Adolescents’ views on pornography (UK)

After 30 qualitative studies were examined to determine young peoples’ views on pornography, the following conclusions derived:

  • Young people consider porn as normal;
  • They see porn as a tool for pleasure;
  • They see it as a form of information;
  • Young people do become distressed by misogynistic (strongly prejudiced against women), racist, homophobic, transphobic, or violent pornography content;
  • Young people express the need to have trusted adults to discuss their needs with; and
  • The lack of trusted adults causes young people to develop harmful attitudes and unrealistic expectations about sex.

 

Peterson, A. J., Silver, J. K., Bell, H. A., Guinosso, S. A., & Coyle, K. K.  (2022). Young People’s Views on Pornography and Their Sexual Development, Attitudes, and Behaviors: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Qualitative Research. American Journal of Sexuality Education, DOI: 10.1080/15546128.2022.2096163

Pornography to be studied in junior class (Ireland)

A new Junior Cert curriculum will see lessons about pornography given in the classroom for the first time in Ireland, following a major review of Relationships and Sexuality Education. This could prove to be very controversial for parents. The draft curriculum will tackle pornography, with reference to the online world, and the sharing of sexual images. It will then further deal with consent and matters such as gender stereotyping. The Department of Education concluded that the existing approach to such education in schools was “heavily concerned with the risks and dangers associated with relationships.” “Every school, irrespective of ethos, will have to deliver it.” The curriculum involves consent, safe use of the internet, pornography, gender identity and sexual orientation, healthy and positive relationships, and addiction issues. Senator O’Reilly said it is important to have an “education that is not tied to religious or other ethos”.

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Pornography: Who Uses It and How It Is Associated with Couple Outcomes (USA)

Porn used to be a mostly male behaviour but now it impacts females as well. A strong sexual desire promotes porn use. Individuals with strong ties to religion are less likely to report pornography use. Non-violent pornography leads to the acceptance of violent or aggressive behaviour towards women. There is also evidence that extramarital sex and participating in paid sex are associated with online pornography use.

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Pornography Facts and Statistics (USA)

With the advent of the internet, pornography and pornography addiction has become more and more widely available.

Porn addiction can interfere with a healthy lifestyle and relationships.

Porn addiction affects about 5-8% of adults and they spend at least 11 to 12 hours per week viewing porn.

Around 35% of all internet downloads are pornographic.

About 84% of people between the ages of 18 and 49 had watched pornographic films.

Up to 65% of young adult men and 18% of young women report watching porn at least once a week.

The average age of first exposure to pornography is now only 14 years old. As many as 93.2% of boys and 62.1% of girls first see porn before they turn 18.

40 million US adults regularly visit internet pornography websites

10% of US adults admit to having an addiction to internet pornography

17% of all women struggle with porn addiction

20% of men and 13% of women admit to accessing porn while at work

70% of women admit to keep their cyber activities secret

Of porn users, 86% felt that porn hurt their relationships and 90% had seen an increase in relationship troubles due to porn use.

About 56% of divorce proceedings cite an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.

Conditions that frequently co-occur with pornography addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Sex addiction
  • Substance use disorders

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Pornography Addiction: 4 Treatments That Could Help (USA)

While pornography addiction is not currently a recognized medical condition, those who are excessively consuming pornography might experience powerful cravings, neglect their responsibilities, and engage in self-defeating behaviours in order to continue their porn use.

Ways to overcome porn addiction:

  1. Behaviour Modification/ Motivational Interviewing (MI): MI guides them to think about the pros and cons of their addiction and nudges them in the direction of change that is going to improve their lives
  2. Group Therapy: connecting with others and experiencing emotional intimacy is a powerful tool in helping a person with this type of addiction.
  3. Finding Alternatives: this means replacing poor habits with more adaptive ones.
  4. Medication: medication could help with some cases of excessive pornography use. “Pharmacologic interventions have focused on treating co-existing psychiatric disorders and targeting hypersexual or compulsive sexual behaviours with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibiters, normally prescribed for depression, increase the body’s serotonin, the neurotransmitter that sends emotion-regulating signals between brain cells.

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A possible way out of porn addiction (USA)

A new study done by psychologist Stephen Sammut and published in Frontiers in Psychology,  highlights the dangers of pornography addiction and offers a way out of it. According to Sammut a focus on higher-level cognitive faculties can override the cravings from our lower brain which ultimately spur porn consumption. It is crucial to focus recovery efforts on the areas of our upper brain that are responsible for logic and rational thinking. Porn, on the other hand, is connected to our lower brain areas which are responsible for producing pleasure and emotions. As humans, we tend to be guided more by our pleasure centres than by logic and reason. Sammut suggests that if we begin to use our upper brain’s logical thinking to satisfy our lower brain’s pleasure cravings, we will begin to behave in more acceptable ways. Faith and morals have the potential to contribute to appropriate brain functioning – that is assisting in the prioritization of the upper brain over the lower. So, it makes sense that they could be especially helpful in regards to assisting people in reducing their pornography use. In fact, the results from over a thousand university students found faith, morals, and personal motivation to be the primary variables reported to help reduce pornography use.

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Child porn on the rise (South Africa)

Lieutenant, Colonel Heila Niemand revealed that child pornography is becoming increasingly common in South Africa.  Approximately 150 000 images of explicit child content were seized from people who also intended to create and distribute more child porn. In her testimony, Niemand said police had received countless leads daily of South Africans possessing, distributing or creating child pornography. According to Niemand there is a close link between human trafficking and child pornography. We had a suspect in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, where the perpetrator went out to identify children online to recruit them and involve them in sexually explicit content and sexual exploitation.

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Young Adults Misunderstand Porn as a Help Manual to Have Sex (India)

According to a study by Emily Rothman a professor at Boston University, published in the journal ‘Archives of Sexual Behaviour’, young adults prefer pornography as their most helpful source of information on how to have sex. The bad news is that young adults are misunderstanding the purpose of porn. Most free, online pornography is there for entertainment and to make money for the creators. The research team analysed responses from 357 young adults (18-24 years old) and 324 adolescents (14-17 years old). From a public health perspective, Rothman says it is worrisome that a sizable percentage of young adults consider porn a helpful source of information about how to have sex.

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Japan passes bill to prevent exploitation of young people in porn (Japan)

A bill to prevent young people from being exploited in pornographic productions was passed in an effort to end the abuse of young people. The bill allows people who agree to appear in pornographic content to terminate their contracts at any time before the film’s public release as well as up to a year afterward. If the contract is terminated, video vendors are obliged to recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim compensation from the performers. False representations or acts of intimidation will be punishable by a prison term of up to three years or a fine of up to 3 million yen ($22,000) for an individual, or 100 million yen for a corporation.

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Ban porn to save families (USA)

Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance told a Catholic magazine that pornography should be banned because it’s stopping Americans from getting married and starting families. According to Vance the combination of porn and abortion have basically created a lonely, isolated generation that isn’t getting married, they’re not having families, and they’re actually not even totally sure how to interact with each other. Vance further stated that American values are declining due to the consumption of pornography. He contributed the recent school shootings to the absence of strong family values and not the lack of gun control. We made a political choice that the freedom to consume pornography was more important than the public goods, like marriage and family and happiness, he continued. “We must make new and better choices in the future.

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