Author: Shernide Delva
Utah has officially declared porn a public health crisis. Republican State Senator Todd Weiler has recognized the destructive, addictive nature of pornography and has recently introduced a resolution to the Utah legislature.
However, critics of the new legislature say it is based on exaggeration and morality rather than scientific evidence on the actual effects of pornography. Furthermore, many argue the senator’s resolution relies more on pseudoscience and has no place in governmental action.
Nonetheless, Weiler suggests that pornography exposure causes low-self-esteem in teens and leads to sexual behaviors. The bill he is pushing suggests that pornography represents a public health crisis.
The senator goes on to claim that pornography is responsible for:
- Damaging teens’ brains
- Affecting the state of marriage
- Increasing the rates of rape and sexual violence
- Causing a host of other social problems.
Weiler is passionate about the porn addiction problem. He has even called on the government of Utah to engage in research and prevention efforts to address this “epidemic.” Is porn responsible for these setbacks? Are these claims fact or fiction?
Digging a bit deeper, one can find a host of arguments for and against Weiler’s statements. One argument points to a massive study conducted in the United Kingdom which actually reveals that the effects of porn on teens were too insubstantial to actually make any true claims. In the study, which reviewed over 40,000 research articles, they found that pornography only explained less than 1% of negative behaviors in teens. The study concluded that blaming pornography for risky sexual behavior is more of a distraction than a solution. Rather, there should be a stronger focus on issues of education, poverty, substance use/mental health and family variables that play a more significant role.
Moving on to the next part of the legislation, Weiler states that pornography serves as a child’s first form of sex education and even forms their sexual templates in the long run. Unfortunately, this has been seen to be true in most cases. Often, a young person’s first exposure to sexuality is found to be through pornography.
However, many hope the legislation will push towards focusing on sex education efforts for youth in Utah, rather than the addiction in general. Sex education is a huge issue across the United States. Many states, like Utah, have an emphasis on abstinence-only sex education rather than exploring other more effective options. This could be a very significant setback.
Next question: Is pornography really a biological addiction?
One article reveals actually has been a wealth of research that correlates porn access to a reduction of sexual violence and sexual crimes. Still, other articles correlate porn with an increase in sexual violence. Science remains unsure if porn addiction is a true addiction.
Furthermore, the final terms of Weiler’s bill is strongly considered a conservative ideology. Weiler seems to believe that it is only men who watch porn and women who are abused by it. Throughout the resolution, it seems that Weiler’s main concern is that pornography reduces the desire for males to marry women and have children. However, studies show that many women view pornography as well.
According to several reports, Utah has the highest rates of pornography in the United States. Weiler believes that pornography is a “gateway” behavior that affects the brains of teenagers. However, in a strange chicken-egg debate, critics argue if whether pornography is the problem, or if underlying issues cause the increase in pornography use.
Whether you believe in porn addiction or not, addiction is a wide spectrum disorder, and it does not always have to be substance abuse. Other addictions are common and real. If you feel like you are struggling to overcome an addiction, the time is now to explore your treatment options. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
By Cheryl Steinberg
Sex on the brain? Is it more often than what’s “normal?” Is your libido out of control? Sexual addiction is a real thing just like drug addiction, and, in fact, the tell-tale signs are very similar between the two. Below is a list of 12 signs you’re a sex addict.
#1. You live a double life
Maybe you cheat all the time, and lie about where you are, and how you spend your money. These are early indications of a possible problem. But, if you have sexual secrets that you refuse to share with anyone and keep these to yourself at the expense of your real relationships, this is definitely a problem.
#2. You exploit others for sex
When it comes to sex, you couldn’t care less about people. They are just objects to use. You don’t care what happens to them when you are done with them, and you will do anything to get them to do what you want.
#3. Your life is constantly in crisis
Because sex is your number one priority, everything else is always totally messed up. Everything from school, to work, to money, is secondary to feeding your addiction.
#4. You’re preoccupied with sex
You find that you’re having obsessive thoughts about sex, which distract you more than the occasional daydream fantasizing.
#5. You have sex without regard to potential consequences
If you are doing things that are going to screw you over in the future, and you KNOW they are going to screw you over in the future, then your sex life has crossed the line and is now officially a problem.
#6. Your kink needs to be fed more and more
Most people have their “kinks,” but, if the kink you have becomes your whole world, and you need to continuously push the sexual envelope in order to get off, you might be a sex addict. What starts off as fun can wind up being severely destructive down the road.
#7. You risk your health and safety
Similar to drug addiction, the sex addict will engage in increasingly risky behaviors in order to fulfill their need for a fix. Risky behaviors related to sexual addiction include having multiple partners, having unprotected sex, or sex with strangers as well as hooking up with anonymous people met online or at bars. This increases the risk of encountering physical danger as well as contracting a sexually transmitted disease and, because of the secretive nature of sex addiction, you can go on to infect your spouse or partner as well.
