About Porn Study Critiques
We are a group of academics, therapists, authors and bloggers who have a deep interest in today’s pornography (and masturbation) research and reviews. Other contributors include behavioral biologists with expertise in addiction who want to help, but don’t want to be associated with sex research or controversy.
On this site, we highlight the merits of various research, examine methodology, and evaluate whether conclusions appear adequately supported and titles and terminology are accurate given actual results.
If you search for research by name (upper-right menu), and there is analysis of it on the site, you will find an abstract of the research, accompanied by a list of commentaries. Some are by site members; others have merely been recommended by site members. To make it easier we created a list of all the articles on this site.
Unless comments underneath a particular post are closed, you are welcome to share your views. Please stay focused on the substance of the commentary, and avoid personal attacks and impugning anyone’s motives lest your comment be deleted. Membership at this site is by invitation.
In the real world, science sometimes works more like a fashion show. Researchers clothe plausible explanations of experimental findings in glittery statistical suits and gowns. These gussied-up hypotheses charm journal editors and attract media coverage with carefully orchestrated runway struts, never having to battle competitors. —Bruce Bower, “Closed Thinking: Without scientific competition and open debate, much psychology research goes nowhere”
Our hope is that Porn Study Critiques serves as a place to air ideas that might normally be suppressed or attacked by the science establishment. No doubt the academic science will eventually sort out the effects of overconsumption of Internet porn. But it could take decades. In the meantime, there could be countless causalities, victims of misinformation. The wheels of science—especially the print journal portion of the system—grind in exceedingly slow fashion, which is why we need Internet sites where ideas can be exchanged quickly without interference from the kinds of curmudgeonly censors one finds among print journal editors and reviewers.
Criticism is helpful to get at the truth. The trouble with the current journal review system is that only certain kinds of criticisms are allowed. Namely, criticisms that align with editors’ and reviewers’ prejudices. Also, exotic methodological and statistical techniques are overvalued. Porn Study Critiques is an effort to help visitors obtain a more complete understanding of today’s porn research as well as gain a multi-disciplinary perspective (medicine and psychology) often missing elsewhere in the literature.
Critiques of Questionable & Misleading Studies. Debunking Propaganda Pieces
Articles Containing Lists of Relevant Studies
- Current list of brain studies on porn users and sex addicts
- Studies linking porn use & porn addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower arousal, and less sexual & relationship satisfaction
- Studies linking porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women
- Studies reporting escalation & habituation (and withdrawal symptoms) in porn users
- Studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes
- Studies falsify the claim that sex & porn addicts “just have high sexual desire”
- Research confirms sharp rise in youthful sexual dysfunctions
- Porn studies involving female subjects: Effects on arousal, sexual satisfaction, and relationships
- Over 120 experts who recognize & treat porn-induced sexual dysfunctions
- Porn studies involving female subjects: Effects on arousal, sexual satisfaction, and relationships
Commentaries Published in Academic Journals
- Letter to the editor “Prause et al. (2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions”
- The Emperor Has No Clothes: A Fractured Fairytale Posing As A Review (2014): Critique of Ley et al., 2014
- Dismantling the “group position” paper opposing porn and sex addiction (November, 2017)
Critiques of CPUI-9 Studies and “Perceived Pornography Addiction”:
- Is Joshua Grubbs pulling the wool over our eyes with his “perceived porn addiction” research?
- Study invalidates the CPUI-9 as an instrument to assess either “perceived pornography addiction” or actual pornography addiction (2017)
- Research Suggests the Grubbs, Perry, Wilt, Reid Review Is Disingenuous (“Pornography Problems Due to Moral Incongruence: An Integrative Model with a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”)
- Critique of “Perceived Addiction to Internet Pornography and Psychological Distress: Examining Relationships Concurrently and Over Time” 2015
- Critique of: “Damaged Goods: Perception of Pornography Addiction as a Mediator Between Religiosity and Relationship Anxiety Surrounding Pornography Use” (Leonhardt, Willoughby, & Young-Petersen, 2017)
- Religious People Use Less Porn and Are No More Likely to Believe They Are Addicted
- Is Utah #1 in Porn Use?
