Is pornography harmful?


Someone replied:

Not at all. As near as I can tell, he takes a steaming pile of hatred and fear of sex, garnishes it with scientific-sounding language, and serves it up to folks who lack an actual background in neurobiology but who want plausible-sounding validation for why they think porn is bad. His ideas are not backed by real research, insofar as I can tell.

Dr. Jason Winters, a sexologist at UBC, says this about Wilson's claims:

"There is no research showing that Internet pornography causes mental disorders – none. Psychological problems and mental disorders can lead to problematic porn use as a means to cope and self-medicate... Wilson is simply presenting his ideology as fact, and in this case, it’s dangerous."[1]

The American Psychiatric Association does not consider "porn addiction" a legitimate diagnosis or phenomenon, and has not included it in the DSM-V, because there is no scientific evidence that it exists.[2]

In an article in Socioaffective Neuroscience of Psychology, researchers tested Wilson's hypothesis that watching porn was "like the effects of cocaine" by studying the brains of people being shown pornographic images. The results showed no correlation between the porn and any kind of drug addiction, drug-like response, or addictive neurological response.[3]

Wilson's methodologies and ideas bear many of the markers of crank pseudoscience (for instance, he accepts his audience's self-diagnoses as "porn addicts" but rejects the medical community when it says no scientifically rigorous evidence of such a condition exists--a classic hallmark of quack "medicine").

[1] Thursday mail - summer edition (ongoing).
[2] Sex Addiction: Rejected Yet Again by APA
[3] Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images