TUESDAY TRUTHS: Um, yeah, Pornography Is Bad For You


I am continually baffled by the number of parents, wives, and girlfriends of boys and men who appear in my office and do not feel that the use of pornography is that big of a deal.  (There is a small sect of women who also use pornography, sometimes even gay male pornography, and it is equally bad for them, however I’ve yet to personally encounter this issue in my office and therefore won’t speak on this issue today.)

“Guys do that,” they say.  They snicker or just roll their eyes.

But if they understood what is happening to the brains and spirits of their loved ones, they’d be a little more concerned.

In “The Brain Science behind Pornography Addiction and the Effects of Addiction on Families and Communities”, Judith Reisman, presents certain findings.

  • Emotionally arousing images imprint and alter the brain by resulting in an involuntary, but lasting, biochemical memory trail.
  • Pornography also commonly triggers the viewer’s “fight or flight” sex hormones producing intense arousal states
  • These intense arousal states are similar to the “high” produced by abuse of street or prescription drugs. The difference is that these highs are produced by the viewer’s own brain.
  • The erotic images also serve to blend the conscious state of libidinous arousal with the unconscious emotions of fear, shame, anger and hostility
  • The erotic fantasies become deeply imbedded and addicting many of those exposed

Not only does viewing pornography change the brain chemistry, it also changes the way men view and interact with others. From http://www.netdoctor.co.uk:

“Erotic material tends to give men and women impossibly high ‘targets’ to aim for in the sexual field. Young men get the idea that they should have huge penises and be able to climax again and again, carrying on all night.  Young women get misleading notions about what their bodies should look like. They don’t realise that the pictures of the models are heavily air-brushed so their bodies – and especially their vaginal openings – look impossibly neat and tidy.  Some younger men are surprised by what most of us would regard as normal pubic hair. They have seen so much porn imagery where the women have little or no hair that they think this is the norm.  Young men assume it is acceptable to ejaculate on their partner’s face or breasts. This sort of material is commonplace in porn, leading many men to think it’s routine behaviour in the bedroom.”

It has been my experience that women don’t like that the men in their lives use and look at pornography, but they often times feel powerless to speak up.  They’re afraid that the guy will get mad and/or leave them.  Because our society has seemingly glamorized or embraced porn as normal, they feel guilty for insisting on purity of mind from their men.  “After all, he’s not cheating on me with another woman, so it could be worse,” is a comment I’ve heard more than once.  Sometimes women even watch porn with their men, thinking that it might help their relationship and sex life. In my experience, that is about as effective as introducing a third partner into the bedroom.  Neither one is a good idea.

The biggest fear I have about pornography is how easily and how frequently it is being accessed by very young boys.  I’ve seen young men in my office – as young as 9 and 10 – who have already been looking at porn regularly.  A few times this has led to them acting out sexually on younger siblings.  Go ahead and roll your eyes and snicker now . . . not so funny anymore, is it?

Parents, keep your computers in public rooms and utilize password protection on the computer, the web browser, and know what your children are doing online.  Wives, girlfriends, significant others: let your man know how you feel about this and why it is a problem for you if they watch and look at dirty magazines, pictures, and movies.  Set appropriate boundaries and have open and honest discussions about these issues.  We have to protect our society and our people from this growing epidemic and it starts with us telling the truth about it.



One thought on “TUESDAY TRUTHS: Um, yeah, Pornography Is Bad For You

  1. None of those bullet points, save the mention of addiction, seem to be worth mentioning when you’re trying to prove that pornography is bad for you. The ‘high’ you get is from drugs and pornography is similar to the endorphin release when you are having sex or in love.

    I do agree that pornography does shape the image of how virgins see sex, but after you open a single dialogue with a woman about sex that immediately changes. Pornography is for entertainment and create a fantasy, not for education. Just like war video games, they aren’t made to be realistic or they wouldn’t be fun. The pornography industry, at least, doesn’t want women to starve themselves like the modeling industry.

    I also do heavily agree on the amount of security needed to keep children away from pornography. Children should learn about sex from their parents, not from entertainment meant for adults.

    Studies have been done that show that sexually related crimes are down as a result of the availability of pornography, but it has ruined several marriages and created several addicts. Good post though.

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