If you think substance abuse disorder is the only addiction that has baffled the minds of researchers around the globe, there is yet another type of addiction that is keeping them busy. Porn addiction, which is a subset of sex addiction, is growing to become a topic of concern. Since the evolution of technology provided everyone with easy access to the online world, more and more people are falling prey to the lucrative world of porn. And although this addiction is a lot more different than the others in existence like gambling addiction and alcoholism, it has its own set of disadvantages.

Defining The Addiction to Porn

The frequent urge to watch porn and watching it several times a day is what porn addiction is. Behaviors done during this disorder are detrimental to one’s health and personal life. However, although porn addiction is not an official diagnosis in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it can still have severe consequences on an individual’s life.

People across the globe are into watching porn and the practice is often perceived as sourcing many of the society’s evils. The problem is taken so seriously in some places like Utah, that the politicians have labeled porn as a public health hazard. This shows the scale of people consuming porn and in turn, has their lives affected. Also, one more factor that contributes to the growing number of porn watchers is the increase in quality. Dedicated studios are producing VR porn, which offers an immersive experience. Researchers from Newcastle University claim that long exposure to VR porn can make the individual forget about the difference between what’s virtual fantasy and what’s real.

Why Porn Addiction Can Be Dangerous

Although many studies have directed towards considering that addiction to porn is quite deteriorating to one’s health, when it comes to scientific evidence, there is not much. The question that whether or not porn affects an individual completely is still debatable and scientists are still not clear what to expect. However, there are existing reports that can hint towards the possible risks porn addiction can have. Here are they:

Relationships

Watching excessive pornographic content can bring your happy relationship to an end. The abundance of pornography available online these days have made it easy for people to choose whatever they wish to. There are endless categories and in the majority of these, pornstars are always shown dressed in a way that attracts people to watch the video. The way someone is dressed in porn lasts in the mind of those watching, and they try to replicate those actions in real life with their partners. Some may demand their partners to wear a specific kind of clothes, and the others may ask them to do something that they are just not comfortable doing. And just when the partner says no, it triggers an argument which can soon elevate into a misunderstanding that can lead to the end of the relationship.

Sexual Violence

One of the most crucial things to research and understand about porn is whether it can normalize, encourage, even trigger the cases of rape and sexual assault. While this is still a topic to debate on, current studies have revealed that porn and sexual assault may have a causal link. Considering the plethora of pornographic videos available at our disposal, researchers conducted a study on a small set of the sample containing 300 random porn clips. The findings revealed that approximately 90 percent of scenes have aggression and traits of physical assault. In most clips, the perpetrators were men, and women being on the receiving end. The latter’s response to this sexual assault is always shown to be either neutral or to experience an extreme pleasure. These traits of porn should be contained as these can trigger the urge in people to watch more porn and develop a notion that rape and sexual assault are fine, and whoever is on the receiving end should enjoy it.

Body and Brain

According to a study conducted in 2014, excessively indulging in watching porn can shrink a part of the brain. The striatum is the part of our brain that is responsible for the reward system. It was found that the striatum was smaller in people who watched a lot of porn as compared to those who don’t. This means that those with smaller striatum need more graphical content to get aroused. However, researchers are not sure whether the reduced size of the striatum is caused due to their frequent porn-watching habits, or they were driven to watch more porn. They assumed the former. Also, it is believed that erectile dysfunction is a common cause of desensitization caused by watching excessive porn. Researchers believe that depending entirely on porn to satisfy oneself can hamper natural arousal. This can elevate to become an even more serious health issue. However, although there is still no concrete evidence to support this theory, porn can degrade a healthy body.

Behavioral Changes

Indeed, porn is responsible for maligning the brain’s chemical structure, thereby making an individual feel the compulsion to keep watching it. However, numerous studies have also linked excessive porn consumption to bad behavior towards women. Since what’s shown in these clips sets unrealistic expectations and fuels sexist attitudes, many males are known to misbehave and show a bad attitude towards the opposite gender. Most people set their expectations to what they see on screen, and completely forget that it is not real.

Conclusion

Like any other addiction, people who are suffering from this one are ashamed of accepting their deeds. And while it is true that unlike alcohol, drug, or gambling addiction, porn makes it a bit complicated for the person to accept their condition, that does not mean those suffering should not get help. Even though there is not enough evidence to fully support the ill-effects of watching excessive porn, it is quite evident that it does affect relationships. Also, those suffering should open up to the idea of getting help, and only then the foundation of successful treatment can be laid, paving way for a healthier future. So, if you see your partner compulsively engaging in watching porn, it is good to take those first steps in giving them proper medical care.

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