August 9, 2019: Don Hilton’s 21-page response to the Nicole Prause motion to dismiss (includes 57 pages of exhibits)

Nicole R. Prause filed a motion to dismiss Donald Hilton’s defamation lawsuit against her. Prause’s motion to dismiss contained false statements and myriad unsupported allegations. Don Hilton responded with a 21-page opposition to dismiss (screenshots below) and 57 pages of supporting exhibits, including his updated declaration (selected excerpts below).

See these pages for all the gory details related to the defamation lawsuit (and sworn affidavits from other victims of Prause):

The tip of the Prause iceberg

As documented in sections of these pages – page 1, page 2 – Nicole Prause has a history of defaming Donald Hilton MD:

Don Hilton’s complaint with affidavits from 9 other Prause victims is just the tip of the Prause iceberg. A partial list of her victims includes researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, a former UCLA colleague, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, Exodus Cry, NoFap.com, RebootNation, YourBrainRebalanced, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, its parent company MDPI, US Navy medical doctors, the head of the academic journal CUREUS, and the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.

While spending her waking hours harassing others, Prause cleverly cultivated – with zero verifiable evidence – a myth that she was “the victim” of most anyone who dared to disagree with her assertions surrounding porn’s effects or the current state of porn research. To counter the ongoing harassment and false claims, YBOP was compelled to document some of Prause’s activities. Consider the following pages. (Additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge – as Prause’s victims fear further retaliation against their work/views.)


Screenshots of Donald Hilton’s 21-page opposition to Nicole Prause’s motion to dismiss defamation per se case. (August 9, 2019)

You can follow along with the PDF of Donald Hilton’s exhibits.

 


The updated Don Hilton declaration (Exhibit A) – which is the first 10 pages of the 57 page PDF of exhibits accompanying Don Hilton’s 21-page opposition to Prause’s motion to dismiss:

 

 

cyberstalking

Here we go again: In the wake of two mass shootings (El Paso & Dayton), Nicole Prause & David Ley try to connect Gary Wilson, YBOP and Nofap to white nationalists & Nazis

The latest in Prause & Ley’s malicious 3-year campaign to associate YBOP, and men in recovery, with neo-Nazis.

In a new low (which is saying something), Nicole Prause used the tragic deaths of innocent people once again to defame Gary Wilson and NoFap while promoting the porn industry agenda. On the Monday following two mass shootings (Dayton and El Paso) Prause posted tweets and screenshots vainly trying to connect Gary Wilson, YBOP and Nofap to Nazis and white nationalists.

This disgusting tactic is nothing new. The same day as the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings, Prause and Ley published their defamatory Psychology Today article targeting Gary Wilson (yourbrainonporn.com), Gabe Deem (RebootNation) and Nofap (“Why Fascists Hate Masturbation: The rise of nationalism coincides with anti-masturbation movements). These incidents reveal their malice and deceit.

As chronicled in many other sections, when such tragedies occur, Prause and Ley appear to scour the internet for any comments mentioning Gary Wilson’s TEDx talk, YBOP, or NoFap – all in the hope that a few are posted by white nationalists. (Alternatively, Prause or Ley may be using aliases to post their own fabricated comments – to use in their propaganda campaign. We have documented over 60 Prause aliases on these pages: page 1, page 2.)

Here are other sections of the “Prause pages” documenting Prause and Ley’s repugnant campaign to falsely characterize YBOP and porn recovery communities as Nazi sympathizers.

Prause/Ley capture (or produce) the posts, store them, and wait for the next racist-fueled tragedy. Then they grab meaningless screenshots and “explain” them with defamatory assertions. Is it a surprise that Prause is now being sued for defamation? Gary Wilson and Alex Rhodes of Nofap have provided sworn affidavits in connection with that suit, which include among numerous incidents, Prause’s lies that both are Nazi sympathizers. See:

Even if Prause’s screenshots are real, a white nationalist linking to Wilson’s TEDx Talk tells us nothing about Wilson or anyone else who believes viewing porn may cause problems. If a Nazi links to a Motor Trend review of the Ford F150 does that mean that everyone who drives a Ford, or is employed by Ford is a Nazi? This type of malicious propaganda is simply how Prause and Ley roll.

On to the current set of Prause/Ley revolting tweets. (tweet #1)

Below we provide the two screenshots Prause featured with the above tweet (picture #1, picture #2). Notice how Gary Wilson’s name is highlighted, which means that Prause searched these sites for Wilson’s name, his TED Talk, or his website. Given her preoccupation with fabricating dirt, how does Prause find time to do research? (Such as completing her upcoming study that allegedly acquired subjects via the Free Speech Coalition – the lobbying arm for the porn industry!)

Also note that “anonymous” posted Philip Zimbardo’s famous TED talk, The Demise of Guys?, a Buzzfeed article, a Max Planck Institute fMRI study on porn users, and an article by aidshealth.org. Is Prause suggesting that Zimbardo, everyone at BuzzFeed, everyone the Max Planck Institute, and all associated with aidshealth.org are Nazi sympathizers? Absurd.

In this second screenshot, Gary Wilson’s obsessed cyberstalker (Prause) once again highlights his name:

As before, the list includes links to other well known Nazi sympathizers (joke) such as Phil Zimbardo, Buzzfeed, Brown University, Cambridge University researchers, PlosOne, InternetSafety.org, and Scribd.

In response to David Ley’s oh-so-genuine inquiry, a second disgusting tweet by Prause:

Once again, Prause is searching only for Gary Wilson or his website. How this screenshot implicates Wilson as a Nazi is anyone’s guess:

This second Prause screenshot mentions a growing body of research, which is quite solid, even if “Sentinel” turns out to be a white nationalist rather than her own cyber progeny. (Prause provides no evidence of who Sentinel might be.)

As for the tweet’s assertion, see this page for over 100 studies linking porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems, lower arousal to sexual stimuli, and poorer sexual & relationship satisfaction.

While Prause is obsessively determined to link anti-porn sentiment to white supremacists, she conveniently ignores that the Dayton shooter, Connor Betts, was a big fan of porn. Betts was deeply involved in the misogynistic, male-dominated “goregrind” or “pornogrind” extreme metal music scene. It has a following in the Midwest and is known for sexually violent, death-obsessed lyrics and dehumanizing imagery depicting women. Oh yeah, Betts was a liberal/”leftist”.

As for Gary Wilson, watch this July, 2019 interview in which he and Mark Queppet specifically discuss the lies propagated by Prause, Ley and their minions (some of whom have received Twitter bans for posting that Wilson is a Nazi): Porn Science and Science Deniers: Mark Queppet interviews Gary Wilson (July, 2019).

What’s going on here?

For years both Prause and Ley have teamed up to defame, harass and cyber-stalk individuals and organizations that have warned of porn’s harms or published research reporting porn’s harms. Recently, Prause and Ley escalated their unethical and often illegal activities in support of a porn industry agenda. For example, On January 29, 2019, Prause filed a trademark application to obtain YOURBRAINONPORN and YOURBRAINONPORN.COM. In April 2019, a group headed by Prause and Ley engaged in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com by creating “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com.

To advertise their illegitimate site, the self-proclaimed “experts” created a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/BrainOnPorn), YouTube channel, Facebook page, and published a press release. In a further attempt to confuse the public, the press release falsely claims to originate from Gary Wilson’s home town – Ashland, Oregon (none of the “experts” live in Oregon, let alone Ashland). Judge for yourself whether the “experts” further the interests of the porn industry or the authentic search scientific truth by perusing this collection of RealYBOP tweets. Written in Dr. Prause’s distinctive misleading style, the tweets extol the benefits of porn, misrepresent the current state of the research, and troll individuals and organizations Prause has previously harassed.

In addition, the “experts” created a Reddit account (user/sciencearousal) to spam porn recovery forums reddit/pornfree and reddit/NoFap with promotional drivel, claiming porn use is harmless and disparaging YourBrainOnPorn.com and Gary Wilson. It’s important to note that Prause, a former academic, has a long documented history of employing numerous aliases to post on porn recovery forums. (YBOP is now engaged in legal action with Prause and her pro-porn allies).

In July of 2019, David Ley and two of the better known RealYBOP “experts” (Justin Lehmiller and Chris Donaghue) began openly collaborating with the porn industry. All 3 are on the advisory board of the fledgling Sexual Health Alliance (SHA). In a blatant financial conflict of interest, David Ley and the SHA are being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites (i.e. StripChat) and to convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths!

More on Nicole Prause

In 2013 former UCLA researcher Nicole Prause began openly harassing, libeling and cyberstalking Gary Wilson. (Prause has not been employed by an academic institution since January, 2015.) Within a short time she also began targeting others, including researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, a former UCLA colleague, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, Exodus Cry, NoFap.com, RebootNation, YourBrainRebalanced, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, its parent company MDPI, US Navy medical doctors, the head of the academic journal CUREUS, and the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.

While spending her waking hours harassing others, Prause cleverly cultivated – with zero verifiable evidence – a myth that she was “the victim” of most anyone who dared to disagree with her irresponsible assertions surrounding porn’s effects or the current state of porn research. To counter the ongoing harassment and false claims, YBOP was compelled to document some of Prause’s activities. Consider the following pages. (Additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge – as Prause’s victims fear further retribution.)

In the beginning Prause employed dozens of fake usernames to post on porn recovery forums, Quora, Wikipedia, and in the comment sections under articles. Prause rarely used her real name or her own social media accounts. That all changed after UCLA chose not to renew Prause’s contract (around January, 2015).

Freed from any oversight and now self-employed, Prause added two media managers/promoters from Media 2×3 to her company’s tiny stable of “Collaborators.” (erstwhile Media 2×3 president Jess Ponce describes himself as a Hollywood media coach and personal branding expert.) Their job is to place articles in the press featuring Prause, and find her speaking engagements in pro-porn and mainstream venues. Odd tactics for a supposedly impartial scientist.

Prause began to put her name to falsehoods, openly cyber-harassing multiple individuals and organizations on social media and elsewhere. Since Prause’s primary target was Gary Wilson (hundreds of social media comments along with behind the scenes email campaigns), it became necessary to monitor and document Prause’s tweets and posts. This was done for her victims’ protection, and crucial for any future legal actions.

It soon became apparent that Prause’s tweets and comments were rarely about sex research, neuroscience, or any other subject related to her claimed expertise. In fact, the vast majority of Prause’s posts could be divided into two overlapping categories:

  1. Indirect support of the porn industry: Defamatory & ad hominem comments targeting individuals and organizations that she labeled as “anti-porn activists” (often claiming to be a victim of these individuals and organizations). Documented here: page 1, page 2.
  2. Direct support of the porn industry:
    • especially the FSC (Free Speech Coalition), AVN (Adult Video News), porn producers, performers, and their agendas
    • countless misrepresentations of the state of pornography research and attacks on porn studies or porn researchers.

The following pages contain a sampling of tweets and comments related to #2 – her vigorous support of the porn industry and its chosen positions. YBOP is of the view that Prause’s unilateral aggression has escalated to such frequent and reckless defamation (falsely accusing her many victims of “physically stalking her,” “misogyny,” “encouraging others to rape her,” and “being neo-Nazis”), that we are compelled to examine her possible motives. This material is divided into 4 main sections:

  1. SECTION 1: Nicole Prause & the porn industry:
  2. SECTION 2: Was Nicole Prause “PornHelps”? (PornHelps website, @pornhelps on Twitter, comments under articles). All accounts deleted once Prause was outed as “PornHelps.”
  3. SECTION 3: Examples of Nicole Prause supporting porn industry interests via misrepresentation of the research & attacking studies/researchers.
  4. SECTION 4: “RealYBOP”: Prause and associates create a biased website and social media accounts that support a pro-porn industry agenda.

Please note: There is unequivocal evidence that the porn industry funded the sexology profession for decades. Sexology’s agenda still appears to serve the porn industry. Thus, the evidence on this page should be viewed in a larger context. See Hugh Hefner, the International Academy of Sex Research, and Its Founding President to understand how porn-industry friendly sexologists influenced the Kinsey Institute. Prause is a Kinsey grad.

More on David Ley

David Ley’s financial conflicts of interest (COI) seem evident.

COI #1: In a blatant financial conflict of interest, David Ley is being compensated by porn industry giant X-hamster to promote their websites and to convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths! Specifically, David Ley and the newly formed Sexual Health Alliance (SHA) have partnered with a X-Hamster website (Strip-Chat). See “Stripchat aligns with Sexual Health Alliance to stroke your anxious porn-centric brain“:

The fledgling Sexual health Alliance (SHA) advisory board includes David Ley and two other RealYourBrainOnPorn.com “experts” (Justin Lehmiller & Chris Donahue). RealYBOP is a group of openly pro-porn, self-proclaimed “experts” headed by Nicole Prause. This is also the group currently engaged in illegal trademark infringement and squatting directed toward the legitimate YBOP. Put simply, those trying to silence YBOP are also being paid by the porn industry to promote its/their businesses, and assure users that porn and cam sites cause no problems (note: Nicole Prause has close, public ties to the porn industry as documented on this page).

In this article, Ley dismisses his compensated promotion of the porn industry:

Granted, sexual health professionals partnering directly with commercial porn platforms face some potential downsides, particularly for those who’d like to present themselves as completely unbiased. “I fully anticipate [anti-porn advocates] to all scream, ‘Oh, look, see, David Ley is working for porn,’” says Ley, whose name is routinely mentioned with disdain in anti-masturbation communities like NoFap.

But even if his work with Stripchat will undoubtedly provide fodder to anyone eager to write him off as biased or in the pocket of the porn lobby, for Ley, that tradeoff is worth it. “If we want to help [anxious porn consumers], we have to go to them,” he says. “And this is how we do that.”

Biased? Ley reminds us of the infamous tobacco doctors, and the Sexual health Alliance remind us of the Tobacco Institute.

COI #2 David Ley is being paid to debunk porn and sex addiction. At the end of this Psychology Today blog post Ley states:

“Disclosure: David Ley has provided testimony in legal cases involving claims of sex addiction.”

In 2019 David Ley’s new website offered his well-compensated “debunking” services:

David J. Ley, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and AASECT-certified supervisor of sex therapy, based in Albuquerque, NM. He has provided expert witness and forensic testimony in a number of cases around the United States. Dr. Ley is regarded as an expert in debunking claims of sexual addiction, and has been certified as an expert witness on this topic. He has testified in state and federal courts.

Contact him to obtain his fee schedule and arrange an appointment to discuss your interest.

COI #3: Ley makes money selling two books that deny sex and porn addiction (“The Myth of Sex Addiction,” 2012 and “Ethical Porn for Dicks,” 2016). Pornhub (which is owned by porn giant MindGeek) is one of the five back-cover endorsements listed for Ley’s 2016 book about porn:

Note: PornHub was the second Twitter account to retweet RealYBOP’s initial tweet announcing its “expert” website, suggesting a coordinated effort between PornHub and the RealYBOP experts. Wow!

COI #4: Finally, David Ley makes money via CEU seminars, where he promotes the addiction-deniers’ ideology set forth in his two books (which recklessly(?) ignores dozens of studies and the significance of the new Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder diagnosis in the World Health Organization’s diagnostic manual). Ley is compensated for his many talks featuring his biased views of porn. In this 2019 presentation Ley appears to support and promote adolescent porn use: Developing Positive Sexuality and Responsible Pornography Use in Adolescents.

This above is just the tip of the iceberg for these two.

David Ley is now being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites and convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths!

David Ley is the author of The Myth of Sex Addiction and Ethical Porn for Dicks. He has written 30 or so blog posts attacking and dismissing NoFap, porn addiction, sex addiction, porn-induced sexual dysfunctions and porn’s effects on relationships David Ley chronically asserts that porn use is harmless and if someone develops problems it’s because they had “other issues”. TV shows, magazines, websites too often turn to Ley as an “authority” on porn addiction and porn’s effects because the medical researchers – who would give an accurate picture of the state of internet addiction research – generally aren’t focused on internet porn specifically. Nor are they as readily available as eager Dr. Ley. He therefore gets to shape the debate in the media despite his utter lack of education in the neuroscience of addiction and sexual conditioning, and having never published any original research.

David Ley and his close ally Nicole Prause often work in tandem, with both equally cited as “the experts,” while actual top addiction neuroscientists, who have published highly respected studies on porn users (Voon, Kraus, Potenza, Brand, Laier, Hajela, Kuhn, Gallinat, Klucken, Seok, Sohn, Gola, Banca, etc.), are omitted. Neither Ley nor Prause are affiliated with any university, yet some journalists, perhaps influenced by Prause’s potent media services, mysteriously prefer both over the top neuroscientists at Yale University, Cambridge University, University of Duisburg-Essen, and the Max Planck Institute. Go figure.

Conflicts of interest (COI) are nothing new for David Ley. Lawyers pay him good money to “debunk” sex & porn addiction; he sells books “debunking” sex & porn addiction; he collects speaking fees for “debunking” sex & porn addiction. All this while harassing and defaming individuals and organizations who speak up about the possible negative effects of internet porn. For years Ley and his close ally Nicole Prause have conspired overtly and behind the scenes, manipulating journalists, sharing talking points, emailing governing bodies, and even influencing the peer-reviewed process in dubious ways (these 2 pages provide extensive documentation of said behaviors: page 1, page 2).

However, Ley officially has now crossed the line. In a blatant financial conflict of interest, David Ley is being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote their websites (i.e. StripChat) and to convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths! Notice how Ley is going to tell xHamster customers what “medical studies truly say about porn, camming and sexuality”:

Will Ley tell xHamster customers that every study ever published on males (about 65) links more porn to less sexual and relation satisfaction? Will Ley tell them that all 44 neurological studies on porn users/sex addicts report brain changes seen in drug addicts? Will he inform his audience that 50% of porn users report escalating to material they previously found uninteresting or disgusting? Somehow I doubt it.

Specifically, David Ley and the newly formed Sexual Health Alliance (SHA) have partnered with a xHamster website (Strip-Chat). See “Stripchat aligns with Sexual Health Alliance to stroke your anxious porn-centric brain.” In their promotional tweet we are promised a slate of SHA brain experts to soothe users “porn anxiety” and “shame” (Ley and other SHA “experts” are light years away from being brain experts).

The fledgling Sexual health Alliance (SHA) advisory board includes David Ley and two other RealYourBrainOnPorn.com “experts” (Justin Lehmiller and Chris Donaghue). RealYBOP is a group of openly pro-porn, self-proclaimed “experts” headed by Nicole Prause. This group is currently engaged in illegal trademark infringement and squatting directed toward the legitimate YBOP. Put simply, those trying to silence YBOP are also being paid by the porn industry to promote its/their businesses, and assure users that porn and cam sites cause no problems. (Note: Nicole Prause has close, public ties to the porn industry as documented on this page.)

The official StripChat Twitter account reveals the true reason for paying SHA “experts”: to soothe their anxieties to prevent the loss of paying customers. The SHA will accomplish this by “talking about the latest research on sex, camming and addiction,” that is, cherry picking the work done by “their” researchers. Will Ley/SHA mention that hundreds of studies link porn use to myriad negative effects?

In this article, Ley dismisses his compensated promotion of the porn industry:

Granted, sexual health professionals partnering directly with commercial porn platforms face some potential downsides, particularly for those who’d like to present themselves as completely unbiased. “I fully anticipate [anti-porn advocates] to all scream, ‘Oh, look, see, David Ley is working for porn,’” says Ley, whose name is routinely mentioned with disdain in anti-masturbation communities like NoFap.

But even if his work with Stripchat will undoubtedly provide fodder to anyone eager to write him off as biased or in the pocket of the porn lobby, for Ley, that tradeoff is worth it. “If we want to help [anxious porn consumers], we have to go to them,” he says. “And this is how we do that.”

Biased? Ley reminds us of the infamous tobacco doctors, and the Sexual health Alliance reminds us of the Tobacco Institute.

While being paid by the porn industry is the most egregious conflict of interest (COI), Ley has a few more.

Conflict of Interest #2 David Ley is being paid to debunk porn and sex addiction. At the end of this Psychology Today blog post Ley advertises his services:

“Disclosure: David Ley has provided testimony in legal cases involving claims of sex addiction.”

In 2019 David Ley’s new website offered his well-compensated “debunking” services:

David J. Ley, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and AASECT-certified supervisor of sex therapy, based in Albuquerque, NM. He has provided expert witness and forensic testimony in a number of cases around the United States. Dr. Ley is regarded as an expert in debunking claims of sexual addiction, and has been certified as an expert witness on this topic. He has testified in state and federal courts.

Contact him to obtain his fee schedule and arrange an appointment to discuss your interest.

Conflict of Interest #3: Ley makes money selling two books that deny sex and porn addiction (“The Myth of Sex Addiction,” 2012 and “Ethical Porn for Dicks,” 2016). Pornhub (which is owned by porn giant MindGeek) is one of the five back-cover endorsements listed for Ley’s 2016 book about porn:

Note: PornHub was the second Twitter account to retweet RealYBOP’s initial tweet announcing its “expert” (pro-porn) website, suggesting a coordinated effort between PornHub and the RealYBOP experts. Wow!

Conflict of Interest #4: Finally, David Ley makes money via CEU seminars, where he promotes the addiction-deniers’ ideology set forth in his two books (which recklessly(?) ignore dozens of studies and the significance of the new Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder diagnosis in the World Health Organization’s diagnostic manual). Ley is compensated for his many talks featuring his biased views on porn use. In this 2019 presentation Ley appears to support and promote adolescent porn use: Developing Positive Sexuality and Responsible Pornography Use in Adolescents.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Peruse these pages for many more incidents involving David Ley:


 

Update: Short article takes a swipe at David Ley & other RealYBOP experts teaming up with xHamster/StripChat

Stripchat Now Offering Free Sex Therapy

You’ve heard of Snapchat. But have you heard of Stripchat?

The site, which is basically a strip club through the lens of a web camera, recently conducted an internal survey among its users. Forty-two percent of users report experiencing “some” anxiety about the time they spent on the site. Eleven percent of users say they experience “frequent or constant” anxiety.

Furthermore, 29 percent of married users report that they are worried their streaming constituted cheating, while 31 percent of married users revealed that Stripchat caused problems in their relationships.

Stripchat takes these numbers seriously: “Anxiety and relationship stress are serious issues,” they acknowledge. “Camming should be a source of pleasure and refuge from the stress of daily life—not something that adds to it. That’s why Stripchat is making a commitment to be a leader in mental and emotional well-being for its users.”

Thus, Stripchat announced its partnership with the Sexual Health Alliance “to bring clinical psychologists, sex researchers and relationship therapists onto its global cam platform to answer questions about sex addiction and online infidelity” as of August 1. It will also discuss “ways these can be balanced in your life.”

Some of these questions include the following:

  • “Is camming cheating?”
  • “Can you fall in love with a cam model?”
  • “Is porn addictive?”

Given that Dr. David Ley, who led the August 1 session, authored a book entitled The Myth of Sex Addiction, it seems plausible that the answer to the latter question will be a resounding “no.”

The porn industry makes more than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. It also makes more than NBC, CBS, and ABC combined. Rumor has it that the porn industry as a whole nets between $6 and $97 billion annually. So Stripchat convincing its users that porn may be addictive and hurtful to their relationships is not exactly what some might call a good business model.

Max Bennett, the Vice President of News Media at Stripchat, commented that the initial August 1 session was “a chance for them to get past some of the myths and stigma surrounding porn, and talk to an expert what science actually says.”

But what does the science really say?

For starters, using pornography shrinks the grey matter in the brain, the Max Planck Institute reports. It makes men more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. It is also known to cause mental health issues in men and women, including anxiety, depression, and body image issues.

It’s not surprising that one in three Stripchat users report that Stripchat caused problems in their relationships. People who use porn love their partner less and are more sexually dissatisfied. Pornography has also been shown to increase marital infidelity by 300 percent.

So even if Stripchat’s experts find that porn is not addictive and camming is not cheating, there are still plenty of other questions that the so-called sexuality experts need to answer. Max Bennet notes that “the outside world doesn’t always accept” people who use pornography. Maybe there is a reason for this sentiment.

According to “science,” if Stripchat truly wants to be a leader in mental and emotional well-being for its users, it would advise them to quit stripchatting altogether.

The Initiation and Development of Cybersex Addiction: Individual Vulnerability, Reinforcement Mechanism and Neural Mechanism (2019): Excerpt analyzing Prause et al., 2015

Donald Hilton defamation lawsuit against Nicole Prause: Downloadable PDF’s of Hilton lawsuit, exhibits, and affidavits by 9 other Prause victims

Initial 17-page complaint (May, 2019): Don Hilton defamation lawsuit against Nicole R Prause.

On July 24, 2019 Don Hilton amended his lawsuit to include:

  1. Affidavits from 9 other victims of Prause,
  2. Prause’s malicious complaint to the Texas Board of Medical Examiners containing false and defamatory statements,
  3. Prause’s accusations with two different professional journals in which Dr. Hilton has published, incorrectly accusing Dr. Hilton of falsifying and exaggerating his credentials.

PDF’s of amendments to Hilton’s lawsuit (numbers 4-11 are the 7 original documents found above):

Note – The PDF and supporting exhibits are in the public record: Case #2019CI09367

UPDATE (August 9, 2019): Nicole Prause filed a motion to dismiss Donald Hilton’s defamation lawsuit against her. Prause’s motion contained false statements and myriad unsupported allegations. Don Hilton responded with a 21-page opposition to dismiss (screenshots below) and 57 pages of supporting exhibits.

The tip of the Prause iceberg

As documented in sections of these pages – page 1, page 2 – Nicole Prause has a long history of defaming Donald Hilton MD:

Don Hilton’s complaint with affidavits from 9 other Prause victims is just the tip of the Prause iceberg. A partial list of her victims victims include researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, a former UCLA colleague, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, Exodus Cry, NoFap.com, RebootNation, YourBrainRebalanced, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, its parent company MDPI, US Navy medical doctors, the head of the academic journal CUREUS, and the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.

