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Grubbs, J. Engelman, J., & Grant, J. (2017). Who’s a Porn Addict? Examining the Roles of Pornography Use, Religiousness, and Moral Incongruence.

Pornography use is a common but controversial behavior in developed nations. At present, the scientific community has not reached a consensus regarding whether or not people may be become addicted to or compulsive in use of pornography. Even so, there is considerable evidence that a substantial number of people are likely to perceive their use of pornography to be problematic or addictive in nature. Whereas prior works considered perceived addiction dimensionally, the present work sought to examine what might lead someone to specifically identify as a pornography addict. Consistent with prior research, pre-registered hypotheses predicted that religiousness, moral disapproval, and pornography use would emerge as consistent predictors of self-identification as a pornography addict. Three samples, involving adult pornography users (Sample 1, N=829; Sample 2, N=424) and undergraduates (Sample 3, N=231), were collected. Across all three samples, male gender, moral incongruence, and pornography use behaviors consistently emerged as predictors of self-identification as a pornography addict. In contrast to prior literature indicating that moral incongruence and religiousness are the best predictors of perceived addiction (measured dimensionally), results from all three samples indicated that male gender and pornography use behaviors were the most strongly associated with self-identification as a pornography addict.

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Ley, D. J. (2018). The pseudoscience behind public health crisis legislation, Porn Studies. 

Beginning in 2016 in Utah, multiple jurisdictions around the world have either passed or considered passing legislation that identifies online pornography access as a public health crisis. These debates and related legislation have often involved statements that pornography acts as a neurologically altering stimulus, changing behaviours and sexual experiences, and creating patterns of self-destructive behaviours identical to those associated with substance addictions. In relying upon the language, ideological constructs, and concepts of addiction, anti-pornography activists may be hoping to bolster the legitimacy of their arguments. Certainly, the concept of sexual or pornography addiction has been uncritically adopted by pop psychology, mainstream media, and a general public. Unfortunately, the application of an addiction model to sexual behaviour, including pornography consumption, has severe limitations. Here, I will set forth some of the research findings, theoretical weaknesses, and methodological problems which are commonplace in the ‘pornography is addictive’ justification for anti-pornography legislation.

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