How Pornography is Addictive

by Larry Richman on May 8, 2012

See the infographic below about How Pornography is Addictive from fightthenewdrug.org.

See yesterday’s article about the Church’s Addiction Recovery Program.

Also see other articles about overcoming pornography addictions and resources in overcoming pornography.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

monba May 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

Your info graphic is WAY too small…even magnetized it’s too small to read. Sorry.

Scott Hinrichs May 8, 2012 at 9:35 am

This graphic looks comprehensive and valuable. I just wish I could actually read it. As monba said, it’s not even legible when magnified. Is it available anywhere in a legible size?

I have worked with young men to teach them how and why to avoid pornography. I have also worked with some that have fallen into porn addiction. It shocks some of these youth when I assert that viewing porn is essentially committing mental adultery, cheating on their future spouse. And that this kind of cheating will be as destructive to their future marriage as cheating within the marriage.

I ask young men what they want to experience when they kneel across the altar to enter the marriage covenant, and explain that porn is designed to destroy the opportunity for them to feel what they hope to feel. That at least gets the ball rolling so that we can work on how to avoid and resolve addiction issues.

Rebecca May 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

In the upper left hand corner of the picture there is a little box with an arrow pointing out of it–if you click on that, it brings you to a new website with a much more legible version.

James L. Carroll May 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

As a statistician, I just can’t let this slide. It’s just too bad…. Pornography may indeed be bad for you, but if so, I would like to see some more careful analysis than this. When people throw out statistics this bad, it usually indicates that either their argument is weak, or that they are just making stuff up. And that’s too bad.

For example: It lists as a negative the statistic (who knows what the source is) that 40% of porn addicts get divorced. As this is lower than the average divorce rate for the general population, this actually seems like a potential reason to seek out a porn addict to marry!!!

As another example, the last statistics I saw said that about 80% or so of all males use pornography. If 1/3 of them lost their jobs, that implies something that doesn’t make sense in terms of the numbers of people that are loosing their jobs. Plus, no time period is mentioned. Is this over their life times? If so it may be that 1/3 is pretty low… see how you can make these stats mean anything? In order to make the stat make sense you have to compare p(loseJob|porn) vs p(loseJob|NotPorn) over the same exact time period, controlling for other variables. They didn’t do that, so the stat is worse than meaningless.

I also always find the chemical arguments humorous. “It releases the same drugs into the brain as drug addiction does….” translated into terminology we can all understand…. it’s fun.

Seriously… drugs work because they chemically excite the pleasure centers of the brain… so this argument (releases the same chemicals) can be used for any pleasurable experience. And yes, this means that any pleasurable experience can (and often does) become addictive.

James L. Carroll May 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Additionally, if 80% of men view porn and 76% of women (according to one poll) use porn, then you can average that to 78% of people using porn. But according to this graphic, only 56% of divorces involve at least one person who has an obsessive interest in porn. This seems to imply that divorce is much more likely between couples who don’t view porn than between couples who don’t.

Again, something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this graphic’s stats. At best they are in error, at worse they are no better than “lying for God” or some such. This is an utter sham.

James L. Carroll May 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Sorry: “This seems to imply that divorce is much more likely between couples who don’t view porn than between couples who don’t.” should have been: “This seems to imply that divorce is much more likely between couples who don’t view porn than between couples who do.”

Cynthia L. May 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

James, in fairness, “using porn” is not the same thing as “obsessive interest in porn,” and I suspect the percentage of the overall population who falls into the latter category is much smaller than the former (78%). I suspect it is somewhat less than 56% of the population, so it would be associated with increased risk of divorce. Of course, we can’t know for sure without having the “obsessive interest in porn” figure, but there’s not necessarily an internal contradiction there as you have claimed.

Cynthia L. May 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Totally agree with the general arguments in your first comment though.

zionssuburb May 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

This still doesn’t address the reason why so many turn to porn in the first place, if in our church we have a serious problem with men and porn, doesn’t that mean we have a serious issues with sexuality in general? The idea the teaching young women from the time they are 3 and 4 years old that their bodies are tempting to men, and they need to cover up, is damaging marital relationships because grown women have had this idea drummed into them for years. We need to find a way to be more healthy in our conversations with both Young Women and Young Men that allows the transition at marriage to be less traumatic for women.

We are spending too much effort fighting the result of a root problem that doesn’t get addressed.

Amelia May 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

When someone uses statistics (especially statistics that on their face seem skewed) without offering even a single citation, disregard. Immediately.

If you really want to be both ethical and honest as you work to make a change, you’ll have to be honest in your research. Which this is not. Not without even a gesture towards academic honesty by citing sources. As it is, it’s little more than yet another manipulative, slick advertising campaign attempting to sell something.

Anon June 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

So porn causes depression, sexism, cynicism, job loss and divorces. Because clearly porn is the only factor when it comes to mental illness or personality flaws.

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