While spending her waking hours harassing others, Prause cleverly cultivated – with zero verifiable evidence – a myth that she was “the victim” of most anyone who dared to disagree with her assertions surrounding porn’s effects or the current state of porn research. To counter the ongoing harassment and false claims, YBOP was compelled to document some of Prause’s activities. Consider the following pages. (Additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge – as Prause’s victims fear further retribution.)

Cease and desist letter to Nicole R. Prause & Liberos LLC for trademark infringement of Your Brain On Porn and www.yourbrainonporn.com

A group of pro-porn, self-proclaimed “experts”, led by Nicole Prause, are engaged in illegal trademark infringement of “YourBrainOnPorn.com. For all the details see this extensive page: Aggressive Trademark Infringement Waged by Porn Addiction Deniers (www.realyourbrainonporn.com).

On May 1, 2019 the attorneys for the common-law owner of the trademarks “Your Brain On Born” and “YourBrainOnPorn.com” sent a cease and desist letter to all of those who appeared to be behind the infringing site (the “Experts”). A second letter also demands that Dr. Nicole Prause abandon her trademark-squatting application for the marks “Your Brain On Porn” and “YourBrainOnPorn.com.”

A PDF of the first 3 pages of the letter

Screenshots of the 8-page cease & desist letter:


 


Critique of Samuel Perry’s “Is the Link Between Pornography Use and Relational Happiness Really More About Masturbation? Results From Two National Surveys” (2019)

Critique of “Harder and Harder? Is Mainstream Pornography Becoming Increasingly Violent and Do Viewers Prefer Violent Content?” (2018)

Porn Science Deniers Alliance (AKA: “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” and “PornographyResearch.com”)

Table of contents:

  1. Porn Science Deniers Alliance engages in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com
  2. At long last, the Alliance (RealYBOP experts) openly functions as an agenda-driven collective
  3. RealYBOP experts are being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites and convince users that porn addiction & sex addiction are myths
  4. They receive a lot of publicity, but the Porn Science Deniers Alliance represents a small, albeit vocal, minority with an oversized presence
  5. Porn Science Deniers Alliance is out of step with the world’s most widely used medical diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)
  6. The Alliance’s cherry-picked, often irrelevant papers do not represent the preponderance of the research
  7. Overview of the Alliance’s cherry-picked, often dubious papers
  8. Almost all of the Alliance’s papers were addressed in previous critiques of earlier Prause articles
  9. You can’t falsify a model if you can’t name any model
  10. Various members of the Porn Science Deniers Alliance have a history of misrepresenting their own and others’ studies
  11. Exposing the Alliance’s cherry-picked papers: disinformation, misrepresentation, omission and falsehoodsLinks to the YBOP analysis of each Deniers Alliance research section:
    1. Erectile And Other Sexual Dysfunctions Section
    2. Attitudes Towards Women Section
    3. Regulation Section
    4. Love and Intimacy Section
    5. Models of Hypersexuality Section
    6. Youth Section
    7. Films or Masturbation Section
    8. Sex Offender Section
    9. LGBT Section
    10. Tolerance Section
    11. Body Image Section
    12. Performers Section

Porn Science Deniers engaged in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com

Concerned about the biased, but increasingly well publicized, views of pro-porn sexologists and their allies? For your convenience, a large team of Porn Science Deniers have now “outed” themselves as an exclusive club. You can find them proudly pictured here in their science bubble – https://www.realyourbrainonporn.com/experts (Nicole Prause, Marty Klein, Lynn Comella, David J. Ley, Emily F. Rothman, Samuel Perry, Taylor Kohut, William Fisher, Peter Finn, Janniko Georgiadis, Erick Janssen, Aleksandar Štulhofer, Joshua Grubbs, James Cantor, Michael Seto, Justin Lehmiller, Victoria Hartmann, Julia Velten, Roger Libby, Doug Braun-Harvey, David Hersh, Jennifer Valli).

Those who are responsible for the new site (as yet unknown, but for now referred to as “the experts”) are engaged in unlawful trademark infringement of YourBrainOnPorn.com. The new imposter site swiftly replaced the “experts'” initial site named “Science of Arousal,” the URL for which redirects visitors to the current imposter site. The new site then attempts to trick visitors with the center of each page declaring “Welcome to the REAL Your Brain On Porn,” while the tab falsely proclaims “Your Brain On Porn.”

To advertise their illegitimate site, the “experts” created a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/BrainOnPorn), YouTube channel, Facebook page, and published a press release. In a further attempt to confuse the public, the press release falsely claims to originate from Gary Wilson’s home town – Ashland, Oregon (none of the “experts” live in Oregon, let alone Ashland). Judge for yourself whether the Deniers further the interests of the porn industry or the authentic search scientific truth by perusing this collection of RealYBOP tweets. Written in Dr. Nicole Prause’s distinctive misleading style, the tweets extol the benefits of porn, misrepresent the current state of the research, and troll individuals and organizations Prause has previously harassed.

In addition, the “experts” created a Reddit account (user/sciencearousal) to spam porn recovery forums reddit/pornfree and reddit/NoFap with promotional drivel, claiming porn use is harmless and disparaging YourBrainOnPorn.com and Gary Wilson. It’s important to note that Science Denier Prause, a former academic, has a long documented history of employing numerous aliases to post on porn recovery forums. Comments in her easily-to-recognize style promote her studies, attack the concept of porn addiction, disparage Wilson & YBOP, belittle men in recovery, and defame porn skeptics. In one example of misrepresenting the state of the research, while promoting the porn industry’s agenda, Sciencearousal informs a r/pornfree member that porn use is positive for 99% of the population:

On April 25th, the Sciencearousal username appeared on Wikipedia, inserting links and deleting legitimate material about pornography’s effects. (On April 17 one of Sciencearousal’s aliases tried to the same: SecondaryEd2020). These 2 pages have documented over 30 apparent illicit sock-puppets of Nicole Prause (one of the Porn Science Deniers), created to insert her propaganda and defame individuals and organizations: page 1, page 2. (Wikipedia’s rules prohibit sock-puppets, but pro-porn posters seem immune from its rules.)

The legitimate YBOP, this website, stands by its brand, services and resources and is taking steps to address the infringing and unfair activities of the “Real Your Brain On Porn” site. On May 1, 2019 the attorneys for the common-law owner of the trademarks “Your Brain On Born” and “YourBrainOnPorn.com” (this website) sent a cease and desist letter to all of those who appeared to be behind the infringing site (the “Experts”).

At long last, the Alliance openly functions as an agenda-driven collective

Having been in the porn debate since before 2011, we certainly do not wish to stifle, nor do we fear, opposing views. But we think it worth pointing out that many members of this new collective of Porn Science Deniers are well known to YBOP and other porn skeptics. Some of them are authors of outlier studies and many parrot unsupported pro-industry talking points, which find their way into biased (placed?) mainstream press articles.

Some of the Deniers regularly mislead journalists, their colleagues, and academic journal editors about the true balance of internet porn research. On social media and in lay articles they promote their small collection of cherry-picked, outlier papers, and/or misrepresent the true implications of their data. Visit this page to see critiques of some of their most questionable progeny.

While many of these Deniers have regularly collaborated on social media or co-authored academic or popular articles, each member of the Alliance has until now purported to be an independent and unbiased purveyor of truth and science. Yet YBOP and many other porn skeptics have long known that various members of this cliquish band of Deniers conspire overtly and behind the scenes, manipulating journalists, sharing talking points, emailing governing bodies, and even influencing the peer-reviewed process in dubious ways (these 2 pages provide extensive documentation of said behaviors: page 1, page 2).

The two most vocal and best known Deniers, Nicole Prause and David Ley, have engaged in overt and covert defamation, harassment and cyberstalking, targeting groups and individuals who believe, based on the objective evidence, that today’s porn might be causing significant problems for some users. Few of their targets are aware of Prause and Ley’s long history of misconduct and disturbing malfeasance. The following pages document hundreds of incidents over several years:

It seems likely that Prause is a key participant in the Alliance’s biased website and related social media accounts, as:

  1. The content, studies, and phrasing of the illegitimate site and tweets mirror Prause’s previous propaganda pieces and social media posts. Curiously, PornHub was the first to retweet the new Twitter account’s maiden tweet, even though the new Twitter account had no followers yet. How did PornHub know of its inception?
  2. The press release, site and related social media accounts target Gary Wilson (overtly or covertly), and Prause has been obsessively harassing Wilson for over 6 years.
  3. This appears to be Prause’s second attempt at creating an agenda-driven website. In 2016, it seems that Prause created a username called “PornHelps,” which had its own Twitter account (@pornhelps) and a website (with a forum no one used) promoting the porn industry as well as outlier studies reporting “positive” effects of porn. “PornHelps” chronically badgered the same people and organizations that Prause also often attacks. In fact, Prause would sometimes team up with her apparent alias “PornHelps” to attack individuals on Twitter and elsewhere in tandem. For documentation, see Was Nicole Prause “PornHelps”? (PornHelps website, @pornhelps on Twitter, comments under articles). All accounts deleted once Prause was outed as “PornHelps.”

RealYBOP experts are being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites and convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths

As of July, 2019 three of the better known RealYBOP “experts” are openly collaborating with the porn industry: David Ley, Justin Lehmiller and Chris Donaghue. All 3 are on the advisory board of the fledgling Sexual Health Alliance (SHA). In a blatant financial conflict of interest, David Ley and the SHA are being compensated by porn industry giant xHamster to promote its websites (i.e. StripChat) and to convince users that porn addiction and sex addiction are myths! See “Stripchat aligns with Sexual Health Alliance to stroke your anxious porn-centric brain.”

In the xHamster/SHA maiden voyage Ley is going to tell xHamster customers what “medical studies truly say about porn, camming and sexuality”:

Will Ley tell xHamster customers that every study ever published on males (about 65) links more porn to less sexual and relation satisfaction? Will Ley tell them that all 44 neurological studies on porn users/sex addicts report brain changes seen in drug addicts? Will he inform his audience that 50% of porn users report escalating to material they previously found uninteresting or disgusting? Somehow I doubt it.

In their promotional tweet we are promised a slate of SHA brain experts to soothe users “porn anxiety” and “shame” (Ley and other SHA “experts” are light years away from being brain experts).

The official StripChat Twitter account reveals the true reason for paying SHA “experts”: to soothe their anxieties to prevent the loss of paying customers. The SHA will accomplish this by “talking about the latest research on sex, camming and addiction,” that is, cherry picking the work done by “their” researchers. Will Ley/SHA mention that hundreds of studies link porn use to myriad negative effects?

In this article, Ley dismisses his compensated promotion of the porn industry:

Granted, sexual health professionals partnering directly with commercial porn platforms face some potential downsides, particularly for those who’d like to present themselves as completely unbiased. “I fully anticipate [anti-porn advocates] to all scream, ‘Oh, look, see, David Ley is working for porn,’” says Ley, whose name is routinely mentioned with disdain in anti-masturbation communities like NoFap.

But even if his work with Stripchat will undoubtedly provide fodder to anyone eager to write him off as biased or in the pocket of the porn lobby, for Ley, that tradeoff is worth it. “If we want to help [anxious porn consumers], we have to go to them,” he says. “And this is how we do that.”

Biased? David Ley, Justin Lehmiller and Chris Donaghue reminds us of the infamous tobacco doctors, and the Sexual health Alliance reminds us of the Tobacco Institute.

They receive a lot of publicity, but the Porn Science Deniers Alliance represents a small, albeit vocal, minority with an oversized presence

RealYBOP experts: Nicole Prause, Marty Klein, Lynn Comella, David J. Ley, Emily F. Rothman, Samuel Perry, Taylor Kohut, William Fisher, Peter Finn, Janniko Georgiadis, Erick Janssen, Aleksandar Štulhofer, Joshua Grubbs, James Cantor, Michael Seto, Justin Lehmiller, Victoria Hartmann, Julia Velten, Roger Libby, Doug Braun-Harvey, David Hersh, Jennifer Valli.

Regardless of publicity, this faction of sexologists and their chums (and their work) is not representative of the preponderance of the relevant evidence, nor of the views of the preponderance of researchers doing research on the effects of today’s porn. In fact, some members of the Porn Science Deniers Alliance regularly deny the preponderance of the evidence; it profoundly undercuts their agenda.

Upon closer examination, almost half of the 25 “experts” among the Alliance are non-academics as they are not employed by any university. Most importantly, not one of the listed “experts” has ever published a neurological study on a group of porn addicted subjects (Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder subjects).

(You might be thinking, “Wait…didn’t Nicole Prause publish a brain study on a group of subjects clearly identified as porn addicts, or hypersexuals, or something similar?” It’s a well kept secret, but no, she did not.)

Ask yourself: why are the researchers who authored these 44 neurological studies on porn users and CSBD subjects missing from these “experts'” research list?

Porn Science Deniers Alliance is out of step with the world’s most widely used medical diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)

Members of the Deniers frequently mischaracterize the new diagnosis in the WHO’s ICD-11, which is suitable for diagnosing what most people refer to as “porn addiction.” Read it for yourself:

The ICD-11 scientists tentatively placed Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the category called Impulse Control Disorder, but that is not because they have determined that it isn’t an addiction, as most of the Alliance members would have you believe. In fact, the ICD-11 couldn’t yet agree among themselves (due to the politics in this fraught field), so they are awaiting more evidence before they decide upon final categorization. According to their official spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, the ICD-11 took no position on addiction. “[The ICD-11] does not use the term sex addiction because we are not taking a position about whether it is physiologically an addiction or not.”

So ICD-11 experts tossed the issue into the future for others to deal with as even more research appears. But at least they officially recognized a diagnosis for the problem in the meantime. This will prevent academic journals from continuing to reject articles on the subject of porn’s effects “because no disorder exists.”

Readers should also know that “Impulse Control Disorder” is the category where diagnostic experts once tentatively placed Gambling Disorder until overwhelming evidence put an end to the debate (and extinguished resistance), so it could be categorized as an addictive disorder. The DSM-5 diagnostic manual was the first diagnostic manual to re-locate Gambling Disorder to its addictive-disorder category. The new ICD-11 currently categorizes Gambling Disorder as both an Impulse Control Disorder and a Disorder Due To an Addictive Behavior, in an acknowledgement of how addictions and impulse control disorders overlap. Does the same fate await CSBD?

Also note that various scientists who served on the ICD-11 committee that gave us CSBD have co-authored journal articles clarifying that they believe there is sufficient evidence already to re-categorize (or simultaneously categorize) Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder as an addictive disorder, because, to these experts, it looks more like addiction-disorder than an impulse control problem. In this vein, here are some of the world’s preeminent researchers of CSBD/porn addiction writing for a peer-reviewed journal:

Incidentally, almost all of the recent research on CSBD is on internet porn users. This is the very research that lead the world’s leading scientists serving on the CSBD committee of the ICD-11 to include the CSBD diagnosis in the new diagnostic manual. In fact, more than 80% of all those who seek treatment for CSBD report problematic internet porn use. It would be silly for any of the Deniers to suggest that CSBD isn’t intended to diagnose those with “porn addiction.” But some do.

Beware the Porn Science Deniers Alliance. Ask yourself, “Does this alliance exist to influence public opinion and “legitimize” a pro-porn perspective?” If Big Porn (making millions in ad revenue from visitors’ page loads) and Big Pharma (marketing lucrative sexual enhancement drugs to millions of young men for the first time in history) are not attempting to influence everyone’s views on today’s internet porn to protect their profits…they’re probably the only multi-billion dollar industries who aren’t using such tactics.

The Alliance’s cherry-picked, often irrelevant papers do not represent the preponderance of the research

Are you a journalist? Escape the science bubble of the Porn Science Deniers Alliance, and seek the input of the authors of these many papers instead. Note: Unlike the Alliance, YBOP provides relevant excerpts from each study listed. The Alliance’s list provides only their biased interpretation, often omitting key details or findings.

1) Porn/sex addiction? This page lists 44 neuroscience-based studies (MRI, fMRI, EEG, neuropsychological, hormonal). They provide strong support for the addiction model as their findings mirror the neurological findings reported in substance addiction studies. Debunking the unsupported talking point that “high sexual desire” explains away porn or sex addiction: At least 25 studies falsify the claim that sex & porn addicts “just have high sexual desire”

2) The real experts’ opinions on porn/sex addiction? This list contains 23 recent literature reviews and commentaries by some of the top neuroscientists in the world. All support the addiction model.

3) Signs of addiction and escalation to more extreme material? Over 40 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms (all signs and symptoms associated with addiction).

4) Porn and sexual problems? This list contains over 30 studies linking porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. The first 6 studies in the list demonstrate causation, as participants eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions.

5) Porn’s effects on relationships? Over 70 studies link porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. As far as we know all studies involving males have reported more porn use linked to poorer sexual or relationship satisfaction.

6) Porn use affecting emotional and mental health? Over 65 studies link porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes. Aren’t all studies correlative? Nope: over 75 studies suggesting internet use & porn use causing negative outcomes and symptoms, and brain changes.

7) Porn use affecting beliefs, attitudes and behaviors? Check out these studies – over 40 link porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women and sexist views – or the summary of 135 studies from this 2016 meta-analysis: Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015. Excerpt:

The goal of this review was to synthesize empirical investigations testing effects of media sexualization. The focus was on research published in peer-reviewed, English-language journals between 1995 and 2015. A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed. The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.

8) What about sexual aggression and porn use? Another meta-analysis: A Meta‐Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies (2015). Excerpt:

22 studies from 7 different countries were analyzed. Consumption was associated with sexual aggression in the United States and internationally, among males and females, and in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor.

“But hasn’t porn use reduced rape rates?” No, rape rates have been rising in recent years: “Rape rates are on the rise, so ignore the pro-porn propaganda.”

9) What about porn use and adolescents? Check out this list of over 240 adolescent studies, or this 2012 review of the research – The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012). From the conclusion:

Increased access to the Internet by adolescents has created unprecedented opportunities for sexual education, learning, and growth. Conversely, the risk of harm that is evident in the literature has led researchers to investigate adolescent exposure to online pornography in an effort to elucidate these relationships. Collectively, these studies suggest that youth who consume pornography may develop unrealistic sexual values and beliefs. Among the findings, higher levels of permissive sexual attitudes, sexual preoccupation, and earlier sexual experimentation have been correlated with more frequent consumption of pornography…. Nevertheless, consistent findings have emerged linking adolescent use of pornography that depicts violence with increased degrees of sexually aggressive behavior. The literature does indicate some correlation between adolescents’ use of pornography and self-concept. Girls report feeling physically inferior to the women they view in pornographic material, while boys fear they may not be as virile or able to perform as the men in these media. Adolescents also report that their use of pornography decreased as their self-confidence and social development increase. Additionally, research suggests that adolescents who use pornography, especially that found on the Internet, have lower degrees of social integration, increases in conduct problems, higher levels of delinquent behavior, higher incidence of depressive symptoms, and decreased emotional bonding with caregivers.

Overview of the Alliance’s cherry-picked, often dubious papers

A closer examination in of the Alliance’s list of studies reveals cherry-picking, bias, egregious omission, and deception.

First, half of the papers listed were authored by Deniers. It should be noted that Deniers’ studies by the likes of Prause, Kohut, Fisher or Štulhofer never seem to find any negative effects from porn use (actually, negative effects can often be parsed from their data, as we will see below). These Deniers’ studies are out of alignment with the preponderance of the research in the field. For example, Taylor Kohut’s 2017 non-quantitative study on relationships and porn use claimed to find few negative effects. Kohut’s cunningly designed paper contradicts every other study ever published on males: Over 70 studies link porn use to less sexual & relationship satisfaction, with all studies involving males reporting that more porn use linked to poorer sexual or relationship satisfaction.

Second, the list omits not only the preponderance of evidence, but also the work of every academic neuroscientist who has published studies on porn users or CSBD subjects. These include Marc Potenza, Matthias Brand, Valerie Voon, Christian Laier, Simone Kühn, Jürgen Gallinat, Rudolf Stark, Tim Klucken, Ji-Woo Seok, Jin-Hun Sohn, Mateusz Gola and many others. As one example, why are Matthias Brand’s studies omitted from the Alliance’s list? Brand has authored 310 studies, is the head of the Department of Psychology: Cognition, at the University of Duisburg-Essen, supervises a lab with over 20 researchers, and has published more neuroscience-based studies on pornography users/addicts than any other researcher in the world. (See his list of his porn addiction studies here: 17 neurological studies and 5 reviews of the literature.)

Third, many of the papers listed by Alliance are mere opinion pieces, not actual studies. Talk about citation inflation! (Note: Contrary to claims on the Alliance’s site, this website not only lists, but frequently features thoughtful critiques of, their actual research.)

Fourth, the list contains no reviews of the literature and only one meta-analysis, which limits itself to 21 studies assessing the porn use of adult sexual offenders: “The use of pornography and the relationship between pornography exposure and sexual offending in males: A systematic review.” While this meta-analysis concludes porn use is not related to adult sexual offending there’s good reason to question its findings. For example, the authors retrieved 189 studies, but included only 21 in their review. Put simply, numerous studies with opposing results were excluded.

The virtual absence of reviews of the literature and meta-analyses in the Alliance’s list is a dead giveaway that the Alliance cherry-picked outlier studies (usually their own). While most of the Alliance’s puzzling research categories don’t lend themselves to literature reviews or meta-analysis, a few might: “Love & Intimacy” or “Youth.” Why not provide the reader with one of the literature reviews on pornography and “Youth” (adolescents) , such as: review#1, review2, review#3, review#4, review#5, review#6, review#7, review#8, review#9, review#10, review#11, review#12? Why doesn’t an Alliance’s “Love & Intimacy” category provide a literature review on pornography and sexual or relationship satisfaction, such as: review#1, review#2, review#3? Is it because these reviews do not align with the Alliance’s agenda?

Fifth, and most telling, the Alliance’s list excludes nearly every study linking porn use to negative outcomes (which comprise the majority of porn studies). Moreover, in those few Alliance studies listed that did report negative outcomes, the Alliance omits such findings from their descriptions. By using YBOP’s list of relevant studies we can easily identify their deceit:

  1. The Alliance omitted all 44 neurological studies on porn users and CSB subjects, except for Prause et al., 2015 (they don’t tell the readers about the 8 peer-reviewed papers that say that Prause’s EEG study actually supports addiction model).
  2. The Alliance omitted all but two of the over 70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. The Alliance misled the reader on those 2 studies (and others in the “love” category): as both link porn use to poorer relationship satisfaction or more infidelity: study 1, study 2.
  3. The Alliance omitted all 23 recent neuroscience-based literature reviews & commentaries, authored by some of the top neuroscientists in the world. All 23 papers support the addiction model.
  4. The Alliance omitted every study on this list of over 40 studies linking porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women and sexist views. They omitted this 2016 meta-analysis of 135 studies assessing the effects of porn & sexual media use on beliefs, attitudes and behaviors: Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015.
  5. The Alliance omitted all but two of the papers in this list of over 40 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms (all signs and symptoms associated with addiction). The two studies are by Deniers Nicole Prause and Alexander Štulhofer, whose carefully crafted write-ups mislead the reader: study 1 (Prause et al., 2015 – again); study 2 by Štulhofer.
  6. The Alliance omitted all but three of the papers in this list of over 30 studies linking porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. Not surprisingly, the 3 studies are by Deniers Alexander Štulhofer, Joshua Grubbs, and James Cantor. In a blatant example of Deniers misrepresenting their own studies, all 3 papers reported links between sexual problems and porn use or porn addiction: study 1 by Štulhofer; study 2 by Grubbs; study 3 by Cantor.
  7. The Alliance omitted all but two of the 26 studies countering the talking point that sex and porn addicts “just have high sexual desire” (same two papers misrepresented in the previous list: study by Štulhofer; study by James Cantor).
  8. The Alliance omitted all the papers in this list of over 65 studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health and poorer cognitive outcomes.
  9. The Alliance omitted all 250 studies in this comprehensive list of peer-reviewed papers assessing porn’s effect on adolescents.

Almost all of the Alliance’s papers were addressed in previous critiques of earlier Prause articles

We have been here before, and so has Nicole Prause. Most the papers cited by the Alliance were previously named, and spun, in earlier Prause-penned propaganda pieces: two letters to the editor, and a lay article co-authored with two other Deniers (Taylor Kohut and Marty Klein). YBOP exposed every cherry-picked paper Prause cited, while debunking the authors’ unsupported claims, in these three extensive critiques:

If you don’t want to bother with the rather long upcoming section, see YBOP’s dismantling of the Prause/Klein/Kohut July 30, 2018 Slate article: Why Are We Still So Worried About Wat­­ching Porn? It’s easier to digest as the 3 Deniers who penned it conveniently bundled all their usual talking points and the outlying cherry-picked studies they regularly cite into that one article.

Nicole Prause touts yet another of her letters to the editor as “debunking” the existence of sex addiction and porn addiction (“Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder” in the upcoming ICD-11): “Data do not support sex as addictive.” Yet her letter does not debunk anything. This 240-word opinion piece (Prause et al., 2017) cites zero studies to support its claims, providing only a single, easily refuted sentence as its sole “evidence” countering the addiction model. This letter, apparently crafted by Prause is signed by four porn-science deniers (Erick Janssen, Janniko Georgiadis, Peter Finn and James Pfaus), 3 of whom are listed as “experts” on the new website, and was a reply to another short letter: Is excessive sexual behaviour an addictive disorder? (Potenza et. al., 2017), authored by Marc Potenza, Mateusz Gola, Valerie Voon, Ariel Kor and Shane Kraus. The Deniers’ remaining talking points and unsupported claims are debunked in YBOP’s critique: Analysis of “Data do not support sex as addictive” (Prause et al., 2017).

