Senate Studies Porn Addiction

Addiction to porn destroying lives, Senate told (AP Breaking News)

Comparing pornography to heroin, researchers on Thursday called on Congress to finance studies on “porn addiction” and launch a public health campaign about the dangers. “We’re so afraid to talk about sex in our society that we really give carte blanche to the people who are producing this kind of material,” said James B. Weaver, a Virginia Tech professor who studies the impact of pornography.

Internet pornography is corrupting children and hooking adults into an addiction that threatens their jobs and families, a panel of anti-porn advocates told the hearing organized by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on science. Brownback, a father of five, said when he was a boy, the typical kid’s exposure was limited to occasional peeks at dirty magazines illicitly obtained by a buddy. Now, he said, pornography seems pervasive. Children run across it while researching homework on the Internet. Vulgar ads arrive unexpectedly by e-mail. Some of his middle-age male friends limit their time alone in hotel rooms to avoid the temptation of graphic pay-per-view movies, Brownback said.

Mary Anne Layden, co-director of a sexual trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania, said pornography’s effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. She told of one patient, a business executive, who arrived at his office at 9 a.m. each day, logged onto Internet porn sites, and didn’t log off until 5 p.m.

Are you kidding me? For one thing, why is a Science subcommittee studying this?! For another, what is the basis of Weaver’s assertion that Americans are afraid to talk about sex? It seems like that’s pretty much all we talk about. And just what percentage of business executives spend their entire workday looking at porn?

FILED UNDER: Congress, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kathy K says:

    Quite a number do, actually. But they are in the porn business.

  2. McGehee says:

    “We interrupt this syndicated rerun of ‘Sex and the City’ to bring you a promo of ‘Desperate Housewives,’ but first, this public service announcement urging the American people not to be so afraid to talk about sex.”

  3. DC Loser says:

    The point that Americans are afraid to talk about sex has some merit. While we certainly have lots of sexual content in media, most of it are there as teasers or for shock value. We don’t engage in really substantive talk about sex, and certainly many married couples don’t have frank discussions about sexual wants and needs. So for many, porn is a release for those pent up sexual energies. Other cultures tackle sex differently. Look at the attitudes about sex in Scandinavia, Holland, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, and even China and Japan, and it’s totally different than here. Most of them do not have the issues with porn that we have here. That’s my 2 cents worth.

  4. Tig says:

    I agree. Way back in the 70s, when I was in Europe in the Army, I was taken aback by the fact there were no dressin’ rooms at swimmin’ pools and that people who stopped to urinate on the sides of the roads did not even try to hide what they were doin’. Our society is severely prudish when it comes to plain ol’ ordinary nudity. And don’t forget, while both men and women freely talk ‘mong their own respective groups about sex, there is very very little of such done in mixed company.

  5. LJD says:

    If porn is addictive, aren’t the Senators taking a huge risk by watching this stuff?

    Sounds like a great excuse to sit around watchin porn at work. They should schedule the malted beverage quality control committee concurrent with their studies…

  6. Skaje says:

    “pornography’s effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine”

    Mary Anne Layden is an idiot. There is a BIG difference between mental addiction and physical addiction. This is the stupidest thing I’ve read today.

    Oh, and America is definately more prudish than our European friends.

  7. ibejo says:

    I look at porn all the time and clearly have no adverse side effects….

  8. Anita Lee says:

    My husband is addicted to Porn. Our marriage is failing because of porn

  9. G Hawks says:

    I used to be addicted to porn, but was never unfaithful BUT my wife has herself become a cyberslut embezzling me and running off with her online lover. Obviously my porn addiction was not as bad as her “internet addiction” to chatrooms and picking up men.

    Now I am actually addicted to crack cocaine to get over this

  10. Sarcastro says:

    “My husband is addicted to Porn. Our marriage is failing because of porn”

    I hope this is a joke, because if it isn’t I would be forced to tell you that it’s probably your own fault. Maybe you should try taking it up the ass like he wants you to?

  11. Kenster says:

    “I hope this is a joke, because if it isn’t I would be forced to tell you that it’s probably your own fault. Maybe you should try taking it up the ass like he wants you to?”

    Hey, I have a question:
    You’re an idiot.

    I own you, peasant.