Pastors against porn should not use the “Addiction” argument

Why treat porn addiction won't work.
Wrong Diagnosis – Wrong Treatment

So I was talking to a pastor recently who was looking for ways to help men overcome their porn habit.  Since I am a psychiatrist, he was asking me about the parts of the brain that were involved in reward.

I know why he was asking.  He had been exposed to Gary Wilson’s “Your Brain on Porn” and wanted to preach a sermon to men about how viewing porn was just like using crack cocaine.

It isn’t.  Here is what I explained to the pastor.  If you approach porn as an addiction then you will try to “cure” it using the anti-addiction methodology that we use for cocaine, meth, gambling, and heroin addicts.  But this is like treating gall stones with lung cancer medicine.  It won’t accomplish your goal and it will just make things worse.

For example.  One of the first anti-addiction drugs of choice that we use is Wellbutrin.  Wellbutrin reduces addiction cravings.  I have given it to alcoholics, smokers, and today I thought about prescribing it to a crack cocaine addict.

But Wellbutrin does not lower sexual desire at all.  In fact, when we have a patient whose use of Paxil/Lexapro/Celexa/Zoloft is reducing libido, we switch them to Wellbutrin.   If porn/sex was really an addiction, the Wellbutrin would reduce desire, not increase it.

So, if a Christian pastor wants to help their disciples to stop viewing porn, they should approach it from a different standpoint than addiction.  They should treat it as an sinful – but natural- behavior like fornication or adultery.

Science “falsely so called”. Christian PseudoScientists against porn

Don’t use Science to promote your presupposition

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.

This is “Science Falsely So Called”