A study done in 2009 found an important distinction in porn viewing. Researcher, Michael Twohig found that it was not the quantity or frequency of porn watching that was distressing porn viewers most. Instead it is the amount of effort that participants put into to trying to ‘control’ their sexual thoughts and desires that was the most troublesome. The findings suggest that it is the act of ‘suppressing the desire to view pornography’, that is the root of the problem for the viewers and not the pornography viewing itself.
Suppression of porn use for moral, religious or political reasons may be causing people more distress than the porn itself.
Another reason to ramp up education on how porn actually affects us.
This study investigated the prevalence of problematic Internet pornography viewing, how it is problematic, and the psychological processes that underlie the problem in a sample of 84 college-age males using an anonymous online survey. It was found that approximately 20 percent-60 percent of the sample who view pornography find it to be problematic depending on the domain of interest. In this study, the amount of viewing did not predict the level of problems experienced. Mediational analyses suggest that the manner in which an individual interacts with urges to view pornography may be related to whether viewing is problematic or not.
Read it for yourself:
Twohig, M. P., Crosby, J. M., & Cox, J. M. (2009). Viewing internet pornography: For whom is it problematic, how, and why? Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 16, 253-266.