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Porn and how it affects marriage

porn and how it affects marriage

I expected pornography fans to be very defensive about their use of pornography, and to a certain extent they were, but they were often happy about it and proud of it. But when I asked them, "Do you think you could ever become addicted to porn?" two-thirds of the men who didn't think they were addicted said, "Yeah, I could see that happening." Before the internet, I don't think we would have had this problem.

But the effect is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as “porn-worthy.” Far from having to fend off porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention.

Unfortunately, while all these ideas make common sense, none of them hold up in the face of research. I believe that common sense, gut instinct and intuition are incredibly valuable. For years, I’ve recommended the book The Gift of Fear , which reminds us to listen to our intuitive warnings of danger. As a scientist and empirically-guided clinician, I recognize that intuition and common sense can yield great insights, which must then be measured against objective evidence. The problem is that common sense is “commonly” subject to bias, and can often be warped by our limited experiences, our assumptions, our needs, our subjective values and our cultural norms.

It reignited the fear I first felt after the encounter with my father: Does porn somehow invade the deepest recesses of men’s minds? Of women’s? And if so, does every man carry a mental cache of unerasable erotic images. 

If you'd like to discuss with anyone who studies this area, I'd be happy to refer you to colleagues who study related issues. I wouldn't have written if I didn't think it was important to set the record straight, but I've seen far too many people hurt personally or relationally by these unsupported claims.

porn and how it affects marriage

Unfortunately, while all these ideas make common sense, none of them hold up in the face of research. I believe that common sense, gut instinct and intuition are incredibly valuable. For years, I’ve recommended the book The Gift of Fear , which reminds us to listen to our intuitive warnings of danger. As a scientist and empirically-guided clinician, I recognize that intuition and common sense can yield great insights, which must then be measured against objective evidence. The problem is that common sense is “commonly” subject to bias, and can often be warped by our limited experiences, our assumptions, our needs, our subjective values and our cultural norms.