You can’t falsify a model if you can’t name any model

The Alliance’s list of cherry-picked studies is introduced with standard Prause-like drivel about “falsifying models.”

Science is the practice of falsifying models using systematic observations. In psychology and related sciences, these models are theories about why a person or group engages in a behavior(s). Falsification is a high threshold for models: If any prediction of a model is not supported, the entire model is discarded. While study results that are consistent with a model prediction increase our confidence that the one model prediction is supported, every single prediction of the model must hold true for the model to be considered supported. Thus, the most important studies are studies that falsify predictions of a model. Finally, a model is never “proven”, because a model prediction could always be falsified by the next study. Models are “supported” or “falsified”. This literature (below) represents some of the important model falsifications that have occurred in sex film science.

On the surface, it sounds impressive, yet the reader is left in the dark as to which model of what the Alliance is claiming to have falsified. The randomness of the study categories (LGBT, Youth, Regulation, Performers, Intimacy, ) provide few insights into which models of X, Y, or Z are supported, or not. Yet these are the “experts” we are told to trust?

The only section to hint at a “model” is the “Models of Hypersexuality” section, yet the reader is never told what model is being falsified by which results of any of their cherry-picked papers. It’s a mystery. In the “models of hypersexuality” section could the Alliance be alluding to a certain model of pornography addiction (CSBD)? Perhaps, but the vast majority of the papers listed have nothing to do with porn addiction, as they have omitted all but one of the 43 neurological studies & 22 reviews/commentaries listed here.

Are they claiming to have “falsified” the hypersexuality model? The Alliance does provide a few opinion papers on “models of hypersexuality,” yet only one actual neurological study: Prause, N., Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2015). As with many of the Alliance studies, that study, Prause et al., 2015, isn’t what it appears to be. While Prause boldly asserted that her lone, deeply flawed EEG study had debunked porn addiction, eight peer-reviewed papers disagree. All eight papers do agree that Prause et al., 2015 actually found desensitization or habituation in the more frequent porn users (a phenomenon consistent with addiction): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

If Alliance members are alluding to “falsifying” some particular model of pornography addiction, which model of addiction might it be? Is it the incentive sensitization model of addiction? Or maybe the reward deficiency model of addiction? Or might it be the opponent process model of addiction? Perhaps some other model?

If the Alliance ever lets us know which model they are addressing, then they also need to tell us what findings support or “falsify” the chosen addiction model. Neuroscientist Matuesz Gola had similar questions in his critique of Prause et al., 2015, where he points out Prause’s inability to name which model of addiction she claims to have “falsified”:

Yet, due to the lack of clear hypothesis statement which addiction model is tested and ambiguous experimental paradigm (hard to define role of erotic pictures), it is not possible to say if the presented results are against, or in favor of, a hypothesis about “pornography addiction.” More advanced studies with well defined hypotheses are called for. Unfortunately the bold title of Prause et al. (2015) article has already had an impact on mass media, thus popularizing scientifically unjustified conclusion. Due to the social and political importance of the topic of the effects of pornography consumption, researchers should draw future conclusions with greater caution.

After being exposed by Gola, Prause proclaimed – after the fact – that her EEG readings were meant to assess “cue-reactivity” (sensitization), rather than habituation. If true, Prause conveniently ignores the gaping hole in her bold “falsification” assertion. Even if Prause et al. 2015 had found less cue-reactivity in frequent porn users, 24 other neurological studies have reported cue-reactivity or cravings (sensitization) in compulsive porn users: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Science doesn’t go with the lone anomalous study hampered by several serious methodological flaws; science goes with the preponderance of evidence (unless you are an agenda-driven Porn Science Denier).

As for all the other Alliance sections, no model of anything has been falsified by the outlier, cherry-picked papers cited.

Various members of the Porn Science Deniers Alliance have a history of misrepresenting their own and others’ studies

While some of the most vocal Deniers chronically misrepresent the current state of the research, they also often downplay, veil, and occasionally misrepresent their own research. Below are examples of three Deniers who have published numerous studies (many Alliance members are just fans, not researchers). More examples are located in the Critiques of Questionable & Misleading Studies section.

Nicole Prause:

Joshua Grubbs:

  • Josh Grubbs’s “perceived porn addiction” studies. In this extraordinary 2016 Psychology Today article, Grubbs falsely states that “perceived porn addiction” scores (total CPUI-9) are unrelated to hours of porn use: Being labeled “porn addict” by a partner, or even by oneself, has nothing to do with the amount of porn a man views, says Joshua Grubbs, assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green University. Instead, it has everything to do with religiosity and moral attitudes toward sex. In short, he says, “It’s shame-motivated.” In reality, Grubbs et al., 2015 reported that porn use was a stronger predictor of “perceived porn addiction” than was religiosity!
  • In his unbelievably skewed write-up of Grubbs & Gola, 2019, Josh Grubbs consistently downplays the correlations between higher pornography use and porn addiction and poorer erections. In reality, correlations were reported in all 3 groups – especially for sample 3, which was the most relevant sample as it was the largest sample and overlapped most with the age group of men currently most often affected by porn-induced ED. In a bold demonstration of how to spin study results, Grubbs’s conclusions ignore correlations between porn use and poorer erections that were actually stronger than his correlations between “perceived porn addiction” and religiosity!

Alexander Štulhofer:

  • Landripet & Štulhofer, 2015: The “brief communication” claimed it found no relationships between porn use and sexual problems. As documented in both this YBOP critique and this review of the literature, Štulhofer’s paper actually reported two significant correlations between porn use and ED. In a second bit of chicanery, Štulhofer’s paper omitted three significant correlations between porn use and sexual problems, which one of the authors had earlier presented at a European conference.
  • Veitm, Štulhofer & Hald, 2016: Štulhofer’s studies often artfully “control for variables” until negative outcomes related to porn use are minimized or vanish (or he simply does not mention them in the abstract). Reading this Štulhofer abstract you would never know that he found significant correlations between porn use and poorer relationship and sexual satisfaction in both males and females. From the paper: “For both men and women, significant negative zero-order correlations between SEM use and relationship satisfaction were found.”

Many more examples are given in the next section.

Exposing the Alliance’s cherry-picked papers: disinformation, misrepresentation, omission and falsehoods.

Below we present the Alliance’s May 30th, 2019 snapshot of their cherry-picked papers. The categories and order of papers remain the same as you will find on their site. If applicable, we provide an introduction to a category describing the current state of the research, history of Denier propaganda, and occasionally hypothesize as to primary stratagems. For most papers we provide an “analysis” and correction of some aspect of misrepresentation, spin and omission put forth by the Alliance or the author of the papers (often one of Alliance “experts”). We also state if a paper: (1) is a commentary or an actual study (many are not studies), (2) assessed the effects of porn on the user (most did not), (3) is relevant to the section’s stated theme (many are irrelevant), (4) is just filler or “citation inflation” (many are immaterial). Links to Alliance’s sections:


Erectile And Other Sexual Dysfunctions Section

Context/Reality: This list contains over 30 studies linking porn use or porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. (including three Alliance studies listed below). The first 6 studies in the list demonstrate causation, as participants eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions.

In addition to the studies, this page contains articles and videos by over 130 experts (urology professors, urologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, MDs) who acknowledge and have successfully treated porn-induced ED and porn-induced loss of sexual desire.

Historical ED rates: Erectile dysfunction was first assessed in 1940s when the Kinsey report concluded that the prevalence of ED was less than 1% in men younger than 30 years, less than 3% in those ages 30–45. While ED studies on young men are relatively sparse, this 2002 meta-analysis of 6 high-quality ED studies reported that 5 of the 6 studies reported ED rates for men under 40 of approximately 2%.

At the end of 2006 free, streaming porn tube sites came on line and gained instant popularity. This changed the nature of porn consumption radically. For the first time in history, viewers could escalate with ease during a masturbation session without any wait. Ten studies published since 2010 reveal a tremendous rise in sexual dysfunctions. In the 10 studies, erectile dysfunction rates for men under 40 ranged from 14% to 37%, while rates for low libido ranged from 16% to 37%.

Other than the advent of streaming porn (2006) no variable related to youthful ED has appreciably changed in the last 10-20 years (smoking rates are down, drug use is steady, obesity rates in males 20-40 is up only 4% since 1999 – documented in this 2016 peer-reviewed paper: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. The recent jump in sexual problems coincides with the publication of numerous studies linking porn use and “porn addiction” to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli.

Alliance’s Objective: To create doubt in the public mind. It’s game-over if the public and medical field recognize the reality that use of today’s porn can cause chronic sexual dysfunctions in otherwise healthy young people. Deniers such as Ley, Prause, Perry, Kohut and Lehmiller blame masturbation, not porn, for chronic ED in healthy young men. (No urologist would agree.) Without offering any scientific support, the porn-apologists attempt to persuade us that porn is not behind the recent rise of coital ED in online porn enthusiasts. (Gotta be anything but porn, right?)

Ley and Prause have resorted to unethical measures over the past 7 years, having waged a 4-year war against this academic paper, while simultaneously harassing and libeling young men who have recovered from porn-induced sexual dysfunctions. See: Gabe Deem #1, Gabe Deem #2, Alexander Rhodes #1, Alexander Rhodes #2, Alexander Rhodes #3, Noah Church, Alexander Rhodes #4, Alexander Rhodes #5, Alexander Rhodes #6, Alexander Rhodes #7, Alexander Rhodes #8, Alexander Rhodes #9.

Reviews of the literature that The Deniers omitted:

1) Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016) – An extensive review of the literature related to porn-induced sexual problems. Involving 7 US Navy doctors, the review provides the latest data revealing a tremendous rise in youthful sexual problems. It also reviews the neurological studies related to porn addiction and sexual conditioning via Internet porn. The doctors provide 3 clinical reports of men who developed porn-induced sexual dysfunctions. Two of the three men healed their sexual dysfunctions by eliminating porn use. The third man experienced little improvement as he was unable to abstain from porn use. Abstract

Traditional factors that once explained men’s sexual difficulties appear insufficient to account for the sharp rise in erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, decreased sexual satisfaction, and diminished libido during partnered sex in men under 40. This review (1) considers data from multiple domains, e.g., clinical, biological (addiction/urology), psychological (sexual conditioning), sociological; and (2) presents a series of clinical reports, all with the aim of proposing a possible direction for future research of this phenomenon. Alterations to the brain’s motivational system are explored as a possible etiology underlying pornography-related sexual dysfunctions. This review also considers evidence that Internet pornography’s unique properties (limitless novelty, potential for easy escalation to more extreme material, video format, etc.) may be potent enough to condition sexual arousal to aspects of Internet pornography use that do not readily transition to real-life partners, such that sex with desired partners may not register as meeting expectations and arousal declines. Clinical reports suggest that terminating Internet pornography use is sometimes sufficient to reverse negative effects, underscoring the need for extensive investigation using methodologies that have subjects remove the variable of Internet pornography use.

2) Sexual Dysfunctions in the Internet Era (2018) – Excerpts:

Low sexual desire, reduced satisfaction in sexual intercourse, and erectile dysfunction (ED) are increasingly common in young population. In an Italian study from 2013, up to 25% of subjects suffering from ED were under the age of 40 [1], and in a similar study published in 2014, more than half of Canadian sexually experienced men between the age of 16 and 21 suffered from some kind of sexual disorder [2]. At the same time, prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles associated with organic ED has not changed significantly or has decreased in the last decades, suggesting that psychogenic ED is on the rise [3]. The DSM-IV-TR defines some behaviors with hedonic qualities, such as gambling, shopping, sexual behaviors, Internet use, and video game use, as “impulse control disorders not elsewhere classified”—although these are often described as behavioral addictions [4]. Recent investigation has suggested the role of behavioral addiction in sexual dysfunctions: alterations in neurobiological pathways involved in sexual response might be a consequence of repeated, supernormal stimuli of various origins.

Among behavioral addictions, problematic Internet use and online pornography consumption are often cited as possible risk factors for sexual dysfunction, often with no definite boundary between the two phenomena. Online users are attracted to Internet pornography because of its anonymity, affordability, and accessibility, and in many cases its usage could lead users through a cybersex addiction: in these cases, users are more likely to forget the “evolutionary” role of sex, finding more excitement in self-selected sexually explicit material than in intercourse.

In literature, researchers are discordant about positive and negative function of online pornography. From the negative perspective, it represents the principal cause of compulsive masturbatory behavior, cybersex addiction, and even erectile dysfunction.

3) Organic and psychogenic causes of sexual dysfunction in young men (2017) – A narrative review, with a section called “Role of Pornography in Delayed Ejaculation (DE)”. An excerpt from this section:

Role of Pornography in Delayed ejaculation (DE)

Over the last decade, a large increase in the prevalence and accessibility of Internet pornography has provided increased causes of DE associated with Althof’s second and third theory. Reports from 2008 found on average 14.4% of boys were exposed to pornography before the age of 13 and 5.2% of people viewed pornography at least daily.76 A 2016 study revealed that these values had both increased to 48.7% and 13.2%, respectively.76 An earlier age of first pornographic exposure contributes to DE through its relationship with patients exhibiting CSB. Voon et al. found that young men with CSB had viewed sexually explicit material at an earlier age than their age-controlled healthy peers.75 As previously mentioned, young men with CSB can fall victim to Althof’s third theory of DE and preferentially choose masturbation over partnered sex due to a lack of arousal in relationships. An increased number of men watching pornographic material daily also contributes to DE through Althof’s third theory. In a study of 487 male college students, Sun et al. found associations between the use of pornography and a decreased self-reported enjoyment of sexually intimate behaviors with real-life partners.76 These individuals are at an elevated risk of preferentially choosing masturbation over sexual encounters, as demonstrated in a case report by Park et al. A 20-year-old enlisted male presented with difficulty achieving orgasm with his fiancée for the previous six months. A detailed sexual history revealed that the patient relied on Internet pornography and use of a sex toy described as a “fake vagina” to masturbate while deployed. Over time, he required content of an increasingly graphic or fetish nature to orgasm. He admitted that he found his fiancée attractive but preferred the feeling of his toy because he found it more stimulating that real intercourse.77 An increase in the accessibility of Internet pornography places younger men at risk of developing DE through Althof’s second theory, as demonstrated in the following case report: Bronner et al. interviewed a 35-year-old healthy man presenting with complaints of no desire to have sex with his girlfriend despite being mentally and sexually attracted to her. A detailed sexual history revealed that this scenario had happened with the past 20 women he tried to date. He reported extensive use of pornography since adolescence that initially consisted of zoophilia, bondage, sadism, and masochism, but eventually progressed to transgender sex, orgies, and violent sex. He would visualize the pornographic scenes in his imagination to function sexually with women, but that gradually stopped working.74 The gap between the patient’s pornographic fantasies and real life became too large, causing a loss of desire. According to Althof, this will present as DE in some patients.73 This recurring theme of requiring pornographic content of an increasingly graphic or fetish nature to orgasm is defined by Park et al. as hyperactivity. As a man sensitizes his sexual arousal to pornography, sex in real life no longer activates the proper neurological pathways to ejaculate (or produce sustained erections in the case of ED).77

As for the 7 Alliance studies, its members are trying to fool the public. Four studies of the seven reported significant links between porn use and sexual problems. Data in all 4 of these studies run counter to the Allliance’s claims:

  1. Erectile Dysfunction, Boredom, and Hypersexuality among Coupled Men from Two European Countries (2015)
  2. Patient Characteristics by Type of Hypersexuality Referral: A Quantitative Chart Review of 115 Consecutive Male Cases (2015)
  3. Is Pornography Use Related to Erectile Functioning? Results From Cross-Sectional and Latent Growth Curve Analyses” (2019)
  4. Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography (2019)

Of the Alliance’s remaining three citations, one is not peer-reviewed, while the other two were formally criticized in the peer-reviewed literature (see below).

Finally, even if all 7 papers reported little or no relationship between porn use and sexual problems (which is not the case), the Alliance has falsified nothing. While Prause repeatedly mentions Karl Popper and his concepts related to falsifiability or refutability, she fails to apply these concepts to her supposed debunking of porn-induced sexual dysfunctions (or porn addiction). Applying Poppers philosophy to Prause’s claims, we find that it is her claims that have been falsified. As Popper stated, one can never prove that “all swans are white,” but a single black swan can falsify this claim.

When it comes to porn-induced sexual dysfunctions we have a lake full of black swans. Not only do we have thousands of anecdotal and clinical accounts of young men healing sexual dysfunctions by eliminating porn use, we have 6 peer-reviewed papers reporting that men healed chronic sexual dysfunctions by eliminated porn use:

  1. Situational Psychogenic Anejaculation: A Case Study (2014)
  2. Unusual masturbatory practice as an etiological factor in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunction in young men (2014)
  3. Male masturbation habits and sexual dysfunctions (2016)
  4. Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016)
  5. How difficult is it to treat delayed ejaculation within a short-term psychosexual model? A case study comparison (2017)
  6. Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction Among Young Men (2019)

Oh yeah, an additional 27 studies link porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. In short, the Alliance’s claims have been falsified.

Alliance Studies:

Grubbs, J. B., & Gola, M. (2019). Is pornography use related to erectile functioning? Results from cross-sectional and latent growth curve analyses. The journal of sexual medicine, 16(1), 111-125. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Joshua Grubbs. Even though the paper reads as if it debunks porn-induced ED, this study actually found that both problematic porn use (porn addiction) and higher levels of porn use were related to poorer erectile functioning in all 3 of its samples (see the actual data and the truth in this critique). Dr. Grubbs’s irresponsible conclusion comes as no surprise to those who have followed the earlier dubious claims of Dr. Grubbs in relation to his “perceived pornography addiction” campaign.

Put simply, this study supports the proposition that porn use/addiction are related to erectile dysfunction. To understand Grubbs’s bias, note the correlation between porn use and ED in his largest, most relevant sample (the age group most often reporting PIED): (0.37). It is stronger than the correlation Grubbs reported (in another paper) between “perceived pornography addiction” and religion (0.30) to justify his loud, public claims that that religiosity causes porn addiction. And yet here he concludes that he has disproved porn-induced ED, ignoring his own finding of a 0.37 correlation in his most relevant, largest sample! Shocking double standard, no?

Far from disproving a link between sexual dysfunctions and porn addiction or porn use, this study provides support for porn-induced sexual dysfunctions.

Berger, J. H., Kehoe, J. E., Doan, A. P., Crain, D. S., Klam, W. P., Marshall, M. T., & Christman, M. S. (2019). Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography. Military Medicine. Link to web

Analysis: A study by many of the same US Navy doctors who were on this highly cited review of the literature: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016). Why has the Alliance purposely omitted this earlier paper (after-all, it is a review of the literature)? Oh yeah, because it completely counters RealYBOP’s talking points and unsupported assertions.

In this study, researchers looked for a link between ED and indices of pornography addiction using a “craving” questionnaire. While no such link turned up (perhaps because users don’t accurately assess their degree of “craving” until they attempt to quit using), some other interesting correlations appeared in their results, which the Alliance omitted (as we’ve come to expect). A few excerpts:

Rates of erectile dysfunction were lowest in those [men] preferring partnered sex without pornography (22.3%) and increased significantly when pornography was preferred over partnered sex (78%).

…Pornography and sexual dysfunction are common among young people.

Those [men] who used on an almost daily basis or more had ED rates of 44% (12/27) compared to 22% (47/213) for those more “casual” users (≤5x/week), reaching significance on univariate analysis (p=0.017). It may be that volume does play a role to some extent.

Also, as the authors point out,

The proposed pathophysiology of porn-induced ED seems plausible and is based on a variety of researchers work and not a small collection of researchers that might be swayed by an ethical bias. Also supporting the “causation” side of the argument are reports of men regaining normal sexual function after discontinuation of excessive pornography use.

Only prospective studies will be able to definitively solve the question of causation or association, including interventional studies evaluating the success of abstention in treating ED in heavy pornography users. Additional populations that warrant special consideration include adolescents. There has been concern raised that early exposure to graphic sexual material may affect normal development. The rate of teenagers being exposed to pornography before the age of 13 has gone up three fold over the last decade, and now hovers around 50%.

The above study was presented at the American Urological Association’s 2017 meeting. A few excerpts from this article about it – Study sees link between porn and sexual dysfunction (2017):

Young men who prefer pornography to real-world sexual encounters might find themselves caught in a trap, unable to perform sexually with other people when the opportunity presents itself, a new study reports. Porn-addicted men are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and are less likely to be satisfied with sexual intercourse, according to survey findings presented Friday at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting, in Boston.

“The rates of organic causes of erectile dysfunction in this age cohort are extremely low, so the increase in erectile dysfunction that we have seen over time for this group needs to be explained,” Christman said. “We believe that pornography use may be one piece to that puzzle”.

Next up, a “brief communication” (not a study) that the authors of the above study formally critiqued in their peer-reviewed review of the literature.

Landripet, I., & Štulhofer, A. (2015). Is pornography use associated with sexual difficulties and dysfunctions among younger heterosexual men? The journal of sexual medicine, 12(5), 1136-1139. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. First, we note that all of Štulhofer’s studies seem to report little or no negative outcomes related to porn use, unlike the preponderance of the findings by other (less biased?) porn researchers. Landripet & Štulhofer, 2015 was designated as a “brief communication” by the journal in which it appeared, and the two authors selected certain data to share, while omitting other pertinent data. The journal also published a critique of Landripet & Štulhofer: Comment on: Is Pornography Use Associated with Sexual Difficulties and Dysfunctions among Younger Heterosexual Men? by Gert Martin Hald, PhD

First, as for the claim that Landripet & Štulhofer, 2015 found no relationships between porn use and sexual problems. This is not true, as documented in both this YBOP critique and the review of the literature in solving 7 US Navy physicians. The latter addressed Landripet & Štulhofer, 2015:

….Yet, based on a statistical comparison, the authors conclude that Internet pornography use does not seem to be a significant risk factor for youthful ED. That seems overly definitive, given that the Portuguese men they surveyed reported the lowest rates of sexual dysfunction compared with Norwegians and Croatians, and only 40% of Portuguese reported using Internet pornography “from several times a week to daily”, as compared with the Norwegians, 57%, and Croatians, 59%. This paper has been formally criticized for failing to employ comprehensive models able to encompass both direct and indirect relationships between variables known or hypothesized to be at work [59]. Incidentally, in a related paper on problematic low sexual desire involving many of the same survey participants from Portugal, Croatia and Norway, the men were asked which of numerous factors they believed contributed to their problematic lack of sexual interest. Among other factors, approximately 11%–22% chose “I use too much pornography” and 16%–26% chose “I masturbate too often” [60]

Second, with respect to the Croats, Landripet & Štulhofer, 2015 acknowledges a statistically significant association between more frequent porn use and ED, but claims the effect size was small. However, this claim may be misleading according to an MD who is a skilled statistician and has authored many studies:

Analyzed a different way (Chi Squared) … moderate use (vs. infrequent use) increased the odds (the likelihood) of having ED by about 50% in this Croatian population. That sounds meaningful to me, although it is curious that the finding was only identified among Croats.

Third, in a disturbing maneuver, Landripet and Štulhofer’s paper omitted three significant correlations its co-author presented to a European conference:

(1) a significant correlation between erectile dysfunction and “preference for certain pornographic genres,” which is common among men with PIED; and

(2 & 3) in females, increased pornography use was significantly associated with decreased interest for partnered sex and more prevalent sexual dysfunction among women.

It makes us wonder about other Stulhofer papers and what might have been omitted.

Klein, V., Jurin, T., Briken, P., & Štulhofer, A. (2015). Erectile dysfunction, boredom, and hypersexuality among coupled men from two European countries. The journal of sexual medicine, 12(11), 2160-2167. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. Another example of misrepresenting the actual findings of a study. In reality, the survey reported a strong correlation between erectile dysfunction and measures of hypersexuality. The study omitted correlation data between erectile functioning and pornography use, but noted a significant correlation. An excerpt:

Among Croatian and German men, hypersexuality was significantly correlated with proneness to sexual boredom and more problems with erectile function.

Far from disproving a link between sexual dysfunctions and porn addiction (hypersexuality), this study provides support for the relationship between compulsive porn use and sexual dysfunctions.

Prause, N., & Pfaus, J. (2015). Viewing sexual stimuli associated with greater sexual responsiveness, not erectile dysfunction. Sexual medicine, 3(2), 90-98. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. Prause & Pfaus 2015 wasn’t a study on men with ED. It wasn’t a study at all. Instead, Prause claimed to have gathered data from four of her earlier studies, none of which addressed erectile dysfunction. It’s disturbing that this paper by Nicole Prause and Jim Pfaus passed peer-review, as the data in their paper did not match the data in the underlying four studies on which the paper claimed to be based. The discrepancies are not minor gaps, but gaping holes that cannot be plugged. In addition, the paper made several claims that were false or not supported by their data – as explained in this letter to the journal editor by Richard A. Isenberg MD (2015) and two extensive lay critiques: (1) Nothing Adds Up in Dubious Study: Youthful Subjects’ ED Left Unexplained (2015), (2) Dismantling the Prause & Pfaus reply to Richard A. Isenberg (“Red Herring: Hook, Line, and Stinker“).

Dr. Isenberg’s letter debunked the Alliance’s summary: “VSS use within the range of hours tested is unlikely to negatively impact sexual functioning, given that responses actually were stronger in those who viewed more VSS.”

In fact, Prause & Pfaus could not have compared different subjects’ arousal levels when:

  1. three different types of sexual stimuli were used in the 4 underlying studies. Two studies used a 3-minute film, one study used a 20-second film, and one study used still images.
  2. only 1 of the 4 underlying studies used a 1 to 9 scale (the scale claimed by Prause). One used a 0 to 7 scale, one used a 1 to 7 scale, and one study did not report sexual arousal ratings.