Critiques of Steele et al., 2013:
- SPAN Lab Touts Empty Porn Study As Ground-Breaking: Critique of Steele et al., 2013
- ‘High desire’, or ‘merely’ an addiction? A response to Steele et al. by Donald L. Hilton, Jr., MD (2014): Critique Steele et al., 2013
- Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours” (2014): Excerpt analyzing Steele et al., 2013
- Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update – Excerpt critiquing Steele et al., 2013
- Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports – Excerpt analyzing Steele et al., 2013
- Conscious and Non-Conscious Measures of Emotion: Do They Vary with Frequency of Pornography Use?” – Excerpts analyzing Steele et al., 2013
- Don’t Call it Hypersexuality: Why we Need the Term Sex Addiction, By Linda Hatch, PhD: Critique of Steele et al., 2013
- Misinformed Media Touts Bogus Sex Addiction Study, by Robert Weiss, LCSW & Stefanie Carnes PhD: Critique of Steele et al., 2013
- John A. Johnson on Steele et al., 2013 (And Johnson debating Nicole Prause in comments section under his PT article)
Critiques of Prause et al., 2015:
- Analysis of “Modulation of late positive potentials by sexual images in problem users and controls inconsistent with porn addiction” (2015), by Liberos LLC
- Decreased LPP for sexual images in problematic pornography users may be consistent with addiction models. Everything depends on the model. (Commentary on Prause, Steele, Staley, Sabatinelli, & Hajcak, 2015) by Matuesz Gola PhD. (2016)
- Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update – Excerpt critiquing Prause et al., 2015
- Neurobiology of Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Emerging Science (2016): Analyzes Prause et al., 2015
- Should compulsive sexual behavior be considered an addiction? (2016) – Excerpt analyzing Prause et a, 2015
- Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports – Excerpt analyzing Prause et al., 2015
- Conscious and Non-Conscious Measures of Emotion: Do They Vary with Frequency of Pornography Use? – Excerpts analyzing Prause et al., 2015
Porn Related Sexual Dysfunctions
- Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction (Prause & Pfaus, 2015)
- A peer-reviewed critique Prause & Pfaus, 2015 by Richard A. Isenberg MD
- Nothing Adds Up in Dubious Study: Youthful Subjects’ ED Left Unexplained, by Gabe Deem (2015) – Critique of Prause & Pfaus, 2015
- New Study on Porn and Erectile Dysfunction is a Wax Banana [fake fruit], by Linda Hatch, PhD
- Sticking To The Content: Response To “Red Herring: Hook, Line, and Stinker”, by Gabe Deem
- Is Pornography Use Associated with Sexual Difficulties and Dysfunctions among Younger Heterosexual Men? (2015)
- Comment on: “Is Pornography Use Associated with Sexual Difficulties and Dysfunctions among Younger Heterosexual Men?” by Gert Martin Hald PhD (2015)
- Critique of “Cyberpornography: Time Use, Perceived Addiction, Sexual Functioning, and Sexual Satisfaction” (2016)
- Critique of “Profiles of Cyberpornography Use and Sexual Well-Being in Adult” (2017)
- Sexual Function in 16- to 21-Year-Olds in Britain (2016)
- Critique of “The 2018 Revision to the Process of Care Model for Evaluation of Erectile Dysfunction” (2018)
Taylor Kohut Studies
- Is Pornography Really about “Making Hate to Women”? Pornography Users Hold More Gender Egalitarian Attitudes Than Nonusers in a Representative American Sample (2016)
- Perceived Effects of Pornography on the Couple Relationship: Initial Findings of Open-Ended, Participant-Informed, “Bottom-Up” Research (2016)
Assorted Academic Papers
- No Evidence of Emotion Dysregulation in “Hypersexuals” Reporting Their Emotions to a Sexual Film (2013)
- Self-perceived effects of pornography consumption (2008)
- Does Viewing Explain Doing? Assessing the Association Between Sexually Explicit Materials Use and Sexual Behaviors in a Large Sample of Dutch Adolescents and Young Adults (2013)
- Analysis of “Does exposure to erotica reduce attraction and love for romantic partners in men? Independent replications of Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989) study 2”
- Prevalence and Characteristics of Vibrator Use by Women in the United States: Results from a Nationally Representative Study (2009)
- A Profile of Pornography Users in Australia: Findings From the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships (2016)
- Women, Vibrators, and Shaky Sex Research: Kinsey/Trojan study on vibrators omitted lovers’ top question.
Debunking Lay Articles Related to Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunctions
- Debunking Justin Lehmiller’s “Is Erectile Dysfunction Really on the Rise in Young Men” (2018)
- Debunking Kris Taylor’s “A Few Hard Truths about Porn and Erectile Dysfunction” (2017)
- Debunking a July, 2018 article by Gavin Evans: “Can Watching Too Much Porn Give You Erectile Dysfunction?” (Men’s Health)
- Debunking “Should you be worried about porn-induced erectile dysfunction?” – by The Daily Dot’s Claire Downs. (2018)
Debunking Often-Cited Lay Articles or Talking Points
- Debunking “Why Are We Still So Worried About Watching Porn?” (by Marty Klein, Taylor Kohut, and Nicole Prause)
- How to recognize biased articles: they cite Prause et al. 2015 (falsely claiming it debunks porn addiction), while omitting over 3 dozen neurological studies supporting porn addiction
- Is there evidence supporting the existence of pornography addiction?
- The bogus sex addiction “controversy” and the purveyors of ignorance, by Linda Hatch, PhD
- Rethinking Ogas and Gaddam’s ‘A Billion Wicked Thoughts’ (2013)
- ‘A Billion Wicked Thoughts’ is only a snapshot: longitudinal studies are needed to reveal morphing porn taste (2013)
- Problematic porn use: quantity vs. consequences – By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S (2016)
- Drumroll: an academic journal for porn fan (2013)
- Commentary on “Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong – In a Nutshell” (Johann Hari)
Debunking two Nicole Prause Op-ed’s targeting Fight The New Drug
- Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed and ‘Fight the New Drug’ (2016)
- Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography? (dismantling the Salt-Lake-Tribune Op-ed: “Anti-porn school program misrepresents science”(2016)
NCOSE 2018 Presentations
- “People Recognize Porn-Science Propaganda When They See It” by Jacob Hess – An overview of tactics employed by “astroturfers” who deny the possible negative effects of porn use.
- Gary Wilson – Porn Research: Fact or Fiction? – Wilson exposes the truth behind 5 studies propagandists cite (all listed below) to support their claims that porn addiction doesn’t exist or that porn use is largely beneficial.