People addicted to watching pornography on the internet are in danger of suffering short-term memory loss which can have a major impact on their lives, according to new research.
German scientists studied the part of the brain responsible for keeping information in the mind while using it to complete a task, critical for understanding, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.
SHE always looked like a quiet and innocent girl. However, wherever 12-year-old Juliet Katusiime (not real name) returned from school, she did her chores hurriedly and then locked herself in her bedroom to watch pornographic movies.
No one suspected anything was amiss, while the teenager was slowly sinking into pornography addiction. It was not until Katusiime tried to commit suicide last month that her family learnt the truth.
She had also started a sexual relationship with the neighbour’s gateman as the addiction progressed. When her family searched Katusiime’s bedroom after the suicide attempt, they found a lot of pornographic movies and the Internet history searches on her mother’s laptop showed that she spent almost all her time online watching pornographic movies and pictures.
Prof. Malamuth testified Wednesday violent pornography “can add fuel to the fire” when viewed by men who are predisposed to being sexually aggressive toward women.
In a report entered into evidence, he said he has viewed Mr. Couture’s two films, Inner Depravity 1 and 2, as well as many of the hundreds of photos shown to the jury.
“These materials often portray sexual images and acts embedded within or merged with extreme acts of violence, including murder, mutilation and body dismemberment,” he wrote.
The images “portray the man as looking very powerful while completely controlling helpless, suffering, viciously tortured and dismembered women,” he added.
Research “strongly suggests that these types of materials may have negative or harmful effects on consumers,” he concluded. The effects include “greater acceptance of violence against women, emotional desensitization to aggression and increased proclivity to aggress, particularly sexually aggress.”
The damaging consequences of sex addiction were reportedly low self esteem and mental health problems. Nearly half of those surveyed reported losing a partner due to their behavior and a quarter said it had effected their sexual functioning, Mail Online reported.
Also, 63 percent participants said their addiction made them waste time, and 42 percent admitted to wasting money.
Watching pornography was one of the most common results of the addiction, while “easy access” to it and “lack of education” were found to be significant factors contributing to the addiction than “negative” childhood experiences.
“The reality of the Western world today is that ‘opportunity’ is everywhere and people, with or without a background of trauma and/or attachment difficulties, can now indulge their sexual desires and run the risk of becoming addicted,” said Hall.
Nearly half of the pornography addicts questioned had lost a partner because of their behaviour and a quarter said it had effected their sexual functioning.
“The level of pornification and hypersexualization of this culture, and Western culture in general, has taken people by surprise.”
Professor Gail Dines is one of the world’s leading anti-pornography feminists, an accomplished author, and activist. Currently, professor Dines teaches women’s studies and sociology, while Chairing the American Studies department at Wheelock College, in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Dines is the author of several books, her latest, PORNLAND: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality, examines how men’s and women’s lives, sexuality and relationships are shaped by porn culture. She was recently interviewed by Vince Emanuele, the host of the Veterans Unplugged Radio program.
Are you at risk of sex addiction?
Paula Hall identifies six factors that make people more vulnerable to sex addiction:
* Early sexualisation: it’s known that early alcohol use changes the chemistry of the brain in ways that make alcoholism more likely, and it’s possible that something similar could happen to a brain that is exposed to sexual images and behaviour before it is ready to react to them.
* Adolescent isolation: experiencing trauma between the ages of nine and 13, or feeling isolated as a teenager for any reason, can increase the chances of becoming addicted to sex.
* Over-controlling parenting: people who have been too controlled as children are less able to handle risk-taking, and this could predispose them to sex addiction.
* Limited modelling of emotional regulation: growing up without good role-models for emotional regulation can leave people dependent on external factors to manage their emotions, because they can’t handle them for themselves.
* Childhood shame: thinking of sex as shameful leads people to think of sex as secretive, and makes it harder to normalise it as a healthy part of ordinary life.
* Family secrets: a hidden issue in a family can set a person up for a situation where having two separate parts to life is normal, even attractive.