Pornnography

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the continuing use of pornography. Pornography Awareness Week, Oct. 29-Nov. 5.


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Is Pornography Addictive?
Porn-Again War
Porn is a Conservatives' Thing
Porn Doesn't Turn Me On Anymore. What Happened?
Sex With Someone New -- Every Night
Newsbytes
Books
Journals - on Child, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse and Trauma

Porn-Again War


Porn is everywhere, and our goveernment is takin ghte funds it diverted from disaster reparedness to the Iraq War and diverting them to the War on Porn. It's also funding abstinence-only sex education, irnoging the fact that statistics, history and human nature all demonstrate that people do, in fact, have sex before marriage and would benefit from a little information on how to avoid fatal virsuses and unwanted pregnancies. Never mind that the Unite dStates has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the Western World, while Sweden and the Neterlands, which provide ample information on things like condom usage, have the lowest. In fact, studies show that the rate of pregnancy in Sweden is four times lower than in the United States, even through Swedish teenagers are more sexually active.

Instead we blunder on, convincing bright-eyed teenagers to join the Silver Ring Thing, a profitable abstinence shtick developed by a Christina ministry that involves selling no-sex-please rings to kids. All for naught! Like Britaney Spears - the chastity movement's fallen spokesperson - about 90 percent of these kids wind up breaking their vows and getting it on, anyway, sans contraception.

Maybe the FBI though stop trying to deny the liido and harness it, instead. Encourage adult sites to feature more pop-up condom ads. It sure beats a world filled with porn police and chastity belts.
Source: Neva at the San Francisco Chronicle, September 25, 2005

Is Pornography Addictive?


In November 2004, a panel of experts testified before a Senate subcommittee that a product which millions of Americans consume is dangerously addictive. They were talking about pornography.

The effects of porn on the brain were called "toxic" and compared to cocaine. One psychologist claimed "prolonged exposure to pornography stimulates a preference for depictions of group sex, sadomasochistic practices, and sexual contact with animals."

It used to be that if you wanted to see pornography, you had to go out and buy a magazine or rent a video. Store hours and available space under the mattress placed some limits on people's porn habits.

Now there are an estimated 420 million adult web pages online. "For the person who has difficulty stopping, more is only one click away," says sex therapist Louanne Cole Weston, PhD.

There's no doubt that some people's porn consumption gets them in trouble -- in the form of maxed-out credit cards, lost sleep, neglected responsibilities, or neglected loved ones. But Weston is one who takes issue with calling problem behavior involving porn an addiction. "'Compulsive' is more appropriate," she says.

Compulsion or Addiction

The difference between describing the behavior as a compulsion or an addiction is subtle, but important.

Erick Janssen, PhD, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute, criticizes the use of the term addiction when talking about porn because he says it merely describes certain people's behavior as being addiction-like, but treating them as addicts may not help them.

Many people may diagnose themselves as porn addicts after reading popular books on the subject, he says. But mental health professionals have no standard criteria to diagnose porn addiction.

Mary Anne Layden, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, was one of the witnesses at the Senate hearing on pornography addiction. She says the same criteria used to diagnose problems like pathological gambling and substance abuse can be applied to problematic porn use.

"The therapists who treat pornography addicts say they behave just like any other addicts," she says.

One of the key features of addiction, she says, is the development of a tolerance to the addictive substance. In the way that drug addicts need increasingly larger doses to get high, she thinks porn addicts need to see more and more extreme material to feel the same level of excitement they first experienced.

"Most of the addicts will say, well, here's the stuff I would never look at, it's so disgusting I would never look at it, whatever that is -- sex with kids, sex with animals, sex involving feces," she says. "At some point they often cross over."

Janssen disputes that people who look at porn typically progress in such a way. "There is absolutely no evidence to support that," he says.

Why We Watch

Weston says she thinks there are three main reasons why people turn to pornography: to see their fantasies acted out, to avoid intimacy in a relationship, and simply to aid masturbation.

"Sometimes people are just going to it for things they wish they could do in real life," she says. "It fills in a gap in their own relationship. They have a partner who doesn't like to do oral sex and they love it themselves, and they're in this relationship and they want to stay, so they go and look at pictures of oral sex."

