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The Stages of Pornography Addiction

In his book Wired for Intimacy, Christian psychologist William M. Struthers lists the following stages of how men get hooked on pornography:

  • Denial—"Sure," they may say, "I've looked at it in the past, but I don't anymore." Most men will confess their struggle with pornography only under the conditions of anonymity and confidentiality.
  • Minimization—At this stage a man will argue that his pornography use is insignificant and has no real effect on his life. He might say, "Well, I do look at porn, but only occasionally. It's not like I'm addicted to it or anything."
  • Normalization—At the next stage men say, "Everybody does it." Explaining the use of pornography as a common form of entertainment is referred to as normalization.
  • Rationalization and Justification—At this stage a man finds logical reasons to argue why porn is okay. You rationalize what you are going to do and you justify what you just did.
  • Celebration—Over time and with repeated exposure, many men so completely buy into the deception of pornography that they don't feel a need to defend their habit. Instead, they even celebrate it. As a result, a man's conscience is seared and his moral compass becomes seriously compromised.

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