Moreover, both Prause and Pfaus falsely stated in interviews that erections were assessed in lab, yet their paper clearly stated that, “No physiological genital response data were included to support men’s self-reported experience.

In summary, all the Prause-generated headlines and claims about porn use improving erections or arousal, or anything else, are unsupported by her research.

Sutton, K. S., Stratton, N., Pytyck, J., Kolla, N. J., & Cantor, J. M. (2015). Patient characteristics by type of hypersexuality referral: A quantitative chart review of 115 consecutive male cases. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 41(6), 563-580. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member James Cantor: A study on men (average age 41.5) with hypersexuality disorders, such as paraphilias and chronic masturbation or adultery. 27 were classified as “avoidant masturbators,” meaning they masturbated (typically with porn use) one or more hours per day or more than 7 hours per week. 71% of these porn addicts reported sexual functioning problems, with 33% reporting delayed ejaculation (excerpts on this page).

What sexual dysfunction(s) do 38% of the remaining men have? The two other primary choices for male sexual dysfunction are ED and low libido. The study doesn’t say, and the authors have ignored requests for details. In violation of standard protocol, James Cantor stated on an academic list-serve (Sexnet) that he would not release the actual findings. As you can see, far from disproving a link between sexual dysfunctions and porn use, this study provides very strong support for the existence of porn-induced sexual dysfunctions.

De Graaf, H., & Wijsen, C. (2017). Seksuele gezondheid in Nederland 2017. Sexual health in the Netherlands 2017. Link to web

Analysis: Not a peer-reviewed paper and not in English. Nice try, Alliance.


Attitudes Towards Women Section

Context/Reality: The Alliance’s 6 papers epitomize cherry-picking: (1) a random opinion piece, (2) doesn’t support their agenda, (3) irrelevant as its about 1990 videocassettes, (4-6) they employ questionable criteria for “egalitarianism.” One of those four studies interviews AVN attendees, while a second surveys a small psychology class in 1999. Tellingly, 3 of the 7 are by Alliance members.

The truth is that nearly every study assessing porn use and egalitarianism (sexual attitudes) has reported that porn use is associated with attitudes toward women that both liberals and conservatives regard as extremely problematic. The Alliance omitted every study on this list of over 40 studies link porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women and sexist views? The Alliance omitted every meta-analysis or review of the literature on the subject, such as this 2016 meta-analysis of 135 studies: Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015. Excerpt:

The goal of this review was to synthesize empirical investigations testing effects of media sexualization. The focus was on research published in peer-reviewed, English-language journals between 1995 and 2015. A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed. The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.

The Alliance also omitted this review of the literature: Pornography and Attitudes Supporting Violence Against Women: Revisiting the Relationship in Nonexperimental Studies (2010) – An excerpt:

A meta-analysis was conducted to determine whether nonexperimental studies revealed an association between men’s pornography consumption and their attitudes supporting violence against women. The meta-analysis corrected problems with a previously published meta-analysis and added more recent findings. In contrast to the earlier meta-analysis, the current results showed an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women in nonexperimental studies. In addition, such attitudes were found to correlate significantly higher with the use of sexually violent pornography than with the use of nonviolent pornography, although the latter relationship was also found to be significant.

The Alliance omitted this meta-analysis – Contributions of Mainstream Sexual Media Exposure to Sexual Attitudes, Perceived Peer Norms, and Sexual Behavior: A Meta-Analysis (2019) – Excerpts:

Overall, this meta-analysis demonstrates consistent and robust relations between media exposure and sexual attitudes and behavior spanning multiple outcome measures and multiple media. Media portray sexual behavior as highly prevalent, recreational, and relatively risk-free [3], and our analyses suggest that a viewer’s own sexual decision-making may be shaped, in part, by viewing these types of portrayals. Our findings are in direct contrast with the previous meta-analysis, which suggested that media’s impact on sexual behavior was trivial or nonexistent [4]. The previous meta-analysis used 38 effect sizes and found that “sexy” media were weakly and trivially related with sexual behavior (r = .08), whereas the current metaanalysis used more than 10 times the amount of effect sizes (n = 394) and found an effect nearly double the size (r = .14).

The Alliance seems allergic to reviews and meta-analyses, which are the gold standard of scientific reliability outside their bubble.

Alliance Studies:

Jackson, C. A., Baldwin, A., Brents, B. G., & Maginn, P. J. (2019). EXPOsing Mens Gender Role Attitudes as Porn Superfans. Sociological Forum. doi:10.1111/socf.12506 Link to web

Analysis: Seriously? Interviewing “Porn superfans” attending the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo passed peer-review? What’s next, interviewing bar patrons to see if they like beer? Even if taken seriously, the study tells us nothing about the effects of viewing porn as it didn’t correlate porn use with the four criteria. Contrary to the Alliance’s summary, the narrow criteria employed assessed “gender roles,” not sexist or misogynistic attitudes. For example, Harvey Weinstein would score exceptionally high on their gender-role assessment. In more extreme example, any pimp who wants his “hoes” working for his benefit would agree, but that doesn’t rule out extreme misogyny on his part.

As with the Taylor Kohut studies cited here, it’s easy to see that religious/conservative populations would score lower than secular/liberal populations (AVN attendees) on a these carefully chosen criteria. Here’s the key: secular populations, which tend to be more liberal, have far higher rates of porn use than religious populations. (clearly, all the AVN attendees in this study used porn). By choosing certain criteria and ignoring endless other variables, Jackson et al. knew porn fans would score higher on their highly selective version of “egalitarianism.

McKee, A. (2005). The objectification of women in mainstream pornographic videos in Australia. Journal of Sex Research, 42(4), 277-290. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alan Mckee. What is this study doing here? More citation inflation, as this paper has nothing to with porn’s effects on viewers attitudes towards women. The study limits itself to Alan McKee’s opinion on the degree of objectification found in Australian porn films from the 1990’s. Although irrelevant to this section’s claimed theme, McKee’s “results” are way out of line with all other studies. See the Tolerance Section below, where the Deniers inserted similar, irrelevant studies, which we address (and provide what the Deniers omitted).

Barak, A., Fisher, W. A., Belfry, S., & Lashambe, D. R. (1999). Sex, guys, and cyberspace: Effects of internet pornography and individual differences on men’s attitudes toward women. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 11(1), 63-91. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member William Fisher (Taylor Kohut works under him). Outlier results from a tiny non-representative sample of psychology students taking classes from Fisher or his underlings. Why is it that Fisher and Kohut studies are consistently the exceptions to the “preponderance of the evidence” rule?

Kohut, T., Baer, J. L., & Watts, B. (2016). Is pornography really about “making hate to women”? Pornography users hold more gender egalitarian attitudes than nonusers in a representative American sample. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(1), 1-11. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Taylor Kohut (William Fisher is his boss). Nicole Prause has tweeted this Kohut study at least 50 times, while RealYBOP tweeted it 3 times in the last week! Neither account ever tweets the studies or meta-analyses named in the intro. How did Kohut design a study to produce results that are contradicted by nearly every other published study? By carefully selecting criteria for “egalitarianism” so that religious population scored far lower than secular populations. Let me explain.

Kohut framed egalitarianism as: (1) Support for abortion, (2) Feminist identification, (3) Women holding positions of power, (4) Belief that family life suffers when the woman has a full-time job, and oddly enough (5) Holding more negative attitudes toward the traditional family. No matter what you personally believe, it’s easy to see that religious populations would score far lower on Taylor Kohut’s 5-part “egalitarianism” assessment.

Here’s the key: secular populations, which tend to be more liberal, have far higher rates of porn use than religious populations. By choosing these 5 criteria and ignoring endless other variables, Taylor Kohut knew he would end up with porn use (greater in secular populations) correlating with his study’s carefully chosen selection of what constitutes “egalitarianism” (lower in religious populations). Then Kohut chose a title that spun it all. Also see this 2015 critique on Feminist Currents, by Jonah Mix: New study says porn users have ‘egalitarian attitudes’ — so what?

Kohut’s new website and his attempt at fundraising suggest that he just may have an agenda. Kohut’s bias is revealed in a recent brief written for the Standing Committee on Health Regarding Motion M-47 (Canada). In the brief Kohut and his coauthors are guilty of cherry-picking a few outlying studies while misrepresenting the current state of the research on porn’s effects. Their distorted and laughable description of the published neurological studies on porn users leaves no doubt as to their bias.

Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2018). Pornography consumption, sexual liberalism, and support for abortion in the United States: Aggregate results from two national panel studies. Media Psychology, 21(1), 75-92. Full text

Analysis: In line with the above papers, pornography consumption predicted more support for abortion. As explained, this is because secular/liberal populations have higher rates of porn use than religious/conservative populations. An expected correlation.

Attwood, F., & Smith, C. (2010). Extreme concern: Regulating ‘dangerous pictures’ in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society, 37(1), 171-188. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. No data, but its inclusion provides insight into the Alliance’s support of the porn industry. This 9-year old opinion piece by the radically pro-porn editors of Porn Studies Journal, opposes UK regulation of extreme porn that glorifies sexual violence.


Regulation Section

Context/Reality: What the Alliance’s purpose was in listing this diverse group of papers is anyone’s guess. We do know that in 2016 Prause tried to palm off the below Winters et al. paper as proving that “hypersexuals” had better control over urges while watching porn. In reality, Winters’s more frequent porn users were habituated (bored) by vanilla porn. This shift supports the addiction model, as it suggests tolerance or habituation, as do these 40 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms (all signs and symptoms associated with addiction).

In previous commentaries Prause and other Deniers falsely stated that no study has reported “difficultly regulating urges” or “inability to control use despite negative consequences”. This is a blatant lie, as the numerous porn and sex addiction questionnaires listed in this debunking of a Prause commentary assessed whether subjects had trouble controlling their porn use or sexual behaviors. This preposterous claim is debunked by the hundreds of studies examining assessing compulsive sexual behaviour, most of which employed one or more of the following porn/sex addiction instruments. The core element of an addiction is “continued use despite severe negative consequences.” That’s why following questionnaires all asked about negative effects related to CSB (links are to Google scholar studies):

  1. Problematic Pornography Use Scale (PPUS),
  2. Compulsive Pornography Consumption (CPC),
  3. Cyber Pornography Use Inventory (CPUI),
  4. Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes Scale (CBOSB),
  5. Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS),
  6. Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI),
  7. Pornography Craving Questionnaire (PCQ),
  8. Hypersexual Behavior Consequences Scale (HBCS)
  9. Internet Addiction Test-sex (IAT-sex)
  10. Problematic Pornography Consumption Scale (PPCS)
  11. Problematic Online Pornography Use: A Media Attendance Perspective

Unlike the following Alliance papers (which do not assess “regulation” of porn use), studies omitted by the Deniers have in fact assessed the role self-regulation in porn addiction or problematic porn use. One of those studies: Problematic Online Pornography Use: A Media Attendance Perspective (2015). From the intro of the study:

Deficient self-regulation is defined as a state in which conscious self-control is diminished (LaRose & Eastin, 2004, p. 363) and individuals are no longer able to judge their actions and react to the consequences that may result. Habitual media use may lead to deficient self-regulation when the judgment and self-reactive stages of self-regulation fail. With habit, the ability to recognize and observe one’s behavior is weakened, whereas with deficient self-regulation the ability to control or disengage from a behavior is weakened.

From the discussion section:

In this study, we attempted to explain online pornography usage through the framework of media attendance. Our model successfully affirms the media attendance framework of problematic media use by exploring the effects of deficient self-regulation and habit strength and also the social needs that motivate individuals to view online pornography, which can result in negative life consequences. Results support the structure of the model and back up the key findings of hypotheses 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7: Deficient self-regulation predicted negative consequences that occur from viewing online pornography; deficient self-regulation also predicted habitual use of online pornography; habit strength was predicted by usage; social needs predicted usage; deficient self-regulation predicted social needs; and social needs predicted negative consequences.

As predicted, deficient self-regulation was found to be positively related to negative consequences. Deficient self-regulation occurs as a result of a failure of the observation and judgment stages of the self-regulation process. Individuals who view online pornography and experience deficient self-regulation are likely to continue this behavior until certain goals are achieved despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

None of the following Alliance studies support Prause’s assertions surrounding the poorly defined “regulation“. If the Deniers are trying to falsify “inability to regulate sexual behaviors despite negative consequences” that ship has sailed.

Alliance Studies:

Winters, J., Christoff, K., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2009). Conscious regulation of sexual arousal in men. Journal of Sex Research, 46(4), 330-343. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Jason Winters. As with previous papers by Alliance members, the findings and associated write-ups are spun to meet an agenda. The purpose of this study was to see if men could dampen their self-reported sexual arousal while watching sex films. The important findings: the men best at suppressing sexual arousal were also best at making themselves laugh. The men least successful at suppressing sexual arousal were generally hornier than the rest. These findings have nothing to do with actual porn addicts’ “inability to control use despite severe negative consequences,” which is a definition of “regulation”

Big problem: As fellow Alliance member Štulhofer explained, the Winters study was fatally flawed as it used the Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS):

This clearly contrasts the Winters et al.’s conclusion about the substantial overlap between high sexual desire and dysregulated sexuality [5]. One possible explanation for the discrepant findings are different measures used to indicate hypersexuality in the two studies. For example, in the present study, the negative consequences related to sexuality were assessed using a more exhaustive list. Furthermore, Winters et al. used the Sexual Compulsivity Scale [36], which has been suggested to poorly differentiate between sexual compulsiveness and openness to sexual experiences and experimentation [4,37].

In addition, the Sexual Compulsivity Scale isn’t a valid assessment for porn addiction or for females. It was created in 1995 and designed with uncontrolled sexual relations in mind (in connection with investigating the AIDS epidemic). The SCS says:

“The scale has been should [shown?] to predict rates of sexual behaviors, numbers of sexual partners, practice of a variety of sexual behaviors, and histories of sexually transmitted diseases.”

Moreover, the SCS’s developer warns that this tool won’t show psychopathology in women,

“Associations between sexual compulsivity scores and other markers of psychopathology showed different patterns for men and women; sexual compulsivity was associated with indexes of psychopathology in men but not in women.”

In addition, Winters failed to identify which participants were “porn addicts”, so it can tell us nothing about porn addiction. Key point: This entire “regulation” claim rests upon the unsupported prediction that “porn addicts” should experience greater sexual arousal to static images of vanilla porn, and thus less ability to control their arousal. Yet the prediction that compulsive porn users or addicts experience greater arousal to vanilla porn and greater sexual desire has repeatedly been falsified by several lines of research:

  1. Over 30 studies link porn use to lower sexual arousal or sexual dysfunctions with sex partners.
  2. 25 studies falsify the claim that sex and porn addicts “have high sexual desire”.
  3. Over 70 studies link porn use with lower sexual & relationship satisfaction.

Yet why would the Alliance think porn addicts should have “higher arousal’ when Prause et al., 2015 reported that more frequent porn users had less brain activation to vanilla porn than did controls? Given the high percentage of porn users who report escalation to more extreme material, sluggish response to laboratory porn would hardly be surprising. In fact, the findings of Prause et al. 2015 align with Kühn & Gallinat (2014), which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn, and with Banca et al. 2015, which found faster habituation to sexual images in porn addicts.

Again, it is not uncommon for frequent porn users to develop tolerance, which is the need for greater stimulation in order to achieve the same level of arousal. Vanilla porn can become boring as the brain’s response to pleasure declines. A similar phenomenon occurs in substance abusers who require bigger “hits” to achieve the same high. With porn users, greater stimulation is often achieved by escalating to new or extreme genres of porn. A recent study found that such escalation is very common in today’s internet porn users. 49% of the men surveyed had viewed porn that “was not previously interesting to them or that they considered disgusting.”

Creswell, J. D., Pacilio, L. E., Denson, T. F., & Satyshur, M. (2013). The effect of a primary sexual reward manipulation on cortisol responses to psychosocial stress in men. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75(4), 397-403. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. This paper has nothing to do with “regulation,” or porn’s effects on the viewer. Yet, it conatined interesting findings and was accurately described by the Alliance. Put simply, viewing porn reduced cortisol (reduced stress response) and improved performance on the math test. While not relevant to this (or any other) Alliance section’s theme, its inclusion needs to be placed in context.

First, the authors state that watching porn is a “primary reward”. Nicole Prause chronically states that viewing porn is not a primary reward, and that masturbating to porn is neurologically identical to watching puppies play. Not surprisingly, this study punches holes in Prause’s assertions.

Second, numerous other studies where subjects masturbated while viewing porn reported quite different hormonal results than this cherry-picked paper. Just a few examples: study1, study2, study3, study4, study5.

Third, while porn viewing temporarily reduced stress, which may have lead to better scores on a math test, many other studies report negative cognitive and academic outcomes related to porn use (both immediate and more importantly, long term):

1) Exposure to Sexual Stimuli Induces Greater Discounting Leading to Increased Involvement in Cyber Delinquency Among Men (2017) – In two studies exposure to visual sexual stimuli resulted in: 1) greater delayed discounting (inability to delay gratification), 2) greater inclination to engage in cyber-delinquency, 3) greater inclination to purchase counterfeit goods & hack someone’s Facebook account. Taken together this indicates that porn use increases impulsivity and may reduce certain executive functions (self-control, judgment, foreseeing consequences, impulse control). Excerpt:

These findings provide insight into a strategy for reducing men’s involvement in cyber delinquency; that is, through less exposure to sexual stimuli and promotion of delayed gratification. The current results suggest that the high availability of sexual stimuli in cyberspace may be more closely associated with men’s cyber-delinquent behavior than previously thought.

2) Trading Later Rewards for Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption and Delay Discounting (2015) – The more pornography that participants consumed, the less able they were to delay gratification. This unique study also had porn users reduce porn use for 3 weeks. The study found that continued porn use was causally related to greater inability to delay gratification (note that the ability to delay gratification is a function of the prefrontal cortex). Excerpt from the first study (median subject age 20) correlated subjects’ pornography use with their scores on a delayed gratification task:

The more pornography that participants consumed, the more they saw the future rewards as worth less than the immediate rewards, even though the future rewards were objectively worth more……. These results indicate that continued exposure to the immediate gratification of pornography is related to higher delay discounting over time.

3) Viewing sexual images is associated with reduced physiological arousal response to gambling loss (2018) – Excerpt:

People should be aware that sexual arousal could reduce their attention and physiological sensitivity to monetary losses. In other words, people should pay extra attention to the losses and gains of financial decisions when they are sexually aroused.

4) Is students’ computer use at home related to their mathematical performance at school? (2008) – Excerpt:

Also, students’ cognitive abilities were positively linked to their achievement in mathematics. Finally, watching television had a negative relationship with students’ performance. Particularly, watching horror, action, or pornographic films was associated with lower test scores.

5) Pornographic picture processing interferes with working memory performance (2013) – German scientists have discovered that Internet erotica can diminish working memory. In this porn-imagery experiment, 28 healthy individuals performed working-memory tasks using 4 different sets of pictures, one of which was pornographic. Participants also rated the pornographic pictures with respect to sexual arousal and masturbation urges prior to, and after, pornographic picture presentation. Results showed that working memory was worst during the porn viewing and that greater arousal augmented the drop. An excerpt:

Results contribute to the view that indicators of sexual arousal due to pornographic picture processing interfere with working memory performance. Findings are discussed with respect to Internet sex addiction because working memory interference by addiction-related cues is well known from substance dependencies.

6) Sexual Picture Processing Interferes with Decision-Making Under Ambiguity (2013)– Study found that viewing pornographic imagery interfered with decision making during a standardized cognitive test. This suggests porn use might affect executive functioning, which is a set of mental skills that help with meeting goals. Excerpts:

Decision-making performance was worse when sexual pictures were associated with disadvantageous card decks compared to performance when the sexual pictures were linked to the advantageous decks. Subjective sexual arousal moderated the relationship between task condition and decision-making performance.This study emphasized that sexual arousal interfered with decision-making, which may explain why some individuals experience negative consequences in the context of cybersex use.

7) Arousal, working memory capacity, and sexual decision-making in men (2014)– Excerpts:

This study investigated whether working memory capacity (WMC) moderated the relationship between physiological arousal and sexual decision making. A total of 59 men viewed 20 consensual and 20 non-consensual images of heterosexual interaction while their physiological arousal levels were recorded using skin conductance response. Participants also completed an assessment of WMC and a date-rape analogue task for which they had to identify the point at which an average Australian male would cease all sexual advances in response to verbal and/or physical resistance from a female partner. Participants who were more physiologically aroused by and spent more time viewing the non-consensual sexual imagery nominated significantly later stopping points on the date-rape analogue task. Consistent with our predictions, the relationship between physiological arousal and nominated stopping point was strongest for participants with lower levels of WMC. For participants with high WMC, physiological arousal was unrelated to nominated stopping point. Thus, executive functioning ability (and WMC in particular) appears to play an important role in moderating men’s decision making with regard to sexually aggressive behavior.

8) Early Adolescent Boys’ exposure to Internet pornography: Relationships to pubertal timing, sensation seeking, and academic performance (2015)– This rare longitudinal study (over a six-month period) suggests that porn use decreases academic performance. Excerpt:

Moreover, an increased use of Internet pornography decreased boys’ academic performance six months later.

9) Getting stuck with pornography? Overuse or neglect of cybersex cues in a multitasking situation is related to symptoms of cybersex addiction (2015) – Subjects with a higher tendency towards porn addiction performed more poorly of executive functioning tasks (which are under the auspices of the prefrontal cortex). A few excerpts:

We investigated whether a tendency towards cybersex addiction is associated with problems in exerting cognitive control over a multitasking situation that involves pornographic pictures. We used a multitasking paradigm in which the participants had the explicit goal to work to equal amounts on neutral and pornographic material. We found that participants who reported tendencies towards cybersex addiction deviated stronger from this goal.

10) Effects of Pornography on Senior High School Students, Ghana (2016) – Excerpt:

The study revealed that majority of the students admitted to watching pornography before. Furthermore, it was observed that majority of them agreed that pornography affects students’ academic performance negatively…

11) Frequency and Duration of Use, Craving and Negative Emotions in Problematic Online Sexual Activities (2019)– Excerpts:

In a sample of over 1,000 Chinese college students, we tested a model that pornography craving would operate through quantity and frequency measures of usage of OSAs to lead to problematic use of OSAs, and this then would lead to negative academic emotions. Our model was largely supported.

Results indicated that higher pornography craving, greater quantity and frequency of use of OSAs, and more negative academic emotions were associated with problematic OSAs. The results resonate with those of previous studies reporting a high level of pornography craving in association with other negative health measures.

12) Perception of Pornography Impacts on Social Studies’ Students in University of Jos, Nigeria (2019) – Excerpt:

The study was backed with four research questions sand two hypotheses, the research design adopted for the study was survey research and the population was the entire social studies students in university of Jos having the total of 244 population size and from which 180 were randomly selected as sample of the study. The study revealed that, most students who are involved in pornographic activities do not do well in academics and most times even procrastinate on their works.

Why did the Deniers omit the above studies?

Moholy, M., Prause, N., Proudfit, G. H., S. Rahman, A., & Fong, T. (2015). Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, predicts self-regulation of sexual arousal. Cognition and Emotion, 29(8), 1505-1516. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. Like Winters et al., 2009 critiqued above, this study falsified nothing as it failed to assess if subjects experienced difficulty trouble controlling their porn use (“regulation”). Most importantly, neither study started by assessing who was or wasn’t a “porn addict.” How can you debunk the porn addiction model if you don’t begin by assessing subjects with clear evidence of (what addiction experts define as) addiction?

This Prause study relied upon the CBSOB, which has zero questions about Internet porn use. It only asks about “sexual activities,” or if subjects are worried about their activities (e.g., “I am worried I am pregnant,” “I gave someone HIV,” “I experienced financial problems”). Thus any correlations between scores on the CBSOB and ability to regulate arousal are not relevant to many internet porn addicts, who do not engage in partnered sex.

Like the Winters study above, this study reported that hornier participants had a harder time down-regulating their sexual arousal while watching porn. Prause et al. are right: this study replicated Winters, et al., 2009: hornier people have higher sexual desire. (Duh)

This study has the same fatal flaw seen in other Prause studies: The researchers chose vastly different subjects (women, men, heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals), but showed them all standard, possibly uninteresting, male+female porn. Put simply, the results of this study were dependent on the premise that males, females, and non-heterosexuals do not differ in their response to a set of sexual images. This is clearly not the case.

Taylor, K. (2019). Nosology and metaphor: How pornography viewers make sense of pornography addiction. Sexualities. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460719842136 Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. It’s a paper (not an actual study) by grad student Kris Taylor. The paper has nothing to do with “regulation,” or porn’s effects, or much of anything else. It’s the second similarly structured opinion piece by Taylor, consisting of selected excerpts from men in recovery, interspersed with psycho-babble. While the paper claims to be about making sense of pornography “addiction,” Taylor has no background in addiction or neuroscience. Most importantly, and just like the Deniers, Taylor’s paper omitted all 43 neurological studies on porn users and CSB subjects, except for Prause et al., 2015 (Taylor fails to mention the 8 peer-reviewed papers that say that Prause’s EEG study actually supports the addiction model). No surprise considering Kris Taylor’s history of twisting reality to fit his agenda.

