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Eight Harmful Effects of Pornography

After reviewing a number of research studies, a 2012 issue of Men's Health magazine summarized the following eight harmful effects of porn:

1) It is progressive. A 1985 study found that 92 percent of boys had looked at Playboy by age 15. Another study conducted over 20 years later (2008) found that 74 percent of 15-year-old boys had viewed highly graphic and deviant internet porn.

2) It creates unrealistic expectations. A Utah University study found that regular porn use creates longings and needs that are rarely met in real life relationships.

3) It can lead to casual sex. Paul Wright, Ph.D. at Indiana University concludes that men who regularly view pornography are more likely to engage in casual sex, have multiple partners, and cheat on their spouse.

4) It amplifies emotional problems. Dr. Ray Bergner, professor of psychology at Illinois State University, states that "the combination of normal sexual desire and using sex to cope with emotional problems" creates a "potent sexual cocktail" which drives an even deeper need to use porn to cope with emotional issues.

5) It creates unhealthy sexual bonds. William Struthers, Ph.D., author of Wired for Intimacy writes, "If you're viewing pornography, your partner is the screen in front of you." In other words, porn users are conditioning their brains to bond and attach to pornographic images, not a real partner.

6) It counterfeits true intimacy. Struthers says, "People think porn is about sex. It's not. It's about intimacy. The guy who can't find a girlfriend and starts looking at porn is searching for intimacy. He hasn't found it."

7) It disrupts real relationships. Norwegian and University of California studies have concluded that when only one partner is into porn an "unwelcome third party" has invaded the relationship.

8) It hurts your spouse. A 2011 study in the Archives of Sexual behavior found that 36 percent of women surveyed consider porn use as being unfaithful. More than 40 percent of women feel their partner's porn use means that she's "not good enough."

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