Preachers do their people no favors by preaching against pornography. A new peer reviewed study published in “Addiction” magazine shows that men who have been taught that pornography perceive themselves to be addicted even when they are not. This perception continues to dog them and cause problems in their lives. So their lives are made worse – not by their viewing pornography – but rather because they have been taught that what they are doing is wrong.
Not surprisingly, this terrible feeling of guilt that the church has imposed on these men does not help them “overcome” their addiction. Nor does 12-step programs or any of the other “addiction” treatments. The reason that none of these programs or treatments work is because THEY ARE NOT ADDICTED. Treating men’s fullfillment of their normal erotic desires as an addiction is like treating an overweight person for diabetes. He doesn’t lose any weight, but he can die from your treatment.
In this study, they studied people who had viewed porn in the past six months. They asked the subjects how much porn they viewed, about their religious views, whether they felt like porn was a sin, and whether they felt like they were addicted to porn. Not surprisingly, the religious people who believed that porn was sinful also believed that they were addicted. The subjects who didn’t think it was sinful didn’t believe that they were addicted. By the normal standards of “addiction” (significantly negatively influenced their lives) the unreligious people didn’t display any problems in their lives.
Then six months later they asked the same people about their porn habits and about their feelings of addiction. The religious people were WORSE not better. They perceived themselves to be addicted at a far higher level than the non-religious ones.
In short, preaching against men looking at erotic images does not help them. It makes them feel worse about their lives while not giving them any help to “overcome” The reason it doesn’t help them overcome is because it is
Looked in the church bulletin this morning and saw the same thing that was in every bulletin. Events this week for the high school teens, the college youth, and the women’s weekly fellowship.
Hmm, do you notice who was left out? The men, of course. There was no place for the men to socialize. There were no hunting, fishing, or four-wheeler/camping trips. There were no trips to see sports games or monster trucks.
Do you think that men stay home all week and don’t go out with their friends? Of course not. The young men are hitting the single’s scenes (They are certainly not showing up to the “college youth” meetings. Who wants to be sneered at as a sex-addict and probable future “emotional abuser”)
Their are lots of social events that men go to, but none of them are sponsored by the church. There are soccer groups, bowling leagues, amateur baseball teams. There are hunting groups, fishing friends, and bars where men can just hang out, drink beer, play cards, and talk about women. Men get together to go to the rodeo or see wrestling or monster trucks. None of these are approved by our new female-led churches. We are more likely to be told that we have to go on “Daniel Fasts” that don’t include meat. Certainly we can’t drink beer or talk about sports and boobies.
But the fact is that men have always done these things and always will. The masculine pursuits are as Godly as weight-watchers and diabetes education workshops. Jesus and his 12 disciples, along with the many other disciples including wives and single women, spent time in the wilderness, resting just before the crucifixion week. I guarantee you that during that time there was some wine drinking, some wrestling, some races, and I think that the married couples did a lot of humping and the singles flirted.
This is not how the modern church treats its men. It sneers at sweat, hunting, and bloody sports. It treats their God-given sex-drive as an addiction.
Oh, by the way, there was one event scheduled that the men were encouraged to go to – Celebrate Recovery. The church wants them to deal with their “addictions.”
And yet, when you peer closer at the data, it turns out that extramarital sex is changing before our very eyes. While the overall rate of people reporting extramarital flings is the same, the demographics of the people who report the adultery are changing dramatically. And not necessarily in the direction you might think.
The millennials, with their Tinder and their sexting and their God-knows-what-they-get-up-to-on-those-interwebs, are not driving this trend. It’s the baby boomers, with their Jimi Hendrix box sets and their Viagra prescriptions and their dog-eared copy of “The Joy of Sex” that they thought they’d lost four moves ago. People under the age of 55 are actually having markedly less extramarital sex than people in that age group did in the 1990s. But people over the age of 55 are busy making up for their missed action.
Think about what this means. The same generation X that has decided that porn is not a problem has decided that adultery is. It is not that porn has not changed their behavior – of course what you watch changes your behavior. More women engaged in lesbian sex before marriage, more anal sex, and more genital grooming, but when this generation of men and women got married, they decided to stay faithful.
Why, I am sure that the “your brain on porn” advocates told us that they would all become sex-addicts, that watching porn would cause them to become more and more addicted, that their brains would shrink, that they would lose the ability to control their sexual desires….
It seems that the opposite has happened – as real scientists told us that it would – that these people would become more discriminating about sex, that they would be able to enter marriage without the passion of unresolved sexual tension, that they could therefore stay married longer and be more faithful during their marriage.
But I didn’t have to wait for science to tell me this (though I am a psychiatrist and I make sure that my opinions are always informed by science). The Bible told me this a long time ago. God told me that erotica was part of normal and holy life, he inspired Solomon to write it for me to enjoy. He also told me that erotica ought to point toward and idealize marital love. That is why I created the Holy Erotica site, so that Christians could take back erotica from the sinners.
If more people would make sites like this, more Christian couples would make erotica for others to enjoy, then we would not find lesbianism and anal sex increasing, instead you would find Christian marriages lasting longer and being stronger.
