There has been much chatter, some questionable data, and strong opinions thrown about in connection with the theory that repeated use of adult themed magazines, books, movies, and, in particular, internet pornography renders an individual addicted to the pleasure (Dopamine response) of artificial sex. This hypothesis would lead one to assume, then, that love relationships and those relationships an individual might enter into (job, friendship) would be affected in a negative manner. There is conflicting evidence that suggests that, statistically speaking, the occurrence of sexual assault, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and domestic violence has remained fairly stable, with relatively low to nonexistent rate increases over the last twenty years. As this statement seems to contradict the previous one, how do we determine what effects exposure to pornographic materials (of all types) may have had on our population?
For decades, researchers have collected and interpreted data from many experiments and studies. These were both controlled (done according to certain rules/procedures) and uncontrolled (having no standards by which to measure results). The outcomes of these undertakings do not appear to lean one way or another by any great margin. Several researchers from the University of Wisconsin state that their accumulated data clearly shows that, primarily, male viewers of pornography tend to have more aggressive and less affectionate feelings toward women in general. They note that their information exposes how porn desensitizes men to rape and assault and, actually, increases the desire for more deviant materials depicting violence and other aggressive behavior. Yet, data accumulated from experiments done at UCLA, produced the conclusion that if a man is already inclined towards being sexually aggressive and is then exposed to sexually aggressive pornography, that then, and only then, is he more likely to commit an aggressive sexual act.
There is other research data being compiled that comes straight from self titled ex-porn addicts that should be cause for concern among the male population. In a study done in Italy it was found that young, college age, men that had viewed pornography for upwards of five to ten years began to experience the inability to achieve an erection. Thankfully this drop in libido and ED was reversed, in time, by abstaining from the viewing of any pornography.
It becomes clear that many more studies need to be done within a secure and controlled model in order to obtain conclusive results. Absolute evidence of the effects pornography viewing may or may not have on our population is lacking. There are instances when the results of research endeavors may have been skewed by the current political climate, social scientists, and/or special interest groups. Certainly, the results do imply that active pornographic viewers appear to be more tolerant of sexual aggression and have a less than favorable opinion of women (especially as an equal). Cumulative research from the past and present indicate that pornography does affect the viewer in a negative manner, overall, no matter how slight. This point alone should be enough to warrant the interest of universities and independent researchers worldwide.
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