Pornography: Is it just Love or a Behavioral disorder
“Pornography: Is it just Love or a Behavioral disorder”:
An appraisal through Annotated Bibliographies
Name of the Student
“Pornography: Is it just Love or a Behavioral disorder”:
An appraisal through Annotated Bibliographies
Pornography is referred to the explicit use and portrayal of sexual content for evoking sexual arousal. Such portrayal comes through a variety of media exposures including internet, television, books, journals, magazines, movies, videos, and mobile MMS. It actually refers to the depiction of nude posters or sensuous images and the term is used from a viewer’s perspective, and then the act of porn itself. Pornography is produced by various professional porn stars or incidental depictions from certain adults or children from the society. Whoever generates such depictions it is intended to influence the sexual activity of the viewer. Almost every society of the world condemns the use of pornography as immoral and considers it as illegal. It has been related to increased cause of constrained relationships, anxiety and depression. Pornography has been also correlated with an increase in violent sexual behaviors like rape and child abuse.
In most instances, pornography is considered as a behavioral disorder and a form of addiction like substance abuse. Such addiction is related to the compulsive viewing of sexual content and associated sexual behavior irrespective of negative consequences on a person’s social behavior, physical and mental well-being. Certainly, pornography has been associated with reinforcement and rewarding instrument which invokes repetitive sexual behavior. With this notion, it may be debated that whether pornography is just a love for sexual art or is a behavioral disorder of hypersexuality. The present article will try to evaluate whether pornography is just a love or a behavioral disorder through analysis of various articles in the form of annotated bibliographies. The article will also evaluate what are the factors that drive “love for pornography” in a specific group of individuals.
1. Prause, N; Steele,V; Cameron,S; Sabatinelli, & Hajcak, G. (2015). Modulation of late positive potentials by sexual images in problem users and controls inconsistent with “porn addiction” Biological Psychology, 109:192-199.
The authors of this article wanted to evaluate whether visual sexual stimuli (which incidentally denotes viewing of pornographic material), is associated with the hypersexual disorder or hypersexual desires are independent of such stimuli. Excessive viewing of pornographic content has been earlier correlated with hypersexual behavior problems. The authors assumed that if hypersexuality is associated with other addictive models like substance abuse then use of substances (pornographic materials) will elicit more provocative response in terms of violence or heightened sexual activity. 122 individuals who either reported or denied use of visual sexual stimuli were presented with emotional, including sexually explicit material and their evoked cortical potentials were measured through electroencephalography. The interaction of the hypersexual problem group and their love for their desire for sex with a committed partner was predicted from the LPP amplitude. The individuals who had problems in regulating their visual sexual stimuli had lower LPP in response to the visual sexual stimuli. Hence, this pattern was different from substance abuse models where the use of explicit or habits forming substances provoked an addictive response.
Appraisal: This study indicated that pornography does not lead to hypersexual behavior and nor the sexual behavior becomes heightened with pornography. The study reflected that sexual activity is inherent and was not modulated by explicit sexual materials. On the basis of this study, it may be inferred that pornography may be viewed just as love or passion and not for addiction. However, the study sample selected for this study was highly negative to visual sexual stimuli. Therefore, to conclude that pornography is a mere love and not an addiction, the study must have included a sub –group who had normal emotive responses to visual sexual stimuli and judged their LPP based on increased presentation of pornographic stimuli to them to conclude the hypersexual behavior.
2. Twohig, M. P.; Crosby, J. M.; Cox, J. M. (2009). “Viewing Internet Pornography: For Whom is it Problematic, How, and Why?”. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 16 (4): 253
Various studies have reported the impact of explicit sexual content and pornographic material on behavioral aspects of individuals. However, there were no studies which evaluated the driving factors that lead to the compulsive use and viewing of explicit sexual content by different individuals. In this study, a total of 331 Dutch male adolescents (11 years to 17 years) were interviewed for their reasons for viewing such sexual content.
The study indicated that lower levels of self-esteem and increased levels of sexual interest were the predictive factors which drove the compulsive viewing of explicit sexual material. When the study was continued over six months, it was revealed that depression and increased sexual interest were the causative factors that influenced the compulsive use of pornography. The authors of this study suggested that both psychological and sexual interests were important determinants of compulsive behavior related to use of explicit sexual content.
Appraisal: The study clearly indicated that “love for pornography” is an external manifestation of psychological challenges related to lowered self-esteem. However, increased sexual interests may also be an aspect of hypersexual disorder which was not assessed in the study. Therefore, the article might provide an avenue that pornography is just not viewed as fun or love and is strongly associated with some psychological traits of social or sexual deprival.
3. Love T, Laier C, Brand M, Hatch L, Hajela R (2015). “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update”. Behav Sci (Basel) 5(3): 388–433.
