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Researchers: No such thing as 'porn addiction'

Feb. 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM   |   Comments

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ALBUQUERQUE, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- There's no strong scientific research that shows pornography addictions exist, in fact viewing porn may have benefits, U.S. researchers say.

David Ley, a clinical psychologist in practice in Albuquerque and executive director of New Mexico Solutions, a large behavioral health program, and colleagues conducted a review of the "pornography addiction model."

Fewer than 2-in-5 research articles described high frequency sexual behavior as an addiction. Only 27 percent -- 13-in-49 -- of articles on porn addiction contained actual data, while only one psychophysiological study appeared last year.

The review highlighted the poor experimental designs, methodological rigor and lack of model specification of most studies on the topic of porn addiction.

The review, published in Current Sexual Health Reports, found very little evidence -- if any at all -- to support some of the purported negative side effects of porn addiction. There was no sign pornography was connected to erectile dysfunction, or that it caused any changes to the brains of users.

Clinicians should be aware people reporting "addiction" are more likely to be male, have a non-heterosexual orientation, have a high libido, tend toward sensation seeking, and have religious values that conflict with their sexual behavior and desires, Ley said.

Ley and the team said the positive benefits attached to viewing such images did not make it problematic de facto.

In fact, the research team said pornography might improve attitudes toward sexuality, and increase quality of life, the variety of sexual behaviors and pleasure in long-term relationships.

It also provides a legal outlet for illegal sexual behaviors or desires, and its consumption or availability has been associated with a decrease in sex offenses, especially child molestation, the review said.

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