Prause and RealYBOP regularly cite the 2 Taylor papers, mischaracterizing their content, methodology and scientific value. For example, under David Ley’s disgusting Psychology Today article calling men in recovery Nazis, we have Prause (arguing with bart) making several false statements about Kris Taylor’s first paper, such as claiming it “was a systematic review of the content in those forums,” when it was nothing of the sort. Bart points out that Taylor specifically stated that the 15 comments he selected (out of millions posted over the last 8 years) cannot be read as “representative of NoFap as a whole.” True. Yet Prause is so thrilled with Taylor’s conclusions and their spin value that she (again) employed Wikipedia aliases (sockpuppets) in violation of Wikipedia’s rules to insert the two Taylor papers (neither of which meets Wikipedia’s rules for inclusion):

Wikipedia edit by the Prause sockpuppet:

Real Your Brain Porn tweet about the Taylor paper:

As stated, we know of at least 30 other likely sockpuppets Prause has used to edit Wikipedia (see this section for the sockpuppet list). Many have been identified and banned by Wikipedia.

Hallberg, J., Kaldo, V., Arver, S., Dhejne, C., Jokinen, J., & Öberg, K. G. (2019). A Randomized Controlled Study of Group-Administered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Hypersexual Disorder in Men. The journal of sexual medicine. Link to web

Analysis: Why is this study in the “regulation” category? It certainly doesn’t support Prause’s assertions surrounding “regulation”. To the contrary, the subjects were treatment-seeking sex addicts:

The target population was adult women and men suffering from self-identified problematic “hypersexual behavior,” “out-of-control sexual behavior,” or “sex addiction” who were interested in participating in a clinical study of a group treatment intervention.

The study counters Prause’s assertions around “regulation,” as the study’s subjects experienced difficulty controlling their sexual behaviors:

The hypersexuality Disorder criteria encompass an inability to control excessive sexual thoughts, fantasies, and behaviors in relation to dysphoric mood states and stress and have been validated in a clinical population.

The study’s outcome? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) resulted in a decrease of hypersexual behavior (inability to control unwanted sexual behaviors):

The treatment resulted in a significant reduction in hypersexual as well as psychiatric symptoms, suggesting that the CBT program could serve as a first-line treatment for these patients in clinical settings.

Instead of supporting Prause’s often-repeated talking points, the results support (1) inability to regulate sexual behaviors as a common symptom, and, (2) the addiction model. While this study claimed to be the first randomized controlled study evaluating and validating the efficacy of the CBT program for hypersexual
diagnosed men, CBT has been commonly used for sex and porn addicts. For example, a Google scholar search for “compulsive sexual behavior” + “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” returns 750 references. Impressively, a Google search for hypersexuality + “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” returns 1,870 references.

Beauregard, M., Lévesque, J., & Bourgouin, P. (2001). Neural correlates of conscious self-regulation of emotion. The Journal of neuroscience. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. Why is this study in the “regulation” category (or any other category)? It doesn’t identify any subject as being a porn addict or CSB subject. It doesn’t correlate any measure of porn addiction or porn use with anything, including “regulation”. It does, however, counter Prause’s often-repeated assertion that masturbating to porn is neurologically identical to watching puppies play.

Willoughby, B. J., Busby, D. M., & Young-Petersen, B. (2018). Understanding associations between personal definitions of pornography, using pornography, and depression. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1-15. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. Again, why is this study in the “regulation” category (or any RealYBOP category)? Here we present the mish-mash of findings, taken from the “implications” section of the study:

The results suggest several important implications for both scholars and policy makers. First, results suggest links between perceptions of sexual content as pornographic, the approval of pornography, and the usage of such content. It appears that those individuals who disapprove of pornography generally tend to not view such content, while those who approve of pornography tend to seek such content out.

Results of the present study suggest that when individuals do not view sexual content they have negative perceptions toward, such congruence has a positive effect on mental health, supporting hypothesis 1. Such findings are in line with previous scholars who have noted that consistency between values and pornography viewing behavior should have a positive impact on mental health.

results suggesting that using content one does not view as pornographic is linked to more depressive symptoms are a novel finding not previously suggested by scholars and ran counter to our initial hypotheses….

The above has nothing to do with this section’s poorly defined theme.

Efrati, Y. (2018). God, I can’t stop thinking about sex! The rebound effect in unsuccessful suppression of sexual thoughts among religious adolescents. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-10. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary appears reasonable: “Thought suppression” is probably not the best way for horny, religious teens to control unwanted negative thoughts. The study confirms the phenomenon known as the “ironic process theory,” whereby deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts actually make them more likely to surface. Good for therapists to be aware of.

That said, the preponderance of studies report lower rates of porn use, and thus reduced compulsive sexual behavior, in religious population (study 1, study 2, study 3, study 4, study 5, study 6, study 7, study 8, study 9, study 10, study 11, study 12, study 13, study 14, study 15, study 16, study 17, study 18, study 19, study 20, study 21, study 22, study 23, study 24, study 25). In addition, consider two recent studies investigating religiosity in treatment-seeking sex and porn addicts (1) this 2016 study on treatment-seeking porn addicts found that religiosity did not correlate with negative symptoms or scores on a sex addiction questionnaire, (2) this 2016 study on treatment-seeking hypersexuals found no relationship between religious commitment and self-reported levels of hypersexual behavior and related consequences.

Hesse, C., & Floyd, K. (2019). Affection substitution: The effect of pornography consumption on close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Link to web

Analysis: The authors and the Alliance attempt to obfuscate the basic correlations, which are pretty straightforward: More porn use was related to greater depression & loneliness/less relationship satisfaction & closeness. Excerpt:

“In this study, 357 adults reported their level of affection deprivation, their weekly pornography consumption, their goals for using pornography (including life satisfaction and loneliness reduction), and indicators of their individual and relational wellness…. As predicted, affection deprivation and pornography consumption were inversely related to relational satisfaction and closeness, while being positively related to loneliness and depression.

Actual correlations from Hesse et al., 2019:

Hesse et al., 2019 is included in our list of over 70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.

Regnerus, M., Gordon, D., & Price, J. (2016). Documenting pornography use in America: A comparative analysis of methodological approaches. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(7), 873-881. Link to web

Analysis: RealYBOP accurately describes one of the paper’s data points: “survey data from 2014 reveal that 46% of men and 16% of women between the ages of 18 and 39 intentionally viewed pornography in a given week. These numbers are notably higher than most previous population estimates employing different types of questions.” The irony: while this finding supports the long-standing YBOP claim that porn use has jumped due to the internet, it debunks claims by Deniers David Ley, Nicole Prause, and Peter Finn, who asserted in Ley et al., 2014 that porn use rates have not increased since the early 1970’s, (This one must have slipped by the Alliance’s cherry-picking checkers.)


Love and Intimacy Section

Context/Reality: First, the Alliance omitted all but two of the over 70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. Second, the Alliance misled the reader on those 2 studies (found in this category): as both link porn use to poorer relationship satisfaction or more infidelity: Maddox, et al., 2011 and Miller et al., 2019. Third, 4 of the studies were authored by Alliance members and none of them are what they appear to be. Fourth, and most importantly, the Alliance failed to mention that every study involving males has reported more porn use linked to poorer sexual or relationship satisfaction (about 65 studies). Finally, the Alliance once again provides no reviews of the literature or meta-analyses to support their social media claim that “no negative effects is the most commonly reported impact of porn use in relationships.”

As far as we know, two meta-analyses and one review have been published, which contradict the Deniers’ claims. The Alliance conveniently omitted all 3:

1) Pornography Consumption and Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis (2017) – This meta-analysis of various other studies assessing sexual and relationship satisfaction reported that porn use was consistently related to lower sexual and relationship satisfaction (interpersonal satisfaction). An excerpt:

However, pornography consumption was associated with lower interpersonal satisfaction outcomes in cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys, and experiments. Associations between pornography consumption and reduced interpersonal satisfaction outcomes were not moderated by their year of release or their publication status. But analyses by sex indicted significant results for men only.

While a few studies report little effect of women’s porn use on women’s sexual and relationship satisfaction, most do report negative effects. When evaluating the research, it’s important to know that a relatively small percentage of all coupled females regularly consumes internet porn. Large, nationally representative data are scarce, but the General Social Survey reported that only 2.6% of all US women had visited a “pornographic website” in the last month. The question was only asked in 2002 and 2004 (see Pornography and Marriage, 2014).

2) Women’s perceptions of their male partners’ pornography consumption and relational, sexual, self, and body satisfaction: toward a theoretical model (2017) – Excerpts:

This paper’s meta-analysis of quantitative studies conducted to date primarily supports the hypothesis that the majority of women are negatively impacted by the perception that their partner is a pornography consumer. In main analyses including all of the available studies, perceiving partners as pornography consumers was significantly associated with less relational, sexual, and body satisfaction. The association for self satisfaction was also negative. The results also suggested that women’s satisfaction will generally decrease in correspondence with the perception that their partners are consuming pornography more frequently.

Perceiving male partners as more frequent consumers of pornography was significantly associated with less relational and sexual satisfaction.

Finally, the possibility of a publication bias was also explored. Taken in totality, the results did not suggest that publication bias is a significant concern in this literature.

3) Excerpts from a 2018 review of the literature (Pornography, Pleasure, and Sexuality: Towards a Hedonic Reinforcement Model of Sexually Explicit Internet Media Use), summarizing porn’s effects on sexual satisfaction:

In contrast to many of the previously discussed domains related to internet porn use (IPU) and motivations, in which research is still burgeoning, the relationships between IPU and sexual satisfaction have been extensively studied, with dozens of publications addressing the topic. Rather than exhaustively review the list of studies examining IPU and sexual satisfaction, the findings of these studies are summarized in Table 1.

In general, as indicated in Table 1, the relationships between IPU and personal sexual satisfaction are complex, but consistent with the supposition that IP may promote more hedonic sexual motivations, particularly as use increases. Among couples, there is limited support for the idea that IPU may enhance sexual satisfaction, but only when it is incorporated into partnered sexual activities. On an individual level, there is consistent evidence that IPU is predictive of lower sexual satisfaction in men, with both cross-sectional and longitudinal works pointing to the associations of such use with diminished satisfaction for men. Regarding women, scattered evidence suggests that IPU may enhance sexual satisfaction, have no effect on satisfaction, or diminish satisfaction over time. Despite these mixed findings, the conclusion of no significant effect of IPU on sexual satisfaction in women is the most common finding. These results have also been confirmed by a recent meta-analysis (Wright, Tokunaga, Kraus, & Klann, 2017). Reviewing 50 studies of pornography consumption and various satisfaction outcomes (e.g., life satisfaction, personal satisfaction, relational satisfaction, sexual satisfaction), this meta-analysis found that pornography consumption (not internet-specific) was consistently related to and predictive of lower interpersonal satisfaction variables, including sexual satisfaction, but for men only. No significant findings were found for women. Collectively, such mixed results preclude definitive conclusions about the role of IP in influencing satisfaction for women.

One of the most important findings of recent works examining IPU and sexual satisfaction is that there appears to be a curvilinear relationship between use and satisfaction, so that satisfaction decreases more sharply as IPU becomes more common (e.g., Wright, Steffen, & Sun, 2017; Wright, Brigdes, Sun, Ezzell, & Johnson, 2017). The details of these studies are reflected in Table 1. Given clear evidence across multiple international samples, it seems reasonable to accept the conclusion that as IPU increases to more than once per month, sexual satisfaction decreases. Furthermore, although these studies (Wright, Steffen, et al., 2017; Wright, Bridges et al., 2017) were cross-sectional, given the number of longitudinal studies (e.g., Peter & Valkenburg, 2009) linking IPU to lower sexual satisfaction, it is reasonable to infer that these associations are causal in nature. As IPU increases, interpersonal sexual satisfaction appears to decrease, which is consistent with the present model’s contention that IPU is associated with more hedonic and self-focused sexual motivation.

The above review claims the effects of porn use on women’s sexual and relationship satisfaction is mixed. In reality, there are far more studies reporting negative outcomes: list of over 30 studies, with excerpts.

On to the truth about the Alliance’s cherry-picked papers:

Alliance Studies:

Balzarini, R. N., Dobson, K., Chin, K., & Campbell, L. (2017). Does exposure to erotica reduce attraction and love for romantic partners in men? Independent replications of Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989) study 2. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, 191-197. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member William Fisher’s underlings. This 2017 study attempted to replicate a 1989 study that exposed men and women in committed relationships to erotic images of the opposite sex. The 1989 study found that men who were exposed to the nude Playboy centerfolds rated their partners as less attractive and reported less love for their partner. As the 2017 failed to replicate the 1989 findings, we are told by Fisher’s underlings that the 1989 study got it wrong, and that porn use cannot diminish love or desire. Whoa! Not so fast.

The replication “failed” because our cultural environment has become “pornified” in the interim. The 2017 researchers didn’t recruit 1989 college students who grew up watching MTV after school. Instead their subjects grew up surfing PornHub for gang bang and orgy video clips.

In 1989 how many college students had seen an X-rated video? Not too many. How many 1989 college students spent every masturbation session, from puberty on, masturbating to multiple hard-core clips in one session? None. The reason for the 2017 results is evident: brief exposure to a still image of a Playboy centerfold is a big yawn compared to what college men in 2017 have been watching for years. Even the authors admitted the generational differences with their first caveat:

1) First, it is important to point out that the original study was published in 1989. At the time, exposure to sexual content may not have been as available, whereas today, exposure to nude images is relatively more pervasive, and thus being exposed to a nude centerfold may not be enough to elicit the contrast effect originally reported. Therefore, the results for the current replication studies may differ from the original study due to differences in exposure, access, and even acceptance of erotica then versus now.

In a rare instance of unbiased prose even Denier David Ley felt compelled to point out the obvious:

It may be that the culture, men, and sexuality have substantially changed since 1989. Few adult men these days haven’t seen pornography or nude women—nudity and graphic sexuality are common in popular media, from Game of Thrones to perfume advertisements, and in many states, women are permitted to go topless. So it’s possible that men in the more recent study have learned to integrate the nudity and sexuality they see in porn and everyday media in a manner which doesn’t affect their attraction or love for their partners. Perhaps the men in the 1989 study had been less exposed to sexuality, nudity, and pornography.

Keep in mind that this experiment doesn’t mean internet porn use hasn’t affected men’s attraction for their lovers. It just means that looking at “centerfolds” has no immediate impact these days. Many men report radical increases in attraction to partners after giving up internet porn. And, of course, there is also the longitudinal evidence cited above demonstrating the deleterious effects of porn viewing on relationships.

Experiments where college-age guys view a few Playboy centerfolds (as in the study linked to by the authors) can tell you nothing about the effects of your mate masturbating to hard-core videos clips day after day for years on end. The only relationship studies that can “demonstrate if porn viewing really causes negative relationship effects” are longitudinal studies that control for variables or studies where subjects abstain from porn. To date seven longitudinal relationship studies have been published that reveal the real-life consequences of ongoing porn use. All reported that porn use relates to poorer relationship/sexual outcomes:

  1. Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Sexual Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study (2009).
  2. A Love That Doesn’t Last: Pornography Consumption and Weakened Commitment to One’s Romantic Partner (2012).
  3. Internet pornography and relationship quality: A longitudinal study of within and between partner effects of adjustment, sexual satisfaction and sexually explicit internet material among newly-weds (2015).
  4. Till Porn Do Us Part? Longitudinal Effects of Pornography Use on Divorce, (2016).
  5. Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data (2016).
  6. Are Pornography Users More Likely to Experience A Romantic Breakup? Evidence from Longitudinal Data (2017).
  7. Pornography Use and Marital Separation: Evidence from Two-Wave Panel Data (2017).

Note – the Deniers provide no longitudinal studies on adult porn use and sexual or relationship satisfaction.

Grov, C., Gillespie, B. J., Royce, T., & Lever, J. (2011). Perceived consequences of casual online sexual activities on heterosexual relationships: A US online survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 429-439. Link to web

Analysis: Junk science (and dated): a”study” using selected data from a 2004 ELLE magazine survey. Unbelievable. From the methods section:

Data from this project were procured from ELLE magazine based on its 2004 “ELLE/ msnbc.com Cyber-Sex and Romance Survey,” a U.S.-based national survey about the use of Internet personals and adult (i.e., sex-related) websites. During a two-week period in mid- February 2004, both ELLE.com and msnbc.com hosted this survey on their websites, although 98% of participants came from msnbc.com web traffic.

Is it possible that the authors use this already publicly released results to create a peer-reviewed paper to support an agenda? Once again we are told that: “Unsurprisingly, viewing adult websites with a partner in order to enhance sexual arousal was positively associated with positive consequences and inversely associated with negative consequences.” As described below, the percentage of monogamous couples that regularly use porn with partner is exceedingly small – maybe 1% (except maybe for ELLE readers). For example, data from the largest nationally representative US survey (General Social Survey) reported that only 2.6% of married women had visited a “pornographic website” in the last month. (for more see Pornography and Marriage, 2014).

Even with the usual spin, the paper noted:

Negative impacts were also identified, with women more likely to indicate they had less sex as a result of a partner’s OSA, and men more likely to indicate they were less aroused by real sex as a result of their own OSA.

The survey was clearly non-representative. Nor did it correlate levels or porn use (or problematic porn use) with measures of sexual or relationship satisfaction. RealYBOP is digging up anything and everything to counter the numerous quantitative studies linking porn use with less sexual and relationship satisfaction. Good luck with that.

Rissel, C., Richters, J., De Visser, R. O., McKee, A., Yeung, A., & Caruana, T. (2017). A profile of pornography users in Australia: Findings from the second Australian study of health and relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(2), 227-240. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alan McKee. Citation inflation – the survey did not assess sexual or relationship effects of porn use, which is the theme of this section. Both the RealYBOP summary and McKee’s abstract are purposely misleading. While the Deniers claim this study supports the argument that Internet porn doesn’t really cause serious problems. In reality, 17% of males & females aged 16-30 reported that using pornography had a bad effect on them (which is pretty high for “self-perceived” effects):

There are reasons to take the headlines with a grain of salt. First a few caveats about this study:

  1. This was a cross-sectional representative study spanning age groups 16-69, males and females. It’s well established that young men are the primary users of internet porn. So, 25% of the men and 60% of the women had not viewed porn at least once in the last 12 months. Thus the statistics gathered minimize the problem by veiling the at-risk users.
  2. The single question, which asked participants if they had used porn in the last 12 months, doesn’t meaningfully quantify porn use. For example, a person who bumped into a porn site pop-up is considered no different from someone who masturbates 3 times a day to hardcore porn.
  3. However, when the survey inquired of those who “had ever viewed porn” which ones had viewed porn in the past year, the highest percentage was the teen group. 93.4% of them had viewed in the last year, with 20-29 year olds just behind them at 88.6.
  4. Data was gathered between October 2012 and November 2013. Things have changed a lot in the last 4 years, thanks to smartphone penetration – especially in younger users.
  5. Questions were asked in computer-assisted telephone interviews. It’s human nature to be more forthcoming in completely anonymous interviews, especially when interviews are about sensitive subjects such as porn use and porn addiction.
  6. The questions are based purely upon self-perception. Keep in mind that addicts rarely see themselves as addicted. In fact, most internet porn users are unlikely to connect their symptoms to porn use unless they quit for an extended period.
  7. The study did not employ standardized questionnaires (given anonymously), which would more accurately have assessed both porn addiction and porn’s effects on the users.

Check out the study’s conclusion (not surprising, because it comes from McKee):

Looking at pornographic material appears to be reasonably common in Australia, with adverse effects reported by a small minority.

However, for males & females aged 16-30, it’s not a small minority. According to Table 5 in the study, 17% of this age group reported that using pornography had a bad effect on them. (In contrast, among people 60-69, only 7.2% thought porn had a bad effect.)

How different would the headlines from this study have been if the authors had emphasized their finding that nearly 1 in 5 young people believed that porn use had a “bad effect on them”? Why did they attempt to downplay this finding by ignoring it and focusing on cross-sectional results – rather than the group most at risk for internet problems?

Once again, few regular porn users realize how porn has affected them until well after they cease using. Often ex-users need several months to fully recognize the negative effects. Thus, a study like this one has major limitations.

Kohut, T., Balzarini, R. N., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members Taylor Kohut & William Fisher, and the rest of the gang at The University of Western Ontario. The findings: couples who watch porn together experienced greater openness of sexual communication than couples where each uses porn alone, or one partner uses porn alone and the other does not. On the surface it could be read as though using porn together might be just fine. But as the Alliance is quick to parrot, “correlation doesn’t equal causation.”

The vast majority of individuals watch porn alone. Couples who regularly watch porn together represent a tiny fraction of the individuals using porn. Data from a large nationally representative survey (GSS) reported that only 2.6% of all US women had visited a “pornographic website” in the last month (question was only asked in 2002 and 2004). What is the percentage of committed couples who regularly share pornography use? Once again, we have headlines and conclusions arising from a (likely) small percentage of the general population (very clever).

Maas, M. K., Vasilenko, S. A., & Willoughby, B. J. (2018).A dyadic approach to pornography use and relationship satisfaction among heterosexual couples: The role of pornography acceptance and anxious attachment. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(6), 772-782. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary was accurate, as far as it goes. In reality, the basic correlations revealed that more porn use was related to less relationship satisfaction for both men and women (more so for men, who are the most likely to regularly use porn):

Kohut, T., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2017).Perceived effects of pornography on the couple relationship: Initial findings of open-ended, participant-informed,“bottom-up” research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 585-602. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members Taylor Kohut & William Fisher. This qualitative study, containing no correlations, is yet another example of Kohut’s magical ability to design studies that garner desired headlines. Is the intention behind this study to (attempt to) counter the over 70 studies that show porn use has negative effects on relationships? The two primary methodological tactics (flaws) of this study are:

1) Study did not contain a representative sample. Whereas most studies show that a tiny minority of females in long-term relationships use porn, in this study 95% of the women used porn on their own. And 83% of the women had used porn since the beginning of the relationship (in some cases for years). Those rates are higher than in college-aged men! In other words, the researchers appear to have skewed their sample to produce the results they were seeking. The reality? Data from the largest nationally representative US survey (General Social Survey) reported that only 2.6% of married women had visited a “pornographic website” in the last month. Data from 2000 – 2004 (for more see Pornography and Marriage, 2014).

2) Study did not correlate porn use with any variable assessing sexual or relationship satisfaction. Instead, the study employed “open ended” questions where the subject could ramble on about porn (it was qualitative rather than quantitative). Then, the researchers read the ramblings and decided, after the fact, what answers were “important,” and how to present (spin?) them in their paper. See “Porn Research: Fact or Fiction?” a video presentation that exposes the truth behind 5 studies propagandists cite to support their claims that porn addiction doesn’t exist or that porn use is largely beneficial (one is this Kohut study).

Despite these fatal flaws and despite the negative effects reported by some of their sample, the researchers claimed porn’s impact was overwhelmingly positive. In reality, excerpts from Kohut’s study reveal numerous couples reporting significant negative outcomes related to porn use.

It appears to us that William Fisher’s lab publishes questionable or carefully designed studies in an effort to confuse the public and journalists into believing there is equivalent evidence countering the preponderance of studies linking porn use to poorer sexual and relationship satisfaction. The word for this kind of intentional misinformation is “agnotology”: the deliberate production of misleading misinformation for public consumption. We suggest Linda Hatch’s PsychCentral article examining agnotology in the sexology field: “The Bogus Sex Addiction ‘Controversy’ and the Purveyors of Ignorance.

Staley, C., & Prause, N. (2013). Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations. Archives of sexual behavior, 42(4), 615-624. Link to web.

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. Viewing porn, becoming horny, and then wanting to get off, is hardly a remarkable finding. This “laboratory finding” by a defunct laboratory tells us nothing about the long-term effects of porn use on relationships (again, over 70 studies – and every study on men – link porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction). This experiment is akin to evaluating the effects of alcohol by asking bar patrons if they feel good after their first couple of beers. Does this one-time assessment tell us anything about their mood the next morning or the long-term effects of chronic alcohol use? Not surprisingly, the Alliance omitted the rest of Prause’s findings:

Viewing the erotic films also induced greater reports of negative affect, guilt, and anxiety

Negative affect means negative emotions. Alliance exposed.

Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011).Viewing sexually-explicit materials alone or together: Associations with relationship quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Link to web

Analysis: As with other listed studies the Alliance omits any unfavorable findings. Their summary failed to divulge that individuals who never viewed porn (SEM) reported (1) “higher relationship quality on all indices than those who viewed SEM alone,” and (2) “lower rates of infidelity.” Excerpt:

“This study investigated associations between viewing sexually-explicit material (SEM) and relationship functioning in a random sample of 1291 unmarried individuals in romantic relationships…. Individuals who never viewed SEM reported higher relationship quality on all indices than those who viewed SEM alone. Those who viewed SEM only with their partners reported more dedication and higher sexual satisfaction than those who viewed SEM alone. The only difference between those who never viewed SEM and those who viewed it only with their partners was that those who never viewed it had lower rates of infidelity.”

Since the vast majority of individuals watch porn alone, this means most couples. While the study claimed that couples who “viewed SEM only with their partners reported more dedication and higher sexual satisfaction”, this group represents a tiny fraction of individuals using porn. This is supported by data from a large nationally representative survey (GSS) which reported that only 2.6% of all US women had visited a “pornographic website” in the last month. The question was only asked in 2002 and 2004 (see Pornography and Marriage, 2014). Maddox et al., 2011 is included in YBOP’s list of over 70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.


Models of Hypersexuality Section

Context/Reality: It appears that all of the Alliance Members oppose the addiction model (several Deniers are fervently anti-porn addiction, chronically misrepresenting the research, attacking addiction researchers, defaming those who say porn addiction exists, harassing men in recovery). It goes without saying that the Alliance’s handful of mostly irrelevant papers is designed to fool their lay audience and uninformed journalists. What they offer pales in comparison to the published research supporting the existence of porn addiction.

