Addiction series: pornography

Antonia Gutierrez, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and while many people will be having a romantic dinner with their significant other, others will be sitting at home. Some might even use this holiday as an excuse to watch porn.
Porn and the porn industry have been around for many years, and it is continuing to grow. Virtual reality porn has started to make more of a presence now that technology is expanding.
Although porn may seem like a harmless sexual outlet, it can be very destructive. It might not have physical side effects like other addictions, but it can seriously harm one’s mental health.
According to a research summary by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), porn has created a public health crisis.
Porn has become a very normal form of entertainment. Porn displays many paraphilic disorders and extreme sex.
There are a lot of films that show underage teens and children, incest, and even sex with animals. Violence against women and rape are also portrayed and even normalized in these films, and although a lot of porn videos are scripted, it is degrading to females in the real world.
In the same study by NCSE, they found that 95% of women being abused in pornography videos are portrayed to have neutral or even pleasurable reactions to the abuse.
This is teaching the viewers that women want to be abused and even enjoy it. This leads to women being pressured into doing certain sexual actions they might not be comfortable with.
Women who have been exposed to pornographic videos are more likely to have sexual fantasies that include rape.
Not only is porn affecting women, but it is also affecting relationships as well. Porn can sometimes help spice things up in the bedroom, but excessive viewing of porn can lead to detrimental relationship issues like cheating, and performance anxiety.
It can lead to dissatisfaction in both men and women. Couples who have a higher frequency of watching porn can have a higher chance of getting divorced. It has also increased in chances of sexual abuse, stalking and marital rape.
Porn can also cause many different mental health disorders including, depression, anxiety, sex addiction, substance use disorders and erectile dysfunction.
Porn can also have an impact on males. The main issue that men encounter is pornography induced dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is usually seen as an age-related problem, but there have been cases with men as early as 18 years old. This coincides with the correlation between cases among younger men and the availability of pornographic sites.
According to the Recovery Village, porn addictions affect 5-8% of the adult population. In the U.S, an average of 40 million Americans visit porn sites on the regular.
There are porn websites that are even more popular than Netflix and eBay. On average, the porn industry rakes in an estimated $16.9 billion every year, and that’s just in the United States.
There are also potential physical side effects of watching porn. Both men and women are more likely to participate in risky sexual behaviors which can lead to sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
It has also led to a decrease in condom use among younger adolescents.
With the accesibility that the youth has to pornographry in the new age technology days, people need to take more precautions to save their future.