Various scientists have recognized and endorsed that various behaviors that affect the reward circuit of the human brain lead to a loss of control and are influenced by addictions at least in some individuals. Concerning internet addiction, the neuro-scientific research projected that the underlying neural processes are similar to addictive symptoms associated with substance abuse. The American Psychiatric Association have correlated that internet gaming influenced the reward circuitry of the human brain similar to the principles of substance addiction or abuse. Hence, internet gaming was designated as a potential addictive disorder and was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) guidelines during 2013. However, other issues like internet photography were not covered by the guidelines. The present review tried to correlate various facts and data that helped the authors to conclude that internet pornography was very similar to the internet gaming addiction model.
Leads to the conclusion that Internet pornography addiction fits into the addiction framework and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. The authors concluded from different studies on internet addiction and internet gaming disorder that both are similar to the pathophysiology of addiction. However, the authors mentioned that further studies are needed to be carried out to portray the features of behavioral addiction compared to substance addictions.
Appraisal: The study was a review and tried to correlate facts in proving viewing of pornography is an addiction like just any other internet addictions. If we consider the facts of this article then internet gaming is used for “love for games” and, therefore, pornography may be viewed as “love for sex”. However, such correlations may just be an oversimplification to conclude that pornography is viewed just as love or for entertainment and there can be definitive psycho-social causes associated with it.
4. Cooper, A., Delmonico, D. L., & Burg, R. (2000). Cybersex user, abusers, and compulsives. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 7: 5–29.
The authors of this article implicated that sexuality is a developmental issue throughout the life cycle of an individual. However, such developmental issues are remarkable during the period of adolescence that is evident from various physical and mental developments. During such periods adolescents need to adjust their sexual drive and desires. Moreover, the authors recognized that the period of adolescence was the time for sexual construction of individuals and they are more conscious and sensitive to sexual materials and content during such periods. These individuals get access to sexual content trough various chat rooms on the internet, online conversations and other materials. Thus, pornography is associated with adolescent development issues and online environments or materials support their sexual developments or needs. The authors described the exploration pattern of online sexual content by such individuals keeping in view their sexual development needs and online use of explicit internet sexual materials. The authors further portrayed that in most of the cases the trends in the viewpoint of sexual content concerning age and sex is same with online and offline content. However, the online environment that exhibited sexual content modulated the search pattern of adolescents compared to offline environments.
Appraisal: This study clearly indicated that viewing of pornographic content is just not love and is a definite physiological and psychological demand, at least in adulthood. Therefore, it can be called neither an addiction nor a love. However, as the authors stated that online environments do modulate sexual behavior, it can be speculated the fine line of developmental issues and addiction is potentiated by online sexual content. However, nothing conclusive can be remarked.
5. Twohig, M. P., & Crosby, J. M. (2010). Acceptance and commitment therapy as a treatment for problematic Internet pornography viewing. Behavior Therapy, 41: 285-295.
In this article, the authors described the intervention possibilities of an emergent treatment approach for alleviating problems regarding addiction and viewing of internet pornography. Viewing of pornographic content was viewed as a maladaptive behavior and the study was done o alleviate such maladaptive behavior. 6 adult males were included in the study and they were subjected to 1.5 hours of cognitive therapy oriented towards their problem of internet viewing of pornographic content. The therapy resulted in the reduction of 85% in the viewing of pornographic content and was maintained comparably (83%) over a period of 3 months. The end points considered were the quality of life, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The study indicated that “Acceptance and Commitment” therapy approach helped to improve the quality of life of such individuals and reduced their obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Appraisal: The article indeed reflected that viewing of pornographic content is an addiction and hampered the quality of life of individuals. Hence, anything that erodes the quality of life and induces psychological constraints (obsessive-compulsive behavior), cannot be viewed as love and, therefore, pornography is certainly an addiction. If it was love, then therapy need not have been implicated. However, since the sample size was too small, the therapy cannot be classified as very robust and promising.
From the various bibliographies it cannot be concluded that Pornography is just a love or is another addiction. This is because pornography can have different implications at various stages of an individual’s life cycle. However, what might be concluded is that viewing of pornographic content does changes the behavioral patterns of individuals who are sensitive to visual sexual contents.
Cooper, A., Delmonico, D. L., & Burg, R. (2000). Cybersex user, abusers, and compulsives.
Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 7: 5–29.
Love T, Laier C, Brand M, Hatch L, Hajela R (2015). “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography
Addiction: A Review and Update”. Behav Sci (Basel) 5(3): 388–433
Prause, N; Steele,V; Cameron,S; Sabatinelli, & Hajcak, G. (2015). Modulation of late
positive potentials by sexual images in problem users and controls inconsistent with
“porn addiction” Biological Psychology, 109:192-199.
Twohig, M. P.; Crosby, J. M.; Cox, J. M. (2009). “Viewing Internet Pornography: For Whom
is it Problematic, How, and Why?”. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 16 (4): 253
Twohig, M. P., & Crosby, J. M. (2010). Acceptance and commitment therapy as a treatment
for problematic internet pornography viewing. Behavior Therapy, 41: 285-295