First, it’s “Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder” and it’s in WHO’s new ICD-11. The more accurate descriptor “Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder” (CSBD) has largely replaced “Hypersexuality” in the literature. Both Hypersexuality and Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder have functioned as umbrella terms for various out of control sexual behaviors also known as “sex addiction,” “porn addiction,” “cybersex addiction,” etc. In line with the new terminology, the world’s most widely used medical diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), contains a new diagnosis suitable for porn or sex addiction: “Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder.” By recognizing behavioral addictions and creating the container-diagnosis for compulsive sexual behaviors, the World Health Organization is coming into alignment with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). In August, 2011 America’s top addiction experts at ASAM released their sweeping new definition of addiction.

Second, the Alliance omitted all papers supporting the addiction model:

The Alliance omitted numerous other relevant studies, reviews, and commentaries about hypersexuality. For example, a Google Scholar search for “hypersexuality” returns 23,000 citations. While many of the citations deal with drug-induced or brain injury-induced hypersexuality, quite a few are relevant to this section – and purposely omitted.

Third, compulsivity & impulsivity are included in the addiction model: Naysayers attempt to obfuscate by asserting that “compulsivity” and “impulsivity” somehow unique models of hypersexuality, distinct from the addiction model. Not so as addiction studies repeatedly report that addiction features elements of both impulsivity and compulsivity. (A Google Scholar search for addiction + impulsivity + compulsivity returns 22,000 citations.) Here are simple definitions of impulsivity and compulsivity:

  • Impulsivity: Acting quickly and without adequate thought or planning in response to internal or external stimuli. A predisposition to accept smaller immediate rewards over larger delayed gratification and an inability to stop a behavior toward gratification once it’s set in motion.
  • Compulsivity: Refers to repetitive behaviors that are performed according to certain rules or in a stereotypical fashion. These behaviors persevere even in the face of adverse consequences.

Predictably, addiction researchers often characterize addiction as developing from impulsive pleasure-seeking behavior to compulsive repetitive behaviors to avoid discomfort (such as the pain of withdrawal). Thus, addiction comprises a bit of both, along with other elements. So the differences between “models” of impulsivity and compulsivity as they relate to CSBD are not cut and dried in the way the Alliance suggests.

By the way, the concern about different treatment requirements for each model is a red herring as the ICD-11 doesn’t endorse any particular treatment for CSBD or any other mental or physical disorder. That’s up to the healthcare practitioner. In his 2018 paper, “Compulsive sexual behavior: A nonjudgmental approach, CSBD workgroup member Jon Grant MD, MPH, JD (the same expert whom Prause/Klein/Kohut misrepresented earlier) covered misdiagnosis, differential diagnosis, co-morbidities and various treatments options related to the new CSBD diagnosis. Incidentally, expert Grant says that Compulsive Sexual Behavior is also called “sex addiction” in that paper!

Fourth: “It’s not an addiction, it’s a compulsion.“ This brings us to the ‘compulsion’ versus ‘addiction’ discussion. Addiction and compulsion are both terms that have entered our everyday language. Like many words that are in common use, they can be misused and misunderstood.

In arguing against the concept of behavioral addictions, especially porn addiction, skeptics often claim that pornography addiction is a ‘compulsion’ and not a true ‘addiction’. Some even insist that addiction is “like” Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When further pressed as to how a ‘compulsion to use X’ differs neurologically from an ‘addiction to X’, a common comeback by these uninformed skeptics is that “behavioral addictions are simply a form of OCD.” False.

Multiple lines of research demonstrate that addictions differ from OCD in many substantive ways, including neurological differences. This is why the DSM-5 and ICD-11 have separate diagnostic categories for obsessive-compulsive disorders and for addictive disorders. Studies leave little doubt that CSBD is not a type of OCD. In fact, the percentage of CSB individuals with co-occurring OCD is surprisingly small. From Conceptualization and Assessment of Hypersexual Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Literature (2016)

Obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders have been considered to conceptualize sexual compulsivity (40) because some studies have found individuals with hypersexual behavior are on the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) spectrum. OCD for hypersexual behavior is not consistent with DSM-5 (1) diagnostic understandings of OCD, which exclude from the diagnosis those behaviors from which individuals derive pleasure. Although obsessive thoughts of the OCD type often have sexual content, the associated compulsions performed in response to the obsessions are not carried out for pleasure. Individuals with OCD report feelings of anxiety and disgust rather than sexual desire or arousal when confronted with situations triggering obsessions and compulsions, with the latter being performed only to quell uneasiness the obsessive thoughts arouse. (41)

From this June, 2018 study: Revisiting the Role of Impulsivity and Compulsivity in Problematic Sexual Behaviors:

Few studies have examined associations between compulsivity and hypersexuality. Among males with nonparaphilic hypersexual disorder [CSBD], the lifetime prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder—a psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsivity—ranges from 0% to 14%.

Obsessiveness—which may be associated with compulsive behavior—in treatment-seeking men with hypersexuality has been found to be elevated relative to a comparison group, but the effect size of this difference was weak. When the association between the level of obsessive-compulsive behavior—assessed by a subscale of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-II) —and the level of hypersexuality was examined among treatment-seeking males with hypersexual disorder, a trend toward a positive, weak association was found. On the basis of the aforementioned results, compulsivity appears to contribute in a relatively small manner to hypersexuality [CSBD].

In one study, general compulsivity was examined in relation to problematic pornography use among men, showing positive but weak associations. When investigated in a more complex model, the relationship between general compulsivity and problematic pornography use was mediated by sexual addiction and Internet addiction, as well as an addiction more generally. Taken together, the associations between compulsivity and hypersexuality and compulsivity and problematic use appear relatively weak.

There is a current debate regarding how best to consider problematic sexual behaviors (such as hypersexuality and problematic pornography use), with competing models proposing classifications as impulse-control disorders, obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, or behavioral addictions. Relationships between transdiagnostic features of impulsivity and compulsivity and problematic sexual behaviors should inform such considerations, although both impulsivity and compulsivity have been implicated in addictions.

The finding that impulsivity related moderately to hypersexuality provides support both for the classification of compulsive sexual behavior disorder (as proposed for ICD-11; World Health Organization as an impulse-control disorder or as a behavioral addiction. In considering the other disorders currently being proposed as impulse-control disorders (e.g., intermittent explosive disorder, pyromania, and kleptomania) and the central elements of compulsive sexual behavior disorder and proposed disorders due to addictive behaviors (e.g., gambling and gaming disorders), the classification of compulsive sexual behavior disorder in the latter category appears better supported.

Fifth: All the physiological and neuropsychological studies published on porn users and porn addicts (often denoted as CSB) report findings consistent with the addiction model (as do over 40 studies reporting escalation or tolerance/habituation).

In 2016 George F. Koob and Nora D. Volkow published their landmark review in The New England Journal of Medicine: Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction. Koob is the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The paper describes the major brain changes involved with both drug and behavioral addictions, while stating in its opening paragraph that sexual behavioral addictions exist:

We conclude that neuroscience continues to support the brain disease model of addiction. Neuroscience research in this area not only offers new opportunities for the prevention and treatment of substance addictions and related behavioral addictions (e.g., to food, sex, and gambling)….

The Volkow & Koob paper outlined four fundamental addiction-related brain changes, which are: 1) Sensitization, 2) Desensitization, 3) Dysfunctional prefrontal circuits (hypofrontality), 4) Malfunctioning stress system. All 4 of these brain changes have been identified among the 42 physiological and neuropsychological studies listed on this page:

  • Studies reporting sensitization (cue-reactivity & cravings) in porn users/sex addicts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
  • Studies reporting desensitization or habituation (resulting in tolerance) in porn users/sex addicts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • Studies reporting poorer executive functioning (hypofrontality) or altered prefrontal activity in porn users/sex addicts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
  • Studies indicating a dysfunctional stress system in porn users/sex addicts: 1, 2, 3.

The preponderance of the existing evidence surrounding CSBD (hypersexuality) fits the addiction model.

On to the largely irrelevant Alliance papers.

Alliance Studies:

Krüger, T. H., Schiffer, B., Eikermann, M., Haake, P., Gizewski, E., & Schedlowski, M. (2006). Serial neurochemical measurement of cerebrospinal fluid during the human sexual response cycle. European Journal of Neuroscience, 24(12), 3445-3452. Link to web

Analysis: What is this study doing here? It neither supports nor counters the addiction model. Is it cited because Nicole Prause & David Ley chronically reject dopamine’s central role in sexual arousal and motivation? For example, Prause chronically asserts that watching puppies play is neurologically identical to masturbating to porn. While scientifically ridiculous, this talking point is often repeated by followers, journalists and other Alliance members. Perhaps the Alliance should consult their ally Jim Pfaus, who has published extensively on dopamine’s role in sexual behavior. Perhaps they should do a Google scholar search for “sexual arousal +dopamine” which happens to returns 48,000 citations. The following article is a response to Prause’s unsupported talking point: Correcting Misunderstandings About Neuroscience and Problematic Sexual Behaviors (2017) by Don Hilton, MD.

Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Fong, T., & Prause, N. (2013). Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 3(1), 20770. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. Note: This EEG study was added 5 weeks after RealYBOP (Prause) created the “Models of Hypersexuality” section. Why did Prause wait so long to post her most famous study? Because it is well established that:

  1. Prause misrepresented the actual findings to the public
  2. The actual findings of Steele et al., 2013 support the addiction model
  3. This 2013 EEG study was really just the first half of Prause et al., 2015
  4. Steele et al., 2013 had no control group for comparison
  5. On the surface, Steele et al. reported findings are the opposite of Prause et al., 2015 (one claimed higher brain activation, one claimed lower brain activation)

If you want to read the real expert’s opinion on Steele et al. – and the game-playing, see this page containing 7 peer-reviewed critiques exposing the truth: Peer-reviewed critiques of Steele et al., 2013. Also see – A critique of “Steele et al., 2013″: actual findings support the porn addiction model.

A little bit about Prause most famous study: On March 6th, 2013 David Ley and spokesperson Nicole Prause teamed up to write a Psychology Today blog post about Steele et al., 2013 called “Your Brain on Porn – It’s NOT Addictive. Its oh-so-catchy title is misleading as it has nothing to do with Your Brain on Porn or the neuroscience presented there. Instead, David Ley’s March, 2013 blog post limits itself to a single flawed EEG study – Steele et al., 2013.

Ley’s blog post appeared 5 months before Prause’s EEG study was formally published. A month later (April 10th) Psychology Today editors unpublished Ley’s blog post due to controversies surrounding its unsubstantiated claims and Prause’s refusal to provided her unpublished study to anyone else. The day Steele et al., and its extensive associated press went public, Ley re-published his blog post. Ley changed the date of his blog post to July 25 2013, eventually closing comments.

Prause’s carefully orchestrated PR campaign resulted in worldwide media coverage with all the headlines claiming that sex addiction had been debunked(!). In TV interviews and in the UCLA press release Nicole Prause made two wholly unsupported claim about her EEG study:

  1. Subjects’ brains did not respond like other addicts.
  2. Hypersexuality (sex addiction) is best understood as “high desire.”

Neither of those findings are actually in Steele et al. 2013. In fact, the study reported the exact opposite of what Nicole Prause claimed. What Steele et al., 2013 actually stated as its “brain findings”:

“the P300 mean amplitude for the pleasant–sexual condition was more positive than the unpleasant, and pleasant–non-sexual conditions”

Translation: Frequent porn users had greater cue-reactivity (higher EEG readings) to explicit sexual images relative to neutral pictures. This is exactly the same as what occurs when drug addicts are exposed to cues related their addiction.

What Steele et al., 2013 actually stated as its “sexual desire findings”:

“Larger P300 amplitude differences to pleasant sexual stimuli, relative to neutral stimuli, was negatively related to measures of sexual desire, but not related to measures of hypersexuality.”

Translation: Negatively means lower desire. Individuals with greater cue-reactivity to porn had lower desire to have sex with a partner (but not lower desire to masturbate). To put another way – individuals with more brain activation and cravings for porn preferred to masturbate to porn than have sex with a real person.

Together these two Steele et al. findings indicate greater brain activity to cues (porn images), yet less reactivity to natural rewards (sex with a person). Both are hallmarks of an addiction, indicating both sensitization and desensitization. Commenting under the Psychology Today interview of Prause, senior psychology professor emeritus John A. Johnson said:

My mind still boggles at the Prause claim that her subjects’ brains did not respond to sexual images like drug addicts’ brains respond to their drug, given that she reports higher P300 readings for the sexual images. Just like addicts who show P300 spikes when presented with their drug of choice. How could she draw a conclusion that is the opposite of the actual results?

John Johnson continues:

Mustanski asks, “What was the purpose of the study?” And Prause replies, “Our study tested whether people who report such problems [problems with regulating their viewing of online erotica] look like other addicts from their brain responses to sexual images.”

But the study did not compare brain recordings from persons having problems regulating their viewing of online erotica to brain recordings from drug addicts and brain recordings from a non-addict control group, which would have been the obvious way to see if brain responses from the troubled group look more like the brain responses of addicts or non-addicts…..

So this group who reports having trouble regulating their viewing of online erotica has a stronger EEG response to erotic pictures than other kinds of pictures. Do addicts show a similarly strong EEG response when presented with their drug of choice? We don’t know. Do normal, non-addicts show a response as strong as the troubled group to erotica? Again, we do not know. We don’t know whether this EEG pattern is more similar to the brain patterns of addicts or non-addicts.

The Prause research team claims to be able to demonstrate whether the elevated EEG response of their subjects to erotica is an addictive brain response or just a high-libido brain response by correlating a set of questionnaire scores with individual differences in EEG response. But explaining differences in EEG response is a different question from exploring whether the overall group’s response looks addictive or not.

Aside from the many unsupported claims in the press, it’s disturbing that Steele et al. passed peer-review, as it suffered from serious methodological flaws: 1) subjects were heterogeneous (males, females, non-heterosexuals); 2) subjects were not screened for mental disorders or addictions; 3) study had no control group for comparison; 4) questionnaires were not validated for porn use or porn addiction.

An excerpt from the most recent of the 8 peer-reviewed papers to expose the truth about Prause EEG studies: Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t—A Systematic Review (2019)

Evidence of this neural activity signalizing desire is particularly prominent in the prefrontal cortex [101] and the amygdala [102,103], being evidence of sensitization. Activation in these brain regions is reminiscent of financial reward [104] and it may carry a similar impact. Moreover, there are higher EEG readings in these users, as well as the diminished desire for sex with a partner, but not for masturbation to pornography [105], something that reflects also on the difference in erection quality [8]. This can be considered a sign of desensitization. However, Steele’s study contains several methodological flaws to consider (subject heterogeneity, a lack of screening for mental disorders or addictions, the absence of a control group, and the use of questionnaires not validated for porn use) [106]. A study by Prause [107], this time with a control group, replicated these very findings. The role of cue reactivity and craving in the development of cybersex addiction have been corroborated in heterosexual female [108] and homosexual male samples [109].

The above critique, like the others, exposes Prause as misrepresenting her findings to the media. As documented in this section, misinformation and misrepresentation is par for the course.

Byers, L. J., Menzies, K. S., & O’Grady, W. L. (2004). The impact of computer variables on the viewing and sending of sexually explicit material on the Internet: testing Cooper’s” Triple-A Engine”. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 13(3/4), 157. Link to web

Analysis: Citation inflation as this paper is not concerned with “models of hypersexuality”. Instead, RealYBOP reaches back to 2003, locating an outlier study (with questionable methodology) that suggested the invention of internet has little impact on the way we consume porn. Laughable and not aligned with any other paper published since. Maybe RealYBOP should have read this 2018 paper by her fellow alliance member Joshua Grubbs, which said:

Hedonic Reinforcement

In the second point of the model, we posit that IP (internet porn) serves as a particularly potent reinforcement of hedonic sexual motives. Whereas sexual activity of any kind is likely rewarding on some level, IP presents the potential for a combination of specific, easily obtainable, continually novel, and virtually immediate rewards in a manner that is uniquely and intensely rewarding (e.g., Gola et al., 2016). Many popular, non-empirical works have suggested as much (e.g., Foubert, 2016; Wilson, 2014; Struthers, 2009). Additionally, some limited reviews have considered the possibility that IP represents an abnormally rewarding stimulus (e.g., Barrett, 2010; Hilton, 2013; Grinde, 2002) in the context of human evolution. However, to date, there has been no systematic review examining the possibility that pornography represents an especially powerful hedonic reward. In the following sections, we review evidence for this second step….

Accessibility of IP

For many people, quickly and easily obtained rewards are often rated as being preferable to delayed rewards, even when those delayed rewards may be objectively better (e.g., delayed gratification, delay discounting; Bickel & Marsch, 2001). This is one component of what makes many pleasure-inducing, psychoactive substances habit-forming (e.g., Bickel & Marsch, 2001): Although other factors might contribute to addictive behavior patterns (e.g., physiological dependence, genetic predisposition), the association between stimulus and instant reward can be habit forming. Building on this, prior theoretical work has contended that the instantaneous nature of online technology in general produces rewards of internet behaviors at a rate unprecedented by other, non-chemical stimuli (Davis, 2001).

From the outset, research on IP has repeatedly emphasized the instantaneous nature of the online environment as representing a new and potentially problematic adjustment to the standard rewarding nature of sexually explicit media more generally (Cooper et al., 1998; Schwartz & Southern, 2000). Whereas partnered sexual interaction typically requires social effort and whereas conventional, printed or recorded sexually explicit media required at least some effort and cost to obtain (e.g., driving to and spending money an adult theatre or store), IP is quickly and easily accessible, giving it advantages as a relative reinforcement of a specific behavior for the satisfaction of sexual desire and drive.

IP likely represents a uniquely easy way to obtain sexual gratification that has been previously unprecedented in the context of human evolution. In a previously reviewed qualitative study (Rothman et al., 2015) of inner-city youth, a key theme related to pornography use was the availability and simplicity of access. Additionally, within the same sample, there were also reports of the use IP, in part, due to the ease with which IPU satisfied sexual desires or relieved sexual tension. IP was simply easy to use, which contributed to use patterns. Similarly, in a qualitative study (Löfgren-Mårtenson & Månsson, 2010), of Swedish adolescents (N=73; 49% male; Range 14-20), IPU was described as a quick and relatively easy means of obtaining sexual pleasure and releasing sexual tension. Together, these findings provide some support for the conclusion that one of the unique aspects of the internet is its ability to instantly reward sexual drive and desire.

More recent reviews discussing the unique properties of internet porn (you know, since the advent of broadband, porn tube sites, smart-phones, VR-porn, etc.)

Varfi, N., Rothen, S., Jasiowka, K., Lepers, T., Bianchi-Demichelli, F., & Khazaal, Y. Attachment Style, Impulsivity, Sexual Desire, Mood, and Addictive Cybersex. Full text

Analysis: Not sure why Prause listed this paper. In no way do the results “falsify” the addiction model. It might be favored because it says sexual desire is one variable related to cybersex addiction – and Ley and Prause often claim that porn addiction is really just high sexual desire. As stated elsewhere, over 25 studies falsify the claim that sex & porn addicts “just have high sexual desire”, including Prause’s most infamous study – Steele et al., 2013.

That said, sexual desire was last on the list of variables related to cybersex addiction:

As shown in Table 3 (standardized coefficients), the results suggest that the most important influence on the CIUS scores is depressive mood, followed by avoidant attachment style, male gender, and sexual desire.

Mentioned elsewhere, we have the unsolvable calculus of teasing apart true “sexual desire” from “cravings to use”: both involved shared neurological underpinnings and are assessed with similar questionnaires. If someone answers yes to wanting to masturbate to porn is that high desire, or cravings to use, or the wishful thinking of an adolescent boy?

Fuss, J., Briken, P., Stein, D. J., & Lochner, C. (2019). Compulsive sexual behavior disorder in obsessive–compulsive disorder: Prevalence and associated comorbidity. Journal of behavioral addictions, 1-7. Full text

Analysis: The Alliance misrepresents the study’s findings and lies about what it actually stated. Here, we supply the words of the actual expert authors, not fabrications. Countering the common Denier claim that sex addiction is really just a form of OCD, the study reported similar rates of Compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) in those with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) as found in the general population:

In this study, we were interested in the prevalence and the associated sociodemographic and clinical features of CSBD in patients with OCD. First, we found that 3.3% of patients with OCD had current CSBD and 5.6% had lifetime CSBD, with a significantly higher prevalence in men than in women.

In conclusion, our data indicate that prevalence rates of CSBD in OCD are comparable to those in the general population and in other diagnostic cohorts

Thus, as CSBD rates in both addicts and the general population were comparable, sex and porn addiction are not types of OCD. Further, the Alliance lied when it stated that the authors said that CSBD should not be conceptualized as a addiction. The following sentence appears in the Alliance’s “author’s summary,” but it is not in the study:

“This finding supports conceptualization of CSBD as a compulsive–impulsive disorder, but not with disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors.”

The Alliance spliced together bits from the conclusion – out of context – to give a false impression. The actual quote from the paper:

In conclusion, our data indicate that prevalence rates of CSBD in OCD are comparable to those in the general population and in other diagnostic cohorts. Moreover, we found that CSBD in OCD was more likely comorbid with other impulsive, compulsive, and mood disorders, but not with behavioral- or substance-related addictions. This finding supports the conceptualization of CSBD as a compulsive–impulsive disorder.

Translation: Subjects who suffer from both “obsessive compulsive disorder” AND “compulsive sexual behavior disorder” are more likely to have additional mental disorders. but they are not more likely to have additional behavioral or substance addictions. This, too, suggests that OCD and addictions are different mental disorders (as medical diagnostic manuals, such as the DSM and the ICD, indeed acknowledge). From the study:

We also found that several comorbidities were more likely in OCD patients with CSBD than in those without CSBD.

Nowhere does the paper state that CSBD should not be conceptualized as an addictive behavior. To the contrary, the paper suggests that CSBD could well be conceptualized as addiction, because addiction itself is also conceptualized as both a compulsive and an impulsive disorder. See this paper by actual experts: Revisiting the Role of Impulsivity and Compulsivity in Problematic Sexual Behaviors, (2018). In other words, “compulsive-impulsive disorders” (like CSBD) are not “obsessive-compulsive disorders” (OCD). Don’t be confused!

Carvalho, J., Štulhofer, A., Vieira, A. L., & Jurin, T. (2015). Hypersexuality and high sexual desire: Exploring the structure of problematic sexuality. The journal of sexual medicine, 12(6), 1356-1367. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. As the Deniers’ summary stated, “Our study supports the distinctiveness of hypersexuality and high sexual desire.” An excerpt:

Overall, the presented findings inform the debate about hypersexuality in several ways. First, high sexual desire and frequent sexual activity did not substantially overlap with the negative consequences related to sex. The results support the distinctiveness between high sexual desire and problematic sexual behavior.

In other words, the Štulhofer study, along with these 25 studies, debunks the often-repeated talking point that sex and porn addicts “simply have high sexual desire.”

Moon, J. W., Krems, J. A., Cohen, A. B., & Kenrick, D. T. (2019). Is Nothing Sacred? Religion, Sex, and Reproductive Strategies. Current Directions in Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419838242 Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation as this paper has nothing to do with porn use or “models of hypersexuality”.

Winters, J., Christoff, K., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2010). Dysregulated sexuality and high sexual desire: Distinct constructs?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(5), 1029-1043. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Jason Winters. Unlike the preceding Štulhofer study, this one reported that “Men and women who reported having sought treatment scored significantly higher on measures of dysregulated sexuality and sexual desire.” As the Štulhofer study explained, the Winters study was fatally flawed as it used Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS)

This clearly contrasts the Winters et al.’s conclusion about the substantial overlap between high sexual desire and dysregulated sexuality [5]. One possible explanation for the discrepant findings are different measures used to indicate hypersexuality in the two studies. For example, in the present study, the negative consequences related to sexuality were assessed using a more exhaustive list. Furthermore, Winters et al. used the Sexual Compulsivity Scale [36], which has been suggested to poorly differentiate between sexual compulsiveness and openness to sexual experiences and experimentation [4,37].

In addition, the Sexual Compulsivity Scale isn’t a valid assessment test for porn addiction or for women. It was created in 1995 and designed with uncontrolled sexual relations in mind (in connection with investigating the AIDS epidemic). The SCS says:

“The scale has been should [shown?] to predict rates of sexual behaviors, numbers of sexual partners, practice of a variety of sexual behaviors, and histories of sexually transmitted diseases.”

Moreover, the SCS’s developer warns that this tool won’t show psychopathology in women,

“Associations between sexual compulsivity scores and other markers of psychopathology showed different patterns for men and women; sexual compulsivity was associated with indexes of psychopathology in men but not in women.”

Aside from the fact that 25 other studies counter the claim that sex and porn addicts “just have high sexual desire,” it’s important to address the unbelievable claim that “high sexual desire” is mutually exclusive with porn addiction. Its irrationality becomes clear if one considers hypotheticals based on other addictions. (For more see– High desire’, or ‘merely’ an addiction? A response to Steele et al., by Donald L. Hilton, Jr., MD.)

For example, does such logic mean that being morbidly obese, unable to control eating, and being extremely unhappy about it, is simply a “high desire for food?” Extrapolating further, one must conclude that alcoholics simply have a high desire for alcohol, right? In short, all addicts have “high desire” or cravings for their addictive substances and activities (also known as “sensitization”), even when their enjoyment of such activities declines due to tolerance or habituation.

Porn addiction itself produces hard to ignore cravings to that often show up as “a high degree of sexual thoughts, feelings, and needs.” For example, cues, such as turning on the computer, seeing a pop-up, or being alone, trigger intense, intrusive cravings for porn. Some describe a sensitized porn response as “entering a tunnel that has only one escape: porn.” There are now 24 studies reporting sensitization (cue-reactivity, cravings to use) in porn users/sex addicts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

It’s simply wishful thinking to suggest “high sexual desire” eliminates the existence of addiction. Only someone with insufficient training in addiction would draw such a rash conclusion.

