Jochen Peter and Patti M. Valkenburg, “Adolescents’ exposure to online sexually explicit material, sexual uncertainty, and attitudes toward uncommitted sexual exploration: Is there a link?Communication Research 35 (2008): 579-601.

5. Todd G. Morrison, Shannon R. Ellis, Melanie A. Morrison, Anomi Bearden, and Rebecca L. Harriman. “Exposure to sexually explicit material and variations in body esteem, genital attitudes, and sexual esteem among a sample of Canadian men,” The Journal of Men’s Studies 14 (2006): 209-223.

6. Dolf Zillmann, “Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ dispositions toward sexuality,” Journal of Adolescent Health 27 (Aug. 2000): 41-44.

7. Jochen Peter and Patti M. Valkenburg, “Adolescents’ exposure to a sexualized media environment and their notions of women as sex objects,” Sex Roles 56 (2007): 381-395.

8. Elizabeth M. Morgan, “Association between young adults’ use of sexually explicit materials and their sexual preferences, behaviors, and satisfaction,” Journal of Sex Research 48 (2011): 520–530.

9. Katie Szittner, “Study exposes secret world of porn addiction,” Sydney.edu. May 10, 2012.

10. Christian Laier, “Pornographic Picture Processing Interferes with Working Memory Performance,” Journal of Sex Research 0 (2012): 1-11.

11. Sherif Karama, André Roch Lecours, Jean-Maxime Leroux, Pierre Bourgouin, Gilles Beaudoin, Sven Joubert, Mario Beauregard, “Areas of brain activation in males and females during viewing of erotic film excerpts,” Human Brain Mapping 16 (May 2002): 1–13.

12. Michele L. Ybarra and Kimberly J. Mitchell, “Exposure to Internet Pornography among Children and Adolescents: A National Survey,”CyberPsychology & Behavior 8 (2005): 473-486.

13. Gustavo Mesch, “Social bonds and Internet pornographic exposure among adolescents,” Journal of Adolescence 32 (2009): 601–618.

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http://www.bevillandassociates.com

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