Study sees link between porn and sexual dysfunction

May 12, 2017 by Dennis Thompson, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Young men who prefer pornography to real-world sexual encounters might find themselves caught in a trap, unable to perform sexually with other people when the opportunity presents itself, a new study reports.

Porn-addicted men are more likely to suffer from and are less likely to be satisfied with sexual intercourse, according to survey findings presented Friday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, in Boston.

For the study, researchers surveyed 312 men, aged 20 to 40, who visited a San Diego urology clinic for treatment. Only 3.4 percent of the men said they preferred masturbating to pornography over , the survey found.

But the researchers found a statistical relationship between porn addiction and , said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Christman. He is a staff urologist with the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

"The rates of organic causes of erectile dysfunction in this age cohort are extremely low, so the increase in erectile dysfunction that we have seen over time for this group needs to be explained," Christman said. "We believe that pornography use may be one piece to that puzzle. Our data does not suggest that it is the only explanation, however."

Christman said the problem could be rooted in the biology of addiction.

"Sexual behavior activates the same 'reward system' circuitry in the brain as addictive drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, which can result in self-reinforcing activity, or recurrent behaviors," Christman said.

"Internet pornography, specifically, has been shown to be a supernormal stimulus of this circuitry, which may be due to the ability to continuously and instantaneously self-select novel and more sexually arousing images," he added.

Watching too much internet porn can increase a person's "tolerance," the same as with narcotics, Christman explained. Regular porn watchers are less likely to respond to regular, real-world sexual activity, and must increasingly rely on pornography for release, he said.

"Tolerance could explain the sexual dysfunction, and can explain our finding that associated preferences for pornography over partnered sex with statistically significantly higher sexual dysfunction in men," Christman said.

Pornography also could be setting up unrealistic expectations in young and inexperienced men, causing libido-sapping anxiety when real-world sex doesn't measure up to filmed fantasies, said Dr. Joseph Alukal. He is director of male reproductive health at New York University in New York City.

"They believe they're supposed to be able to do what goes on in these movies, and when they can't it causes a great deal of anxiety," Alukal said.

Pornography use varied widely across all the men surveyed. About 26 percent said they view pornography less than once a week, while 25 percent said one to two times a week, and 21 percent said three to five times weekly. At the other extreme, 5 percent said they use pornography six to 10 times a week, and 4 percent said more than 11 times a week.

The men most often used a computer (72 percent) or a smartphone (62 percent) for viewing pornography, the survey found.

A separate survey of 48 females found no association between pornography and sexual dysfunction, even though about 40 percent said they also watch pornography.

The findings about young men raise concerns that teenagers' sexuality could be affected if they're exposed to pornography, Christman said.

"There does appear to be some conditioning that can occur with exposure to ," Christman said. He recommends that parents spend time with their kids, stay tuned into their interests, and block their access to porn.

Men who are concerned that pornography might be affecting their sex life should seek counseling, Christman and Alukal said.

"Presently, mental health professionals and those with a focus on dealing with addictive behaviors may be best suited to help individuals with addiction," Christman said. Some reports have shown that sexual function can improve if an affected man stops viewing porn, he added.

Explore further: Are pornography users more likely to exhibit unsafe sexual behaviors?

More information: Matthew Christman, M.D., staff urologist, Naval Medical Center, San Diego; Joseph Alukal, M.D., director, male reproductive health, New York University, New York City; May 12, 2017, presentation, American Urological Association annual meeting, Boston

For more on sexual dysfunction, visit the Cleveland Clinic.

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10 comments

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TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2017
" the researchers found a statistical relationship between porn addiction and sexual dysfunction"

-Of course. And the researchers think they're discovering something new?

Legalize non-procreative sex, porn, prostitution, contraception. Criminalize marriage during the period when the urge to propagate is strongest. Keep them in school to teach them insecurity and immaturity. Teach them career first - babies at 30+, strong independent women don't need husbands, marriage just means divorce so who needs it?

Barbies don't get pregnant. Wait for the Prince Charming you deserve.

Anything and everything to reduce the birthrate.

That's the Plan.

"There is a time to embrace and a Time to refrain from embracing"
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2017
And dont forget, legalize prenatal infanticide. ONE BILLION ABORTIONS worldwide since roe v wade, 1/5 the worlds population never born to the 2nd and 3rd generation.
http://www.johnst....html#SU

Give women the right to choose... to wait. And wait, and wait.

And the older they get the more dangerous it becomes so why bother?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2017
Being a 50yo CFO with a chopface at the gym is more fulfilling than wife/mother.

At the end of La La Land, the most significant movie in a generation, the woman sees a vision of herself young, married to the one she loves, pregnant and painting walls in suburbia, giving birth to a boy. A boy.

She then returns to the reality of a successful career, huge mansion, fancy car, token Ken doll husband, and the requisite perfect baby girl for the nanny to raise.

Every girl deserves to be Emma Stone.

Am I done yet?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2017
Every girl Deserves to be Marissa Mayer.

See? The job doesn't even have to be real.
jiridrozd
not rated yet May 13, 2017
And have they thought about the direction of causality? No they haven't, they just stick with the initial biased position. They also haven't tried to correlate general demographic discrepancies. It seems that vast majority of socio-/psychologists are committing these basic methodological mistakes nowadays. Which makes most of the conclusions wacky or plain wrong.

So. What would you expect men, who have either medical or social sexual dysfunction, to say about porn and actual sex? And how about accounting for the demographic fact that at that age group, there are 3-5% redundant heterosexual men, who have no chance of having relationships or regular unpaid sex, because they are simply paired off? What about connecting these gigantic dots, researchers?
kochevnik
not rated yet May 13, 2017
@ghost Give women the right to choose... to wait. And wait, and wait.
Without abortion access your cities would be even more unlivable than South Chicago and Baltimore

And yes making sex non-participatory, third party via porn rewires the male brain toward visual stimulation and away from the pleasant sensation of a fun companion. Then the unit becomes unresponsive to women. Bad news
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet May 13, 2017
Without abortion access your cities would be even more unlivable than South Chicago and Baltimore
or st petersburg in 1904.
Paton
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2017
The way this is described raises a lot of questions that can't be answered without access to the actual data of the survey. Are they all sailors? What were the problems for which they were attending the clinic?

Does the phrase "can explain our finding that associated preferences for pornography over partnered sex with statistically significantly higher sexual dysfunction in men" mean that it was only the 10.5 to 10.8 (3.4% of 312) men who preferred using porn solo to having sex with a partner who were statistically more likely to have sexual dysfunction? This may be because of the shaming that can occur with partners who expect a performance or the shame and frustration experienced by the man who can't perform. Then again, 11 men is not a significant study.

Give me the data or keep quiet until it is published, please.
Paton
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2017
But, taking the above study at face value, perhaps we should consider legalising, promoting and subsidising prostitution so these poor men can practice regularly and not get detached from real human physical affection.
kochevnik
not rated yet May 13, 2017
But, taking the above study at face value, perhaps we should consider legalising, promoting and subsidising prostitution so these poor men can practice regularly and not get detached from real human physical affection.
That already the case in one North Europe country. Voyeurism is not sex. Conflating the two causes dysfunction

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