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How does it happen...and who are it's victims?
Exerpted from an article by Dr Victor Kline, Ph.D. for full article click here
In reviewing the literature
on the effects of pornography, there is a variety of evidence suggesting risk and the possibility of harm from being immersed
in repeated exposure to pornography. These data come primarily from three sources:
Clinical case history data
Experimental laboratory type studies
As a clinical psychologist,
I have treated, over the years, approximately 350 sex addicts, sex offenders, or other individuals (96% male) with sexual
illnesses. This includes many types of unwanted compulsive sexual acting-out, plus such things as child molestation, exhibitionism,
voyeurism, sadomasochism, fetishism, and rape. With several exceptions, pornography has been a major or minor contributor
or facilitator in the acquisition of their deviation or sexual addiction.
FIRST STEP - ADDICTION
The first change that happened
was an addiction-effect. The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for
more and still more. The material seemed to provide a very powerful sexual stimulant or aphrodisiac effect, followed by sexual
release, most often through masturbation. The pornography provided very exciting and powerful imagery which they frequently
recalled to mind and elaborated on in their fantasies.
Once addicted, they could
not throw off their dependence on the material by themselves, despite many negative consequences such as divorce, loss of
family, and problems with the law (such as sexual assault, harassment or abuse of fellow employees).
I also found, anecdotally,
that many of my most intelligent male patients appeared to be most vulnerable .perhaps because they had a greater capacity
to fantasize, which heightened the intensity of the experience and made them more susceptible to being conditioned into an
One of my patients was so
deeply addicted that he could not stay away from pornography for 90 days, even for $1,000. It is difficult for non-addicts
to comprehend the totally driven nature of a sex addict. When the "wave" hits them, nothing can stand in the way of getting
what they want, whether that be pornography accompanied by masturbation, sex from a prostitute, molesting a child, or raping
a woman. These men are consumed by their appetite, regardless of the cost or consequences. Their addiction virtually rules
SECOND STEP - ESCALATION
The second phase was an escalation-effect.
With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant, and "kinky" kinds of sexual material
to get their "highs" and "sexual turn-ons." It was reminiscent of individuals afflicted with drug addictions. Over time there
is nearly always an increasing need for more of the stimulant to get the same initial effect.
Being married or in a relationship
with a willing sexual partner did not solve their problem. Their addiction and escalation were mainly due to the powerful
sexual imagery in their minds, implanted there by the exposure to pornography.
I have had a number of couple-clients
where the wife tearfully reported that her husband preferred to masturbate to pornography than to make love to her.
THIRD PHASE - DESENSITIZATION
The third phase was desensitization.
Material (in books, magazines, or films/videos) which was originally perceived as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive,
or immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace. The sexual activity depicted in the pornography (no matter
how anti-social or deviant) became legitimized. There was an increasing sense that "everybody does it" and this gave them
permission to also do it, even though the activity was possibly illegal and contrary to their previous moral beliefs and personal
FOURTH PHASE - ACTING OUT SEXUALLY
The fourth phase was an increasing
tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group
sex, voyeurism, frequenting massage parlors, having sex with minor children, rape, and inflicting pain on themselves or a
partner during sex. This behavior frequently grew into a sexual addiction which they found themselves locked into and unable
to change or reverse .no matter what the negative consequences were in their life.
Many examples of the negative
effects of pornography-use come from the private or clinical practice of psychotherapists, physicians, counselors, attorneys,
and ministers. Here we come face to face with real people who are in some kind of significant trouble or pain. One example
from my practice might illustrate this.
I was asked to consult on
a case where a Phoenix-Tucson area professional person, president of his firm and head of his church's committee on helping
troubled children, was found to be a serial rapist who had violently raped a number of women at gun- or knife-point in the
Arizona area. In doing the background study on him, I found him to come from an exemplary background and trouble-free childhood.
He was an outstanding student in high school and college.
His wife, children, business
and church associates had not the slightest inkling of his double life or dark side. The only significant negative factor
in his life was an early adolescent addiction to pornography which, for the most part, was kept secret from others. This gradually
escalated over a period of years, eventually leading to spending many hours and incurring great expense at "adult" bookstores,
looking at violent video-porn movies and masturbating to these.
His first rape was triggered
by seeing a close resemblance in the woman he assaulted to the leading character in a porn movie he had seen earlier in the
day. Reality and fantasy had become extremely blurred for him as he acted out his pathological sexual fantasies.
In my clinical experience,
however, the major consequence of being addicted to pornography is not the probability or possibility of committing a serious
sex crime (though this can and does occur), but rather the disturbance of the fragile bonds of intimate family and marital
relationships. This is where the most grievous pain, damage, and sorrow occur. There is repeatedly an interference with or
even destruction of healthy love and sexual relationships with long-term bonded partners. If one asks if porn is responsible
or causes any sex crimes, the answer is unequivocally, "Yes," but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
SEXUAL DEVIATIONS ARE LEARNED BEHAVIORS
The best evidence to date
suggests that most or all sexual deviations are learned behaviors, usually through inadvertent or accidental conditioning.
There is no convincing evidence to date, suggesting the hereditary transmission of any pathological sexual behavior pattern
such as rape, incest, pedophilia, exhibitionism, or promiscuity.
As McGuire explains, as a
man repeatedly masturbates to a vivid sexual fantasy as his exclusive outlet (introduced by a real life experience or possibly
pornography), the pleasurable experiences endow the deviant fantasy (rape, molesting children, injuring one's partner while
having sex, etc.) with increasing erotic value. The orgasm experienced then provides the critical reinforcing event for the
conditioning of the fantasy preceding or accompanying the act. (McGuire, R.J., et al., "Sexual Deviation as Conditioned
Behavior," Behavior Research and Therapy, 1965, vol 2, p. 185).
In my experience as a sexual
therapist, any individual who regularly masturbates to pornography is at risk of becoming, in time, a sexual addict, as well
as conditioning himself into having a sexual deviancy and/or disturbing a bonded relationship with a spouse or girlfriend.
A frequent side effect is that it also dramatically reduces their capacity to love. Their sexual side becomes, in a sense,
dehumanized. Many of them develop an "alien ego state" (or dark side), whose core is antisocial lust devoid of most values.
It makes no difference if
one is an eminent physician, attorney, minister, athlete, corporate executive, college president, unskilled laborer, or an
average 15-year-old boy. All can be conditioned into deviancy. Read more
Treatment and Healing of Sexual and Pornographic Addiction by Dr. Victor B. Cline
Porn-Free.org offers a series of free online courses for sex addicts
Click for a list of links on porn addiction help from a Christian site FishThe.Net
Pure Life Ministries
Click for Stephen Bennett Ministries - Advocating for the Traditional Family, the Protection of Children and Proclaiming the
Truth About Homosexuality
Two more interesting & helpful links:
Download: Hope for Homosexuals