#8. You masturbate all the time
If you have an active sex life and still find that you need to masturbate several times a day and even after just having sex, there might be some kind of problem. If this describes you as well as some of the other 12 signs you’re a sex addict that are on this list, you just might be a sex addict.
#9. Your relationships are always messed up
You gradually and eventually replace time spent with friends and family with a continual pursuit of activities for your sexual gratification. Time with friends and family loses its appeal, because the sex addict can no longer get pleasure from the simple things in life. Eventually most sex addicts will even give up sex with committed partners to pursue the types of sexual gratification that feed their addiction.
#10. You experience financial problems due to your obsession
A sex addict can become so entrenched in their sexual addiction that their taking too much time away from work or they might be spending large amounts of money to support their sex addiction, which can result in destroying family finances, just like a drug addiction.
Sexual addiction can manifest as internet porn, being a collector of pornographic materials, spending a lot of time and money at strip clubs, or on prostitutes. A sexual addiction can be costly to maintain and frequently sexual addicts eventually come to the point where they cannot feed their addiction and keep a job at the same time.
#11. You feel powerless
Just like the drug addict can’t stop using drugs, even though they want to, you can’t stop acting out. Even when you see how negatively it’s affecting your life and the lives of your loved ones. You try to stop – or wish you could – but simply cannot.
#12. You hate yourself
As a sex addict, you become aware that you’re going through life hurting other people and destroying yourself, which will likely cause you to hate yourself. Just like with drug addicts, there is so much shame and guilt involved in the addiction that the addict internalizes all that negative stigma attached to their condition.
Addiction comes in many forms and affects people across age, gender, ethnic, cultural, and social lines. Often times, people who struggle with one type of addiction also struggle with one or more other types of addiction. Or else, if they initially figure out how to cope with their sex addiction, for example, they might start acting out in other ways – indicative of other addictions, such as gambling addiction, shopping addiction, or internet addiction. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today to find out what you can do to turn your life around and get back on track.
For some people a healthy sex life can turn into a sexual addiction without them even realizing it. And it’s not something to be taken lightly. Often, you hear people say jokingly that they are addicted to sex or a ‘sex addict,’ mostly because they want to boast about their sexual prowess, whether real or imaginary. But sexual addiction is a real thing just like drug addiction, and, in fact, the tell-tale signs are pretty much the same between the two. Below are 5 signs that you’re a sex addict.
5 Signs You’re a Sex Addict: Neglecting Relationships
A sex addict will gradually yet eventually replace time spent with friends and family with a continual pursuit of activities for their sexual gratification. Time with friends and family loses its appeal, as sex becomes the only thing that matters to a sex addict. That’s because, the sex addict can no longer take pleasure in time with friends and family and the shame and despair of those feelings creates a vicious cycle of addiction. Eventually most sex addicts will even give up sex with committed partners to pursue the types of sexual gratification that feed their addiction.
5 Signs You’re a Sex Addict: Increased Tolerance
Just as those addicted to substances build a tolerance to their drug of choice, a sex addict will experience a level of tolerance to the addictive behavior. This means it will require more and more frequent sexual gratification or adding more thrill-seeking sexual practices to maintain the level of pleasure gained from sex. The sex addict spends more time on seeking sexual pleasure than on their personal relationships, sacrificing those relationships and perpetuating the cycle of their sex addiction. Eventually tolerance can build to the point that the sexual addiction completely takes over an addict’s life.
5 Signs You’re a Sex Addict: Risking Finances
Sex addiction can even reach a point where the sex addict is taking too much time away from a job or they might get to the point of spending large amounts of money to support their sex addiction, which can result in destroying family finances, just like a drug addiction. Sexual addiction can take the form of internet porn, collecting pornographic materials, spending large amounts of time and money at strip clubs, or seeking out prostitutes. A sexual addiction can be costly to maintain and frequently sexual addicts eventually come to the point where they cannot feed their addiction and keep a job at the same time.
5 Signs You’re a Sex Addict: Risking Health and Safety
Another similarity between drug addiction and sex addiction is that the addict will engage in increasingly risky behaviors in order to fulfill their need for a fix. Risky behaviors related to sexual addiction include having multiple partners, unprotected sex, or sex with strangers as well as hooking up with anonymous people met online or at bars. This increases the risk of encountering physical danger as well as contracting a sexually transmitted disease and, because of the secretive nature of sex addiction, addicts can go on to infect their spouses or partners as well.
5 Signs You’re a Sex Addict: Compulsive Sex
Some sex addicts will come to realize that their sex lives are out of control and they may even want to stop but, the obsession and compulsion to get their next fix overpowers their good intentions and the cycle continues. This is the nature of addiction. Just like other addicts, most sex addicts cannot stop or control their behavior on their own. Recovery from sexual addiction is a lifelong struggle requiring professional help or long-term membership in a support group.
If you or a loved one is struggling with sex addiction, drug addiction, or substance abuse please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135