In this regard, porn can be part of a healthy relationship, she says, but in some circumstances it can hinder intimacy.

"Then there are the people who are too embarrassed to explain what it is that they really would like to participate in, so they go there secretively, never having revealed to their mate what they would like to try," Weston says.

If they were to reveal their fantasy, they might find their partner willing to go along with it, and they might end up with more fulfilling sexual relationships. For some, however, that would be unacceptable.

"Some people go there because the intimacy in the relationship is as high as the person can stand it. If they were to unveil the sexual interest which is sort of their closely held secret, the intimacy would be way too high for their own ability to tolerate it, so they save it for elsewhere," Weston says.

Independent of the role it plays in relationships, people also look at pornography just to arouse themselves before or while masturbating.

"I think of porn addiction as a label that's used to put down behavior that's disapproved of socially," Violet Blue, a sex educator and author of The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos,says. "A lot of it is shaming masturbation."

Men are thought to be more easily aroused by erotic imagery than women are, but many women masturbate to pornography, too, she says.

She moderates an online message board for female enthusiasts called the Smart Girls' Porn Club. "I occasionally receive emails from members of the group about different kinds of sexual problems," she says, but none so far have expressed.
Source: Luanne Cole Weston, PhD, sex therapist; author, Sex Matters®. Erick Janssen, PhD, associate scientist, director of graduate education, The Kinsey Institute. Mary Anne Layden, PhD, co-director, Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania. Violet Blue, author, The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos. U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Science, Technology, and Space Hearing: "The Science Behind Pornography Addiction," Nov. 18, 2004. The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Mayo Clinic. Third Way Culture Project. my.webmd.com/content/Article/110/109826.htm

Porn is a Conservatives' Thing


Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.

A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states. "When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.

However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds. "Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," Edelman says.

Political divide

Edelman spends part of his time helping companies such as Microsoft and AOL detect advertising fraud. Another consulting client runs dozens of adult websites, though he says he is not at liberty to identify the firm.

That company did, however, provide Edelman with roughly two years of credit card data from 2006 to 2008 that included a purchase date and each customer's postal code.

After controlling for differences in broadband internet access between states – online porn tends to be a bandwidth hog – and adjusting for population, he found a relatively small difference between states with the most adult purchases and those with the fewest.

The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users; Montana bought the least with 1.92 per 1000. "The differences here are not so stark," Edelman says. And again, eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election--Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

Number 10 on the list was West Virginia at 2.94 subscriptions per 1000, while number 41, Michigan, averaged 2.32.

Old-fashioned values

Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code's religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds.

Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't explicitly restrict gay marriage.

To get a better handle on other associations between social attitudes and pornography consumption, Edelman melded his data with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion.

States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behaviour."

"One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if you're told you can't have this, then you want it more," Edelman says.

Journal reference: Journal of Economic Perspectives vol 23, p 209 (pdf)
Source: www.propeller.com/story/2009/03/01/porn-in-the-usa-conservatives-are-biggest-consumers/

Porn Doesn't Turn Me On Anymore. What Happened?


Question: I'm a straight male. I think looking at porn is causing me to become desensitized to it. Nudity doesn't turn me on very much anymore; breasts especially do nothing for me. The other night some girls came over and put on a hardcore porno video and I didn't get aroused. Is this known to happen?

Answer:

For some people, looking at lots of sexually explicit images can be a bit like eating their favorite food at their favorite restaurant every day three times a day. After a while, that favorite food can almost seem repulsive -- certainly not appetizing.

I'd recommend that you experiment with backing away from viewing it yourself. If you masturbate, create sexually stimulating material in your own mind. Give it some time -- a few months and see how you respond after that. Each person has a different saturation level when it comes to this issue. See if you can learn where yours is.

Source: Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, is a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor and a board-certified sex therapist in practice since 1983. Her work in the field of human sexuality includes extensive experience as a therapist, educator, my.webmd.com/content/Article/110/109828.htm

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The difference between pornography and erotica is lightening. - Gloria Leonard



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