1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
One of the most frustrating things to watch is the Christian PseudoScientists pretend that science backs their anti-porn crusade. You can see this in the fake scientist Gary Wilson‘s “Your Brain On Porn” nonsense. The studies directly contradict him. But he doesn’t care, because the people who are listening to him don’t care. He is making money off of their gullibility. They have a religious tradition opinion and they will jump on any “science” that supports their tradition. They don’t actually read the details because it doesn’t matter. Instead they will jump up in church and proclaim – “Even Science will tell you that porn changes your brain.”
There have been many pseudoscience advocates in our lifetime. We have the anti-vaccination people, the laetrile advocates, the “pure” high pH water people, the “paleo-diet” people, etc. All of these people have one thing in common, THEY DON’T ACTUALLY DO RESEARCH.
Research is very hard. It is very strict. As a psychiatrist, I am required to produce one research project in the next 3 years. This is very difficult to do. I have to become a true expert on the question that I am asking. I have to then formulate the question correctly. Then I have to decide what data that I need to answer the question. Then I have to discover the source of the data. I have to then gather the data and compile it into understandable form. I have to find the answer to the question that I asked – which may not be the answer I expected. I have to find the weaknesses of methodology. Finally I have to write and publish the paper resulting from all of this.
This is all hard work. It would be a lot easier to simply do a google search and then selectively quote from studies that OTHER people have done. I can misquote them, take their work out of context, apply it incorrectly, and then proclaim my pre-determined opinion. This is what all of these “Your Brain On Porn” people have done. If you don’t believe me, do this experiment. Go to “PubMed.Com” where all of the medical studies are published and look for an author “Gary Wilson” It isn’t there. Look for anyone else in the Porn Addiction advocate crowd. None of them are there either.
Every temptation is not an addiction. Addiction is a medical term, not a spiritual one. As the churches have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus, they have begun preaching a secular “health” gospel. But while surrendering the authority of the Bible and Christ, they are attempting to argue for the same traditions that held over from more religiously oriented times.
Therefore, while no longer preaching against “lust” they wish to preach against “sex addiction.”
The problem is that medicine is a very poor substitute for God. This article fairly represents how the “porn addiction” nonsense started and why it is not science. If you want to argue against pornography based upon scripture – great – let’s have that discussion. I admit that you have at least a few strong points to make. But if you want to attempt to use MEDICINE then you have nothing of interest to say.
Firstly, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are not physicians. None of them have any degree higher than a bachelor of arts – except for the occasional, Doctor of Divinity. They don’t do original research, they don’t know how to conduct a clinical study. They don’t know the difference between cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, clinical trials, etc. They can’t separate between correlation and causation. They don’t know a category I statistical error from a p-square analysis. They just go searching through google (not google scholar) for any article that supports their pre-determined view.
This is called “confirmation bias” and no one who is participating in it should be allowed to treat anyone.
Secondly the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are arguing dishonestly. If you have a moral or religious position, then that is fine – I have several items that I believe on faith myself. For example, I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. But it would be insane for me to start trying to prove parthenogenesis (scientific virgin birth) is possible in human beings. It is not. The virgin birth is a miracle, it is not subject to the reasoning of science.
The religious argument against porn is based, I believe, on tradition. A tradition that is very old and has gained ascendancy in the evangelical church for the past couple of centuries. Tradition is not unimportant in religious and moral arguments. Tradition does not always arise by accident and usually has or had a good reason for it in the past. But don’t try to defend it by bringing in poorly understood subjects in science. You simply make yourself foolish.
Finally, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because the science doesn’t support their position. Addiction is a very specific thing. At its most basic, it always includes progressive tolerance and pathological effect.
Progressive tolerance is the need for greater amounts of the drug in order to gain the same effect. At first 2 beers could get me buzzed, but now I need 10. But porn only has this effect in the short term. Once the participant has masturbated, it requires more arousal for him to reach climax. But porn does not have this effect over the long term. In fact, the exact opposite happens. The porn viewer becomes more sensitive to porn as he watches more.
In an addiction, the sufferer needs more and more of the substance and enjoys it less and less. This does not happen in porn and sex. When a virgin couple first get married, their sexual unions are awkward and not terribly enjoyable. Only after practice and frequency do they find greater and greater fulfillment. All of sex works this way. Including porn.
The stories of men who started with playboy and ended with torture porn are nonsense. This fairy tale was made up by mass murderer Ted Bundy in an interview with “Dr.” James Dobson. Bundy was trying to find a way to get out of the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, Dobson fell for it and began a movement to get Bundy off. Dobson has a long history of being a good patsy for anyone with a good story.
As any regular viewer of porn will tell you. We do seek higher quality porn, but not more perverse. If porn had to get more perverse in order to be enjoyable, then I should be pretty deep in the mud by now, since I looked at my first playboy at age 11. But, in fact, I don’t like perverse porn. I like a nice high quality video or a couple who show love for one another.
One might argue that my desire for “higher quality” is an increasing tolerance, but this is like saying that enjoying steak is an addiction because one looks for a better restaurant as we grow older.
Secondly, an addiction requires pathological effect. It must hurt the participant. This is why tobacco is an addiction, but caffeine is simply a habit. Porn has not been shown to increase pathological behavior. In fact, the opposite is true. Sex crimes go down when porn becomes more available. Single men seek out fewer illicit liaisons and seek a higher quality of relationship in the women that they court.
If you reply that porn is pathological because it causes problems between couples in which the wife has been indoctrinated with an anti-porn belief, then I am going to tell you that meat is an addiction because you upset vegans by consuming it.