OP Ed piece on pornography you should read

I subscribe to a listserv that documents abuse and exploitation around the world. Recently, I received notice of an article in the National Review (by an anonymous psychologist) entitled, “Getting Serious about Pornography”. The writer documents the known impact of pornography on men (i.e., the objectification of women) and at the same time tells of her own experience of being abandoned by her husband due to his porn addiction. I include her first paragraph. Click the link above for the essay on the original website.

Imagine a drug so powerful it can destroy a family simply by distorting a man’s perception of his wife. Picture an addiction so lethal it has the potential to render an entire generation incapable of forming lasting marriages and so widespread that it produces more annual revenue ­ $97 billion worldwide in 2006 ­ than all of the leading technology companies combined. Consider a narcotic so insidious that it evades serious scientific study and legislative action for decades, thriving instead under the ever-expanding banner of the First Amendment.

According to an online statistics firm, an estimated 40 million people use this drug on a regular basis. It doesn’t come in pill form. It can’t be smoked, injected, or snorted. And yet neurological data suggest its effects on the brain are strikingly similar to those of synthetic drugs. Indeed, two authorities on the neurochemistry of addiction, Harvey Milkman and Stanley Sunderwirth, claim it is the ability of this drug to influence all three pleasure systems in the brain ­ arousal, satiation, and fantasy ­ that makes it “the pièce de résistance among the addictions.”

For more click the link above. It is well worth the effort.


Filed under counseling, marriage, News and politics, pornography, Psychology, Sex, sexual addiction

3 responses to “OP Ed piece on pornography you should read

  1. Just today I was having a discussion with a colleague about the devasting effects of porn addiction on marriages! What an interesting and disturbing article. The problem isn’t taken seriously enough. Adding porn addiction to the DSM is a great idea. Maybe that will help in recognizing that it is a real problem–not only for the addict, but for his spouse and family. The author is right. Countless more will experience the pain and loss that she has; therefore, we must pursue the truth. There are so many who need the truth and the freedom that comes with it. Thank you for sharing this very important matter that continues to threaten more and more marriages and families.

  2. Carmella T

    Thanks for sharing this piece. I have also been intrigued about the DSM’s lack of diagnostic criteria for various sexual addictions, and hope that in the future addictive sexual behavior including pornography use will be added. That would be SO MUCH more helpful when we as clinicians go to treat these clients and their families…

  3. For many, sex remains the last ‘freedom’ we’ll fight for expressing ‘our way’ no matter what. In a column I write on a regular basis in the Philadelphia Daily News on a Biblical aspect of sex, the reader’s comments are about 50-to-1 hostile and angry at the column that someone would dare suggest that God has any say in our lives when it comes to sex. Of course, when it’s left to everyone to determine, “in their own eyes” what’s best, that’s what will happen. There will be no standard bench-mark or consensus of right or wrong. I remember reading a column by a psychologist in the paper a few years ago. She was saying that no one wants to venture on just what is unhealthy and pathological, sexually speaking. I remember the point was made that, who’s to say, that while ten porn movies a week might be damaging, one or two might be healthy. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that the DSM avoids limiting sexual expression in most contexts, especially when viewing porn is seen as a private act.

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