Oeming, M. (2018). A new diagnosis for old fears? Pathologizing porn in contemporary US discourse. Porn Studies, 5(2), 213-216. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member, and grad student, Madita Oeming. More citation inflation. It’s not a study and it provides no insight into different “models of hypersexuality,” which is the section where it’s posted. In actuality, it’s another poorly referenced agenda-driven opinion piece from Porn Studies Journal. In Madita Oeming’s recent VICE article blaming religion and the media for porn addiction she admits to knowing virtually nothing about addiction, or neuroscience, or the neurological studies on porn users, or psychological studies on porn, etc:

I am neither a neurobiologist nor a behavioral psychologist, so I have no expertise in judging whether pornography is actually physically addictive. But first, it will be discussed among those who have this expertise. Although the WHO has now decided to “obsessive-compulsive sexual behavior”, including apparently also “excessive consumption of porn” , from 2022 to include in their diagnostic catalog. And secondly, I’m dealing with something completely different. As a cultural scientist, er, poetry interpreter, I understand pornography primarily as a narrative.

A poetry student?

The Alliance’s summary is especially disingenuous, and sounds as if it’s written by MindGeek:

Beside [sic] ostensibly morally motivated religious, conservative, and anti-pornography groups, an immense financially motivated treatment machinery has developed as a driving force and profiteer of the porn addiction discourse. [Evidence?] Together they form a powerful lobby across the country that does not hesitate to use any means necessary to silence potentially contradictory research (Prause and Fong 2015, 439).

Talk about spin. Oeming refers to scattered groups of sex addiction therapists as ‘immense financially motivated treatment machinery,” while ignoring the omnipresent, financially motivated multi-billion pornography industry, which is in denial about the harms it’s causing despite a vast quantity of peer-reviewed evidence. Oeming then cites Prause, declaring that this “powerful lobby” uses any means necessary to silence potentially contradictory research.

In reality, it is Prause who has employed “any means necessary” to harass and defame anyone who suggests that porn might cause problems. It is Prause who has worked behind the scenes to try (unjustly) to have research blocked, speakers cancelled, and studies rejected for publication and/or retracted. Much of Prause’s unethical and sometimes illicit behaviors have been documented on the following pages:

However, several additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge – as Prause’s victims fear further retribution.

Important point: While Prause continues to falsely claim she is “the victim,” it is Prause who initiated all harassment towards the individuals and organizations listed on the above pages. No one on those pages has harassed Nicole Prause. Her fabricated claims about being a victim of “stalking” or of misogyny by “anti-porn activists” lack one iota of objective documentation.

All the evidence Prause provides is self-generated: a single info-graphic, a few emails from her to others describing supposed harassment, and five spurious cease and desist letters containing false allegations. You will also see evidence of a number of malicious formal complaints Prause has filed with various regulatory agencies – which have been summarily dismissed or investigated and dismissed. She seems to file these bogus complaints so she can then go on to claim her targets are all “under investigation.”

Prause provides no objective examples of being the target of cyber-stalking whether by tweet, Facebook, or links to pages on YBOP. On the other hand, Prause’s Twitter feed alone once contained hundreds and hundreds of libelous and inaccurate tweets targeting Wilson and many others (Prause has since deleted over 3,000 tweets). Put simply, Prause has created a mythology with zero verifiable evidence, while being closely in sync with the pornography industry.

Prause, N., Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2016). Prause et al.(2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions. Biological psychology, 120, 159-161. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. More citation inflation as it’s not a study, Instead, this short commentary pretends to be a defense of Prause’s highly criticized 2015 EEG study (discussed elsewhere). It’s not and fails to legitimately address anything in these 8 peer-reviewed papers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. As explained above, Prause et al., 2015, isn’t what it appears to be. While Prause boldly asserted that her lone, deeply flawed EEG study had debunked porn addiction, eight peer-reviewed papers disagree. All eight papers do agree that Prause et al., 2015 actually found desensitization or habituation in the more frequent porn users (a phenomenon consistent with addiction).

Prause cited many of the same studies in her letter that she has cut and pasted on to this “research” page which is critiqued here. All of Prause’s claims and misuse of cherry-picked papers (while ignoring hundreds countering her claims), were thouroughly debunked here: Critique of: Letter to the editor “Prause et al. (2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions“ (2016), by Nicole Prause, Vaughn R. Steele, Cameron Staley, Dean Sabatinelli, Greg Hajcake.

Prause, N., Janssen, E., Georgiadis, J., Finn, P., & Pfaus, J. (2017). Data do not support sex as addictive. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(12), 899. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members Nicole Prause, Peter Finn, Erick Jansen & Janniko Georgiadis. Not a study. This Prause-penned letter in Lancet, signed by four allies (Erick Janssen, Janniko Georgiadis, Peter Finn and James Pfaus), was a reply to another short letter: Is excessive sexual behaviour an addictive disorder? (Potenza et. al., 2017), authored by addiction experts Marc Potenza, Mateusz Gola, Valerie Voon, Ariel Kor and Shane Kraus.

Here Prause touts yet another of her cursory letters to the editor as “debunking” the existence of sex addiction and porn addiction (known as “Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder” in the upcoming ICD-11). Yet it does not. This 240-word opinion piece (Prause et al., 2017) cites zero studies to support its claims, providing only the following single, easily refuted sentence as its sole “evidence” countering the addiction model:

However, experimental studies do not support key elements of addiction such as escalation of use, difficulty regulating urges, negative effects, reward deficiency syndrome, withdrawal syndrome with cessation, tolerance, or enhanced late positive potentials.

This extensive critique, Analysis of “Data do not support sex as addictive” (Prause et al., 2017), debunks the scant claims put forth in the Prause letter. It also sets forth extensive empirical support for the key elements of addiction, which Prause et al. falsely states are missing from current research. As you will see, escalation of use, difficulty regulating urges, negative effects, reward deficiency syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, and tolerance/habituation have all been identified in numerous studies on porn users/CSB subjects. Moreover, the accepted neurological elements of addiction, such as sensitization, (cue-reactivity/cravings), greater wanting-less liking, dysfunctional prefrontal cortex, and dysfunctional stress response have all been reported in several of these 42 neuroscience-based studies.

Incidentally, three of Prause’s four co-signers in Lancet also lent their names to her earlier 2016 Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed attacking Fight The New Drug and its position on internet porn. That Salt Lake Tribune 600-word Op-Ed was brimming with unsupported assertions calculated to mislead the lay public. And its authors, Prause and friends, failed to support a single claim they made. The Op-Ed cited only 4 papers – none of which had anything to do with porn addiction, porn’s effects on relationships, or porn-induced sexual problems. Several experts responded with this dismantling of the Prause Op-Ed: Op-Ed: Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography? (2016). Unlike the “neuroscientists” of the initial Op-Ed, the response authors cited several hundred studies and multiple reviews of the literature that supported their statements.

Turning to Prause’s Lancet effort, we should mention that not one of the five Prause et al., 2017 signers has ever published a study involving verified “porn or sex addicts.” Moreover, some who signed Prause’s Lancet letter have histories of feverishly denying and attacking the concept of porn and sex addiction (thus demonstrating stark bias). In contrast, each of the five Potenza et al. 2017 co-authors (who wrote the first letter on this subject in Lancet) has published multiple studies involving subjects with compulsive sexual behavior disorder (including landmark brain studies on porn users and sex addicts).

Walton, M. T., & Bhullar, N. (2018). Compulsive sexual behavior as an impulse control disorder: awaiting field studies data. Archives of sexual behavior, 1-5. Link to web

Analysis: Not a study. It’s a commentary by two sexologists (neither are neuroscientists) who regularly co-author papers with Alliance member James Cantor. More citation inflation and cherry-picking. This 3-page commentary cites only 25 papers: eight of their own and five more by Alliance members. The commentary fails to mention any of the 43 neuroscience-based studies published on CSB subjects or porn users. Instead of citing the Walton commentary on the “Sexhavior Cycle” why didn’t the Deniers offer these more responsible commentaries, published in the same edition of that journal?

Oh yeah, they don’t fit the Deniers’ agenda.

Ley, D. J. (2018). The pseudoscience behind public health crisis legislation. Porn Studies, 5(2), 208-212. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member David Ley. Not a study. Shoddy, inaccurate, pro-porn propaganda piece that reads like one of Ley’s Psychology Today blog posts. YBOP felt no need to address Ley’s stream of consciousness musings published in the highly dubious Porn Studies Journal. For a complete debunking of every Ley talking point, YBOP suggests this article – Dismantling David Ley’s response to Philip Zimbardo: “We must rely on good science in porn debate” (March, 2016), or this extensive dismantling of Ley’s most infamous propaganda piece – Critique of “The Emperor Has No Clothes: A Review of the ‘Pornography Addiction’ Model” (2014), David Ley, Nicole Prause & Peter Finn. More citation inflation.

Note: Ley et al., 2014 was published by the journal Current Sexual Health Reports, in their “Current Controversies Section.” The Editor of the Controversies Section, and thus Ley’s paper, was fellow Alliance member Charles Moser. Moser subsequently teamed up with Ley and Prause to “debunk” porn addiction at the February 2015 conference of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health: Ley, Prause, Moser and then Current Sexual Health Reports chief editor Perelman presented a 2-hour symposium: “Porn Addiction, Sex Addiction, or just another OCD?” These Deniers have been working as a team, with an agenda, for years.

Prause, N., Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2015). Modulation of late positive potentials by sexual images in problem users and controls inconsistent with “porn addiction”. Biological psychology, 109, 192-199. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. As discussed above, Prause et al., 2015, isn’t what it appears to be, and falsifies nothing. While Prause boldly asserted that her lone, deeply flawed EEG study had debunked porn addiction, eight peer-reviewed papers disagree. All eight papers do agree that Prause et al., 2015 likely found desensitization or habituation in the more frequent porn users (a phenomenon consistent with addiction): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

The results: Compared to controls “individuals experiencing problems regulating their porn viewing” had lower brain responses to one-second exposure to photos of vanilla porn. The lead author claims these results “debunk porn addiction.” What legitimate scientist would claim that their lone anomalous study has debunked a well established field of study?

In reality, the findings of Prause et al. 2015 align perfectly with Kühn & Gallinat (2014), which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn. Prause et al. findings also align with Banca et al. 2015 which is #13 in this list. Moreover, another EEG study found that greater porn use in women correlated with less brain activation to porn. Lower EEG readings mean that subjects are paying less attention to the pictures. Put simply, frequent porn users were desensitized to static images of vanilla porn. They were bored (habituated or desensitized). See this extensive YBOP critique.

Prause proclaimed that her EEG readings assessed “cue-reactivity” (sensitization), rather than habituation. Even if Prause were correct, she conveniently ignores the gaping hole in her “falsification” assertion: If Prause et al. 2015 had found less cue-reactivity in frequent porn users, 24 other neurological studies have reported cue-reactivity or cravings (sensitization) in compulsive porn users: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Science doesn’t go with the lone anomalous study hampered by serious methodological flaws; science goes with the preponderance of evidence (unless you are agenda-driven).

Perhaps you are wondering why Prause’s first and most famous EEG study isn’t included on the Alliance’s list of studies: Sexual Desire, not Hypersexuality, is Related to Neurophysiological Responses Elicited by Sexual Images (Steele et al., 2013). After all, it was touted in the media as evidence against the existence of porn/sex addiction. Moreover, David Ley and study spokesperson Nicole Prause teamed up to write a Psychology Today blog post about Steele et al., 2013 called “Your Brain on Porn – It’s NOT Addictive. (Once again targeting Gary Wilson and his website).

Here’s why: Steele et al. reported findings that are in direct opposition of the Prause et al., 2015 findings. Or you would think so if you compared the abstracts of the two EEG studies. In reality, Steele et al. – like Prause et al. – lends support to the existence of both porn addiction and porn use down-regulating sexual desire. How so? Steele et al. reported higher EEG readings (relative to neutral pictures) when subjects were briefly exposed to pornographic photos. Studies consistently show that an elevated P300 occurs when addicts are exposed to cues (such as images) related to their addiction. Shockingly, spokesperson Prause claimed that porn users merely had “high libido,” yet the results of the study say the exact opposite (subjects’ desire for partnered sex was dropping in relation to their porn use).

Together these two Steele et al. findings indicate greater brain activity to cues (porn images), yet less reactivity to natural rewards (sex with a person). That’s sensitization and desensitization, which are hallmarks of addiction. Seven peer-reviewed papers explain the truth: Peer-reviewed critiques of Steele et al., 2013

Aside from the many unsupported claims in the press, it’s disturbing that Prause’s 2013 EGG study passed peer-review, as it suffered from serious methodological flaws: 1) subjects were heterogeneous (males, females, non-heterosexuals); 2) subjects were not screened for mental disorders or addictions; 3) study had no control group for comparison; 4) questionnaires were not validated for porn use or porn addiction. Steele at al. is so badly flawed that only 4 of these 21 literature reviews and commentaries bother to mention it: two critiquing it as unacceptable junk science, while two cite it as correlating cue-reactivity with less desire for sex with a partner (signs of addiction).

It’s important to know that Prause et al., 2015 AND Steele et al., 2013 had the same subjects. Why the second study on this group? Because Steele et al. had no control group for comparison! So Prause et al., 2015 compared the 2013 subjects from Steele et al., 2013 to an actual control group (although this reprise of course suffered from the same methodological flaws named above). The results: Compared to controls, “individuals experiencing problems regulating their porn viewing” had lower brain responses to one-second exposure to photos of vanilla porn. The ACTUAL results of Prause’s two EEG studies:

  1. Steele et al., 2013: Individuals with greater cue-reactivity to porn had less desire for sex with a partner, but not less desire to masturbate.
  2. Prause et al., 2015: “Porn addicted users” had less brain activation to static images of vanilla porn. Lower EEG readings mean that the “porn addicted” subjects were paying less attention to the pictures.

Here’s a review by sexual medicine doctors from a leading Spanish lab critiquing Prause’s 2 EEG studies: Steele et al., 2013 & Prause et al., 2015: Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t—A Systematic Review (2019). (Note: citation 105 is Steele, citation 107 is Prause.)

Evidence of this neural activity signalizing desire is particularly prominent in the prefrontal cortex [101] and the amygdala [102,103], being evidence of sensitization. Activation in these brain regions is reminiscent of financial reward [104] and it may carry a similar impact. Moreover, there are higher EEG readings in these users, as well as the diminished desire for sex with a partner, but not for masturbation to pornography [105], something that reflects also on the difference in erection quality [8]. This can be considered a sign of desensitization. However, Steele’s study contains several methodological flaws to consider (subject heterogeneity, a lack of screening for mental disorders or addictions, the absence of a control group, and the use of questionnaires not validated for porn use) [106]. A study by Prause [107], this time with a control group, replicated these very findings. The role of cue reactivity and craving in the development of cybersex addiction have been corroborated in heterosexual female [108] and homosexual male samples [109].


Youth Section

Context/Reality: As always, the Alliance provides only a handful of outlier studies or fillers to delude journalists and the public that porn use is harmless for adolescents. As with the other sections, the Alliance provides no reviews of the literature or meta-analyses. Why did the Alliance omit these 13 literature reviews on pornography and “Youth” (adolescents): review#1, review2, review#3, review#4, review#5, review#6, review#7, review#8, review#9, review#10, review#11, review#12, review#13?

Why has the Alliance omitted all 250 studies in this comprehensive list of peer-reviewed papers assessing porn’s effect on adolescents? The answer is clear: the reviews, as with the vast majority of individual studies, fail to align with the Alliance’s pro-porn agenda. Here we present the reviews the Alliance omitted with relevant excerpts:

The Impact of Internet Pornography on Marriage and the Family: A Review of the Research (2006) – Excerpts:

Examining the systemic impact of Internet pornography, however, is relatively uncharted territory and the body of systemically-focused research is limited. A review of the research that does exist was undertaken and many negative trends were revealed. While much remains unknown about the impact of Internet pornography on marriages and families, the available data provide an informed starting point for policy makers, educators, clinicians, and researchers.

Direct Impact on Children and Adolescents The following effect are considered to have the most impact on children and adolescents who use or encounter pornography themselves:

1. In spite of the illegalities, youth have easy access to pornographic material and this can have traumatic, distorting, abusive, and/or addictive effects.

2. Youth are commonly being solicited, tricked, misled, or “mouse trapped” into viewing sexually explicit content online.

3. Research shows that exposure to pornography can make a lasting impression in young people and that this impression is most often described using emotions such as disgust, shock, embarrassment, anger, fear, and sadness.

4. The consumption of Internet pornography and/or involvement in sexualized chat can harm the social and sexual development of youth and undermine their success in future relationships.

5. Pornography consumption in youth has been associated with earlier onset of sexual intercourse, as well as increased likelihood of engaging in anal sex and sexual relations with people they are not romantically engaged with.

Mass Media Effects on Youth Sexual Behavior Assessing the Claim for Causality (2011)

Studies of the impact of the mainstream mass media on young people’s sexual behavior have been slow to accumulate despite longstanding evidence of substantial sexual content in the mass media. The sexual media effects landscape has changed substantially in recent years, however, as researchers from numerous disciplines have answered the call to address this important area of sexual socialization scholarship. The purpose of this chapter is to review the subset of accumulated studies on sexual behavior effects to determine whether this body of work justifies a causal conclusion. The standards for causal inference articulated by Cook and Campbell (1979) are employed to accomplish this objective. It is concluded that the research to date passes the threshold of substantiation for each criterion and that the mass media almost certainly exert a causal influence on United States’ youth sexual behavior.

The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012) – From the conclusion:

Increased access to the Internet by adolescents has created unprecedented opportunities for sexual education, learning, and growth. Conversely, the risk of harm that is evident in the literature has led researchers to investigate adolescent exposure to online pornography in an effort to elucidate these relationships. Collectively, these studies suggest that youth who consume pornography may develop unrealistic sexual values and beliefs. Among the findings, higher levels of permissive sexual attitudes, sexual preoccupation, and earlier sexual experimentation have been correlated with more frequent consumption of pornography…. Nevertheless, consistent findings have emerged linking adolescent use of pornography that depicts violence with increased degrees of sexually aggressive behavior. The literature does indicate some correlation between adolescents’ use of pornography and self-concept. Girls report feeling physically inferior to the women they view in pornographic material, while boys fear they may not be as virile or able to perform as the men in these media. Adolescents also report that their use of pornography decreased as their self-confidence and social development increase. Additionally, research suggests that adolescents who use pornography, especially that found on the Internet, have lower degrees of social integration, increases in conduct problems, higher levels of delinquent behavior, higher incidence of depressive symptoms, and decreased emotional bonding with caregivers.

A New Generation of Sexual Addiction (2013) – While not technically a review, it was one of the first papers to distinguish young compulsive porn users from “classic” CSB subjects. The conclusion:

It is proposed that sexual addiction may be distinguished by two unique etiologies. The “contemporary” addict is suggested to be distinctive in that early and chronic exposure to graphic cybersexual content within a highly sexualized culture drives sexual compulsivity, whereas the “classic” addict is driven by trauma, abuse, disordered attachment, impulse control impairment, shame-based cognitions, and mood disorders. While both may share similar presentations (compulsive behavior, mood disorders, relational impairment), etiology and some facets of treatment will likely be distinct.

“Classic” sexual addiction, while very much debated, has received a great deal of attention in the research, in the professional community, and in the popular culture. Treatment options, while not widespread, are varied and available, even to the extent that certified sexual addiction therapist training is conducted across the United States, allowing mental health professionals to receive extensive credentialing in work with “classic” sexual addiction.

“Contemporary” sexual addiction, however, is an underexplored phenomenon, particularly with children and adolescents. Research and literature are scarce and, interestingly, often published from countries outside the United States (He, Li, Guo, & Jiang, 2010; Yen et al., 2007). Research on young women and sexual addiction is virtually nonexistent. Specialized treatment with child and adolescent therapists trained in sexual addiction is extremely uncommon. Yet significant numbers of children, adolescents, and young adults are in need of just such specialized treatment, and the professional community is delayed in responding. Research, dialogue, and education are urgently needed in order to appropriately meet the needs of those youngest among our population who are struggling with sexually compulsive behavior.

Is sexual content in new media linked to sexual risk behaviour in young people? A systematic review and meta-analysis (2016) – From abstract:

Results: Fourteen studies, all cross-sectional in design, met the inclusion criteria. Six studies (10 352 participants) examined young people’s exposure to SEWs and eight (10 429 participants) examined sexting. There was substantial variation across studies in exposure and outcome definitions. Meta-analyses found that SEW exposure was correlated with condomless sexual intercourse; sexting was correlated with ever having had sexual intercourse, recent sexual activity, alcohol and other drug use before sexual intercourse, and multiple recent sexual partners . Most studies had limited adjustment for important potential confounders.

Conclusions: Cross-sectional studies show a strong association between self-reported exposure to sexual content in new media and sexual behaviours in young people. Longitudinal studies would provide a greater opportunity to adjust for confounding, and better insight into the causal pathways underlying the observed associations.

Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015 (2016) – From the abstract:

The goal of this review was to synthesize empirical investigations testing effects of media sexualization. The focus was on research published in peer-reviewed, English-language journals between 1995 and 2015. A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed. The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.

Adolescents and Pornography: A Review of 20 Years of Research (2016) – From the abstract:

The goal of this review was to systematize empirical research that was published in peer-reviewed English-language journals between 1995 and 2015 on the prevalence, predictors, and implications of adolescents’ use of pornography. This research showed that adolescents use pornography, but prevalence rates varied greatly. Adolescents who used pornography more frequently were male, at a more advanced pubertal stage, sensation seekers, and had weak or troubled family relations. Pornography use was associated with more permissive sexual attitudes and tended to be linked with stronger gender-stereotypical sexual beliefs. It also seemed to be related to the occurrence of sexual intercourse, greater experience with casual sex behavior, and more sexual aggression, both in terms of perpetration and victimization.

Longitudinal associations between the use of sexually explicit material and adolescents’ attitudes and behaviors: A narrative review of studies (2017) – Excerpts:

This review analyzed longitudinal studies examining the effects of sexually explicit material on adolescents’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

The aim of this study was to provide a narrative review of the longitudinal studies focusing on the effects of sexually explicit material use on adolescents. A number of direct associations between sexually explicit material and adolescents’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviors were reported in the studies. Sexually explicit material seemed to affect several sexuality related attitudes, gender-related stereotypical beliefs, likelihood of having sexual intercourse and sexually aggressive behavior.

The reviewed studies found that the use of sexually explicit material may affect a range of adolescents’ attitudes and beliefs, such as sexual preoccupancy (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008b), sexual uncertainty (Peter & Valkenburg, 2010a; van Oosten, 2015), the sexual objectification of women (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009a), sexual satisfaction (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009b), recreational and permissive sex attitudes (Baams et al., 2014; Brown & L’Engle, 2009; Peter & Valkenburg, 2010b), egalitarian gender role attitudes (Brown & L’Engle, 2009) and body surveillance (Doornwaard et al., 2014).

Adolescent Pornography Use: A Systematic Literature Review of Research Trends 2000-2017. (2018) – Excerpts from sections related to porn’s effects on the user:

The aim of this systematic literature review is to map the research interest in the field and to examine whether statistically significant results have emerged from the areas of research focus.

Attitudes Towards Sex – Overall, 21 studies examined adolescents’ sexual attitudes and behaviors towards sex in relation to PU. Not surprisingly, intentions to consume pornographic material have been primarily linked to a perceived normalizing attitude considering PU and a significant impact to adolescents’ sexual attitudes and sexual behaviors.

Development – Counterintuitively, viewing pornography has been found to affect the development of values, and more specifically those towards religion during adolescence. Not surprisingly, viewing pornography has been shown to have a secularizing effect, reducing adolescents’ religiosity over time, independent of gender.

Victimization – Exposure to violent/degrading pornography appears to have been common among adolescents, associated with at-risk behaviors, and, for females in particular, it correlates with a history of victimization. Nevertheless, other studies concluded that pornography exposure did not have an association with risky sexual behaviors and that the willingness of exposure to pornography did not seem to have an impact on risky sexual behaviors among adolescents in general. Despite these, other findings indicated that overall, intentional exposure to PU was associated with higher conduct problems among adolescents, higher online sexual solicitation victimization and online sexual solicitation perpetration with boys’ perpetration of sexual coercion and abuse being significantly associated with regular viewing of pornography.

Mental Health CharacteristicsConclusively, and despite some studies not confirming an association between poorer psychosocial health and PU, the vast majority of findings converges on that higher PU during adolescence tends to relate to higher emotional (e.g. depression) and behavioral problems. In that line, Luder et al. suggested gender-related variations in the association between PU and depressive manifestations with males presenting with higher risk. This finding was in consensus with longitudinal studies revealing that poorer psychological wellbeing factors were involved in the development of compulsive use of sexually explicit Internet material among adolescent boys.

Social Bonds – Overall, there seems to be a consensus that adolescent frequent users of the Internet for pornography tend to differ in many social characteristics from adolescents who use the Internet for information, social communication and entertainment.

Online Usage Characteristics – Online usage characteristics were researched in 15 out of the 57 studies included in the present review. These suggest that common characteristics of adolescents exposed to online pornography and sexual solicitation victimization include higher levels of online game use, internet risk behaviors, depression and cyberbullying manifestations, and voluntary self-sexual exposure online.

Adolescents’ Sexual Behaviors – Adolescents’ sexual behavior in regards to PU was researched in 11 studies, with all studies reporting significant results. The study conducted by Doornward, et al. found that adolescent boys’ with compulsive sexual behaviors, including the use of explicit internet material, reported low levels of self-esteem, higher levels of depression and higher levels of excessive sexual interest. In that context, other studies have shown that boys who were found to engage in the use of sexually explicit material and social networking sites received more peer approval and indicated greater experience considering their sexual involvement. Furthermore, boys who demonstrated the frequent use of pornography tended to have sexual debuts at a younger age and to engage in a broader range of sexual encounters.

Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health: latest evidence from the literature (2019) – From abstract:

A literature search was performed on PubMed and ScienceDirect in March 2018 with the query “(pornography OR sexually explicit internet material) AND (adolescent OR child OR young) AND (impact OR behaviour OR health)”. Results published between 2013 and 2018 were analysed and compared with previous evidence.

According to selected studies (n = 19), an association between consumption of online pornography and several behavioral, psychophysical and social outcomes – earlier sexual debut, engaging with multiple and/or occasional partners, emulating risky sexual behaviors, assimilating distorted gender roles, dysfunctional body perception, aggressiveness, anxious or depressive symptoms, compulsive pornography use – is confirmed.

The impact of online pornography on minors’ health appears to be relevant. The issue can no longer be neglected and must be targeted by global and multidisciplinary interventions. Empowering parents, teachers and healthcare professionals by means of educational programs targeting this issue will allow them to assist minors in developing critical thinking skills about pornography, decreasing its use and obtaining an affective and sex education that is more suitable for their developmental needs.

Viewing pornography through a children’s rights lens (2019) – A few Excerpts:

The negative effects indicated included, but were not limited to: (1) regressive attitudes towards women (Brown & L’Engle, 2009; Peter & Valkenburg, 2007; Peter & Valkenburg, 2009; Häggstrom-Nordin, et al., 2006); (2) sexual aggression in some sub-populations (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2005; Malamuth & Huppin, 2005; Alexy, et al., 2009); (3) social maladjustment (Mesch, 2009; Tsitsika, 2009); (4) sexual preoccupation (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008a); and (5) compulsivity (Delmonico and Griffin, 2008; Lam, Peng, Mai, and Jing, 2009; Rimington and Gast, 2007; van den Eijnden, Spijkerman, Vermulst, van Rooij, and Engels, 2010; Mesch, 2009). Additional research indicates that pornography is being used to groom and lure children into sexually abusive relationships (Carr, 2003; “Online grooming,” n.d., 2015; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2015). Interviews of frontline service providers who work with child sex abuse victims conducted in May 2018 document that providers are witnessing what appears to be an increase in incidents of peer sex abuse among children and that the perpetrator commonly had been exposed to pornography in many of these incidents (Binford, Dimitropoulos, Wilson, Zug, Cullen, & Rieff, unpublished).

In addition to the literature that focuses specifically on the potential effects of children’s exposure to pornography, there is a much larger body of literature that considers the impact of pornography exposure on adults, including young adults. Like the research that focuses on children’s exposure to pornography, these studies also suggest a relationship between pornography exposure and social maladjustment, including social isolation, misconduct, depression, suicidal ideation, and academic disengagement (Tsitsika, 2009; Bloom et al., 2015; Campbell, 2018).

Studies of girls’ exposure to pornography as children suggest that it has an impact on their constructs of self (Brown & L’Engle, 2009).

Boys who are exposed to pornography as children show similar effects. They convey anxiety around performance and body dissatisfaction (“Child Safety Online,” 2016; Jones, 2018).

There appears to be a correlation between exposure to pornography and sexist views towards women (Hald, Kuyper, Adam, & de Wit, 2013; Hald, Malamuth, & Yuen, 2010).

Children of both sexes who are exposed to pornography are more likely to believe that the acts they see, such as anal sex and group sex, are typical among their peers (Livingstone & Mason, 2015). Adolescents of both sexes who are exposed to pornography are more likely to become sexually active earlier (Brown & L’Engle, 2009; Owens, et al. 2012), have multiple partners (Wright & Randall, 2012; Flood, 2009, p. 389), and engage in paid sex (Svedin Akerman, & Priebe, 2011; Wright & Randall, 2012).

The components of the adolescent brain and its unique sensitivity to sexually explicit material (2019) A few Excerpts:

The unique paradigms of the adolescent brain include the following: 1) An immature prefrontal cortex and over-responsive limbic and striatal circuits (Dumontheil, 2016; Somerville & Jones, 2010; Somerville, Hare, & Casey, 2011; Van Leijenhorst et al., 2010; Vigil et al., 2011); 2) A heightened period for neuroplasticity (McCormick & Mathews, 2007; Schulz & Sisk, 2006; Sisk & Zehr, 2005; Vigil et al., 2011); 3) Overactive dopamine system (Andersen, Rutstein, Benzo, Hostetter, & Teicher, 1997; Ernst et al., 2005; Luciana, Wahlstrom, & White, 2010; Somerville & Jones, 2010; Wahlstrom, White, & Luciana, 2010); 4) A pronounced HPA axis (Dahl & Gunnar, 2009; McCormick & Mathews, 2007; Romeo, Lee, Chhua, McPherson, & McEwan, 2004; Walker, Sabuwalla, & Huot, 2004); 5) Augmented levels of testosterone (Dorn et al., 2003; Vogel, 2008; Mayo Clinic/Mayo Medical Laboratories, 2017); and 6) The unique impact of steroid hormones (cortisol and testosterone) on brain development during the organizational window of adolescence (Brown & Spencer, 2013; Peper, Hulshoff Pol, Crone, Van Honk, 2011; Sisk & Zehr, 2005; Vigil et al., 2011).

Blakemore and colleagues have led the field in adolescent brain development and has opined that the teenage years should be considered a sensitive period due to the dramatic brain reorganization that is taking place (Blakemore, 2012). The areas of the brain that undergo the most change during adolescence include internal control, multi-tasking and planning (Blakemore, 2012).

Blakemore and Robbins (2012) linked adolescence to risky decision making and attributed this characteristic to the dissociation between the relatively slow, linear development of impulse control and response inhibition during adolescence versus the nonlinear development of the reward system, which is often hyper-responsive to rewards in adolescence..

Both infrequent and frequent use of pornographic internet sites were significantly associated with social maladjustment among Greek adolescents (Tsitsika et al., 2009). Pornography use contributed to delay discounting, or an individual’s tendency to discount future outcomes in favor of immediate rewards (Negash, Sheppard, Lambert, & Fincham, 2016). Negash and colleagues used a sample that had an average age of 19 and 20, which the author highlighted were still biologically considered adolescents.…..

We propose a working model summary, considering the unique paradigms of the adolescent brain and the characteristics of sexually explicit material. The overlap of key areas associated with the unique adolescent brain and sexually explicit material is noteworthy.

Upon exposure to sexually explicit material, the stimulation of the amygdala and the HPA axis would be enhanced in the adolescent, compared with the adult. This would lead to a more pronounced curtailment of the prefrontal cortex and enhanced activation of the basal ganglia in the adolescent. This condition, therefore, would compromise executive function, which includes inhibition and self-control, and enhances impulsivity. Because the adolescent’s brain is still developing, it is more conducive to neuroplasticity. The prefrontal cortex going “off-line,” so to speak, drives the subtle rewiring that favors subcortical development. If the neuroplasticity imbalance continues over time, this may result in a relatively weakened cortical circuit in favor of a more dominant subcortical circuit, which could predispose the adolescent to continued self-gratification and impulsivity. The adolescent’s nucleus accumbens, or pleasure center of the brain, would have an exaggerated stimulation compared to the adult. The increased levels of dopamine would translate into augmented emotions associated with dopamine, such as pleasure and craving (Berridge, 2006; Volkow, 2006)….

Because of the organizational window of development during adolescence, cortisol and testosterone would have a unique affect upon brain organization or the inherent viability of various neural circuits. This effect would not be found in the adult because this specific window of organization has closed. Chronic exposure to cortisol has the potential, during the adolescent organizational period, to drive neuroplasticity that results in compromised cognitive function and stress resilience even through adulthood (McEwen, 2004; Tsoory & Richter-Levin, 2006; Tsoory, 2008; McCormick & Mathews, 2007; 2010). The robustness of the amygdala post puberty, at least in part, depends on the magnitude of testosterone exposure during the critical adolescent developmental window (De Lorme, Schulz, Salas-Ramirez, & Sisk, 2012; De Lorme & Sisk, 2013; Neufang et al., 2009; Sarkey, Azcoitia, Garcia- Segura, Garcia-Ovejero, & DonCarlos, 2008). A robust amygdala is linked to heightened levels of emotionality and compromised self-regulation (Amaral, 2003; Lorberbaum et al., 2004; De Lorme & Sisk, 2013)…..

Contributions of Mainstream Sexual Media Exposure to Sexual Attitudes, Perceived Peer Norms, and Sexual Behavior: A Meta-Analysis (2019) – Excerpts:

Decades of research have examined the impact of exposure to nonexplicit portrayals of sexual content in media. There is only one meta-analysis on this topic, which suggests that exposure to “sexy media” has little to no effect on sexual behavior. There are a number of limitations to the existing meta-analysis, and the purpose of this updated meta-analysis was to examine associations between exposure to sexual media and users’ attitudes and sexual behavior.

A thorough literature search was conducted to find relevant articles. Each study was coded for associations between exposure to sexual media and one of six outcomes including sexual attitudes (permissive attitudes, peer norms, and rape myths) and sexual behaviors (general sexual behavior, age of sexual initiation, and risky sexual behavior).

Overall, this meta-analysis demonstrates consistent and robust relations between media exposure and sexual attitudes and behavior spanning multiple outcome measures and multiple media. Media portray sexual behavior as highly prevalent, recreational, and relatively risk-free [3], and our analyses suggest that a viewer’s own sexual decision-making may be shaped, in part, by viewing these types of portrayals. Our findings are in direct contrast with the previous meta-analysis, which suggested that media’s impact on sexual behavior was trivial or nonexistent [4]. The previous meta-analysis used 38 effect sizes and found that “sexy” media were weakly and trivially related with sexual behavior (r = .08), whereas the current metaanalysis used more than 10 times the amount of effect sizes (n = 394) and found an effect nearly double the size (r = .14).

First, we found positive associations between exposure to sexual media and teens’ and young adults’ permissive sexual attitudes and perceptions of their peers’ sexual experiences.

Second, exposure to sexual media content was associated with greater acceptance of common rape myths.

Finally, sexual media exposure was found to predict sexual behaviors including age of sexual initiation, overall sexual experience, and risky sexual behavior. These results converged across multiple methodologies and provide support for the assertion that media contribute to the sexual experiences of young viewers.

Although the meta-analysis demonstrated significant effects of sexual media exposure on sexual attitudes and behaviors across all variables of interest, these effects were moderated by a few variables. Most notably, significant effects for all ages were apparent; however, the effect was more than twice as large for adolescents as for emerging adults, perhaps reflecting the fact that older participants likely have more comparative, real-world experience to draw on than younger participants [36, 37]. In addition, the effect was stronger for males compared with females, perhaps because sexual experimentation fits the male sexual script [18] and because male characters are punished less often than female characters for sexual initiation [38].

These findings have significant implications for adolescent and emerging adult physical and mental health. Perceiving high levels of peer sexual activity and sexual permissiveness may increase feelings of internal pressure to experiment sexually [39]. In one study, exposure to sexual media content in early adolescence was seen to advance sexual initiation by 9e17 months [40]; in turn, early experimentation may increase mental and physical health risks [37].

The effect sizes found here are similar to those of other studied areas of media psychology such as media’s impact on violence [41], prosocial behavior [42], and body image [43]. In each of these cases, although media use accounts for only a portion of the total variance in the outcomes of interest, media do play an important role. These comparisons suggest that sexual media content is a small, but consequential factor in the development of sexual attitudes and behaviors in adolescents and emerging adults.

There’s some interesting background related to this paper. (See excerpt from its conclusion below the abstract). The Abstract states that only one other meta-analysis on this subject has been published. That other paper found that, “The impact of media on teen sexuality was minimal with effect sizes near to zero.” It was co-authored by Christopher J. Ferguson: Does Sexy Media Promote Teen Sex? A Meta-Analytic and Methodological Review (2017)

For years, Ferguson has been attacking the concept of internet addiction, while intensely campaigning to keep Internet Gaming Disorder out of the ICD-11. (He lost that one in 2018, but his campaign continues on many fronts.) In fact, Ferguson and Nicole Prause were co-authors on major paper attempting to discredit internet addictions. (Their assertions were debunked in a series of papers by experts, in this issue of Journal of Behavioral Addictions.) Here, the authors of the meta-analysis describe how Ferguson’s suspect choice of parameters produces his result.

On to the cherry-picked, often irrelevant, outlier papers:

Alliance Studies:

Hesse, C., & Pedersen, C. L. (2017). Porn sex versus real sex: How sexually explicit material shapes our understanding of sexual anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. Sexuality & Culture, 21(3), 754-775. Link to web

Analysis: First, the mean age was 24, so this isn’t a study on “youth.” Second, most of the subjects were females, so the study was not representative. Third, the main finding that porn viewers have slightly better scores on a sexual anatomy & physiology assessment isn’t all the surprising. The more you see the better your recall. It may seem dated, but one could just as easily consult an online anatomy text as watch hard core porn to learn about anatomy.

As for “participants reported greater positive self-perceived effects of SEM consumption than negative effect,” this to be expected as the study used the porn use questionnaire known as the Pornography Consumption Effect Scale (PCES). As explained in this critique by YBOP and a psychology professor the study creating the PCES may be the most egregious porn study ever published (Hald & Malamuth, 2008).

The PCES questions are designed and scored so that the more porn one uses the greater the benefits. In fact, if you don’t use porn, the lack of porn use is having a negative effect on your life according to this instrument. This is no exaggeration as many PCES- based studies conclude just that! This 7-minute video critique of the PCES reveal Hald & Malamuth’s primary results from what the dismayed psychology professor called a “psychometric nightmare”:

  • Porn use was almost always beneficial – with few, if any, drawbacks, for anyone.
  • The more hardcore the porn the greater its positive effects in your life. Put simply, “More porn is always better.”
  • For both genders the more porn you use, the more you believe it represents real sex, and the more you masturbate to it, the more positive the effects it has in every area of your life.

The PCES almost always reports benefits because:

  1. Hald & Malamuth randomly decided what was a “positive” and “negative” effect of porn use. For example “added to your knowledge of anal sex” is always beneficial, while “reducing your sexual fantasies” is always negative.
  2. The PCES gives equal weight to questions that do not assess equivalent effects. For example “Has added to your knowledge of anal sex?” can cancel out “Has led to problems in your sex life?” Whether or not you think superficial effects are positive effects, they are in no way equivalent to reduced quality of life (job loss, divorce), or problems in your sex life (erectile dysfunction, no sex drive).

In other words, your marriage could be destroyed and you could have chronic ED, but your PCES score can still show that porn has been just great for you. As one recovering porn user said after viewing the 47 PCES questions: “Yeah, I’ve dropped out of university, developed problems with other addictions, never had a girlfriend, have lost friends, got into debt, still have ED and never had sex in real life. But at least I know about all the porn star acts and am up to speed on all the different positions. So yeah, basically porn has enriched my life no end.”

Paasonen, S., Kyrölä, K., Nikunen, K., & Saarenmaa, L. (2015). ‘We hid porn magazines in the nearby woods’: Memory-work and pornography consumption in Finland. Sexualities, 18(4), 394-412. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. It’s qualitative and not about internet porn. Asks 45 older Finnish citizens to recollect their early experiences of finding “pornographic images”. The paper consists of a handful of few selected quotes (memories) followed by commentary. Are you kidding?

Spišák, S. (2016). ‘Everywhere they say that it’s harmful but they don’t say how, so I’m asking here’: young people, pornography and negotiations with notions of risk and harm. Sex Education, 16(2), 130-142. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary said, “Very few of the young people who contact sexual health experts experience porn itself as harmful. Rather, it is the risk talk that is experienced as unsettling. Research tends not to find conclusive evidence of harm in relation to young people’s encounters with pornography.”

The summary omits important details. The study is based on a non-representative collection of anonymous questions submitted to different online services targeted at teenagers and young people (in 2013). Only small percentage of questions were concerned with porn. From the study:

This paper builds on data consisting of 4212 questions about sexuality that were sent by young people in Finland to experts on sexual health. Only 64 (1.5%) of these contributions explicitly focused on pornography.

The paper continues:

Indeed, physical changes in the body during puberty and what is considered ‘normal’ development in a physical and sexual context are the most frequently asked questions. Other topics of interest are sexual orientation, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and relationships (cf. Rinkinen 2012).

The author tells us that porn use isn’t causing problems because so few ask about it. A few other possibilities exist: (1) these services may not be perceived as the right resource for questions about porn use, (2) the adolescents’ problems could be related to their porn use, yet they fail to make the connection, (3) porn use is ubiquitous – the adolescents know more about porn than the adults. Whatever the case, hundreds of studies report myriad negative outcomes related to porn use (see introduction to this section).

Just because a teen doesn’t yet connect their own (or their partner’s) porn use with an issue doesn’t mean porn use isn’t having an effect. Wait a few years. For example, a 2019 BBC survey suggests that 20% of porn watchers 18-25 say it has affected their ability to have sex. Just under a quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed agreed they have felt pressured to do things that a partner has seen in porn and just under one in five (19 percent) agree that they have tried things they have seen in porn and regretted it. Over a third (35 percent) agrees that they have had riskier sex due to porn. Almost a quarter (23 percent) of people aged 18-25 who watch porn think they might be addicted.

Milas, G., Wright, P., & Štulhofer, A. (2019). Longitudinal Assessment of the Association Between Pornography Use and Sexual Satisfaction in Adolescence. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. As with several other studies cited here, the subjects were 16-year old Croatians (Štulhofer keeps asking the same 16 year olds about their perceptions of porn’s effects). In this study Štulhofer asks 16-year olds about their levels of “sexual satisfaction,” finding “no significant association between changes in the frequency of adolescents’ pornography use over time and their sexual satisfaction.” Not so fast Stulhofer. The study reported that 90% of males viewed porn, while few females used porn. Guess what the study found:

“During the observed period, the mean pornography use among male participants was once a week. In contrast, the majority of female participants reported no pornography use. Compared to their male peers, adolescent females were substantially more satisfied with their sex lives.”

Interesting, but ignored by The Deniers. But can a study accurately assess sexual satisfaction in 16 year olds? From the study:

“the majority of our participants had no or only limited sexual experience at baseline…”

A few questions: With so little experience, how might a 16-year old accurately judge satisfying sex? How many 16 year olds are having regular sex? What 16-year old guy doesn’t say he finds sexual activity satisfying, let alone full-on sexual intercourse? What about all the porn-viewing 16-year olds who are watching porn instead of having sex – where are they in this survey?

As mentioned elsewhere, the negative effects of continual porn use often manifest much later (twenties and thirties). This is especially true for “sexual satisfaction” and relationship satisfaction. How do we know? Every single study involving adult males has reported more porn use linked to poorer sexual or relationship satisfaction (see Over 70 studies link porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.)

That said, the Denier’s omitted all other adolescent studies assessing the relationship between pornography use and sexual satisfaction (including a longitudinal study). Surprise – all linked more porn use with less satisfaction:

  1. Pornography, sexual socialization, and satisfaction among young men (2008)
  2. Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Sexual Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study (2009)
  3. Associations between young adults’ use of sexually explicit materials and their sexual preferences, behaviors, and satisfaction (2011)
  4. Young Adult Women’s Reports of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use as a Correlate of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction (2012)
  5. Frequency of pornography use is indirectly associated with lower relationship confidence through depression symptoms and physical assault among Chinese young adults (2011)
  6. Associations between young adults’ use of sexually explicit materials and their sexual preferences, behaviors, and satisfaction (2011)

The Deniers’ Alliance exposed.

Marengo, D., Settanni, M., & Longobardi, C. (2019). The associations between sex drive, sexual self-concept, sexual orientation, and exposure to online victimization in Italian adolescents: Investigating the mediating role of verbal and visual sexting behaviors. Children and Youth Services Review. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation, as it’s not a study on porn’s possible effects. Why did the Deniers list a sexting study that failed to assess porn use, when numerous other studies have assessed the relationships between sexting with porn use? Oh yeah, because the preponderance of studies link more porn use to sexting behaviors.

Dawson, K., Nic Gabhainn, S., & MacNeela, P. (2019). Toward a Model of Porn Literacy: Core Concepts, Rationales, and Approaches. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-15. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation, as it’s not a study on porn’s possible effects. It appears to be promoting the authors’ “Porn Literacy Curriculum.”

Rothman, E. F., Adhia, A., Christensen, T. T., Paruk, J., Alder, J., & Daley, N. (2018). A pornography literacy class for youth: Results of a feasibility and efficacy pilot study. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 13(1), 1-17. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Emily Rothman. More citation inflation, as it’s not a study on porn’s possible effects. It, too, appears to be promoting the authors’ “Porn Literacy Curriculum.”

Kohut, T., & Štulhofer, A. (2018).Is pornography use a risk for adolescent well-being? An examination of temporal relationships in two independent panel samples. PloS one, 13(8), e0202048. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members Taylor Kohut and Alexander Štulhofer. Average age 16, and Croatians only (as in most of Štulhofer’s studies). First, as noted below, negative effects of continual porn use often manifest after the teen years. Second, the data are included in the Kohut & Štulhofer study below, so we can view these 2 studies as two halves of a single study. While both studies assert that changes in porn were not related to changes in psychological well-being, both studies found that using porn was related to poorer psychological well-being. Excerpts:

However, pornography use was associated with increases in both self-esteem and symptoms of depression and anxiety, albeit only among adolescent women in one of the two panels. In addition, low subjective well-being was associated with a subsequent increase in pornography use, but only in female adolescents in one panel.

Why is it that Štulhofer’s studies seem to find few problems related to porn use, while the preponderance of the research does find problems? For example, this page contains over 65 studies link porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes. Some of the studies are longitudinal and a few had porn users eliminate porn for a period of time.

Štulhofer, A., Tafro, A., & Kohut, T. (2019).The dynamics of adolescents’ pornography use and psychological well-being: a six-wave latent growth and latent class modeling approach. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1-13. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members Taylor Kohut and Alexander Štulhofer. First, the data are included in the above Kohut & Štulhofer study, so we can view these 2 studies as two halves of a single study. Second, the average age was 16 (Croatians only). It’s important to note that the negative effects of continual porn use often manifest much later (twenties and thirties). Third, and importantly, the Alliance’s summary omitted key findings:

“a significant negative association was found between female adolescents’ pornography use and psychological well-being at baseline”

“the lowest levels of depression and anxiety were found among male adolescents who reported the lowest frequency of pornography use at baseline”

Put simply, more porn use was related to poorer psychological well-being in females, while lowest frequency of porn use was related to the lowest levels of depression and anxiety in males. Štulhofer & Kohut’s findings represent a cherry-picked outlier finding, as over 65 studies link porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes.

Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2011). The use of sexually explicit internet material and its antecedents: A longitudinal comparison of adolescents and adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(5), 1015-1025. Link to web

Analysis: Why is this paper listed? More citation inflation, as it’s not a study on porn’s possible effects. The Dutch study reports that adult males use porn more frequently than adolescent males, yet this doesn’t align with most other studies. The age of the data (from 2008), and sampling only a small country, may account for the anomalous results. Or maybe Dutch teens are more apt to lie about their porn use. The 2008 results don’t align with more recent data –Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviour (2017). This study on Australians, ages 15-29, found that 100% of the men (82% of women) had viewed porn. Also, 69 percent of males and 23 percent of females first viewed porn at age 13 or younger. In addition this study reported that more frequent pornography viewing correlated with mental health problems.

Van Ouytsel, J., Ponnet, K., & Walrave, M. (2014).The associations between adolescents’ consumption of pornography and music videos and their sexting behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(12), 772-778. Link to web

Analysis: As the Alliance summary said “Sexting behaviors were significantly associated with the consumption of pornography, when controlling for age, gender, school track, and Internet use.


Films or Masturbation Section

Context/Reality: Deniers’ conundrum: what to do about all the many studies linking porn use to myriad negative outcomes? Since the Deniers could pump out only so many dubious studies and opinion pieces, they developed a new strategy to support their agnotology campaign: blame all of porn’s ills on masturbation instead. (Say what?)

In 2016 a few of the Deniers (Ley & Prause) became the first professionals to try to convince the world that masturbation, not digital porn use, was responsible for the tremendous jump in erectile dysfunction rates in men under 40. The “value” of this audacious talking point lies in its ability to engender doubt in the public mind about porn’s risks. It’s a marvelous distraction from all of the evidence pointing to overuse of internet porn causing harms.

However, none of the studies the Deniers cite, with one dodgy exception, furnish the least bit of support for their red herring. The exception, a paper by sociologist S.L. Perry, which did not contain reliable data for masturbation frequency, is essentially nothing more than hypothetical – as discussed below.

True sexuality experts never claim that masturbation causes youthful ED. Certainly urologists, the front-line experts in men’s sexual health, don’t. The fact is, virtually no one in the history of modern sexology (save these few brash sexologists) has ever suggested porn-free masturbation is a cause of problems such as chronic erectile dysfunction in young men. Indeed, masturbation has been touted as beneficial for decades. Physiologically, how could good ole do-it-yourself pleasuring explain changes in some users’ sexual templates that are so profound that encounters with real partners are no longer arousing? How could it explain the alarmingly long recovery times some young men are reporting after quitting porn? How does masturbation explain away over 70 studies linking porn use to lower sexual and relationship satisfaction (including 7 longitudinal studies)?

While the Deniers are purposely vague in describing exactly how masturbation might produce chronic ED in otherwise healthy young men, the only logical conclusion is that they’re suggesting that masturbation is causing trauma so severe that those injured cannot achieve an erection. Trouble is, such trauma is a type of organic ED (easily diagnosed by healthcare givers). While there are various studies indicating a 500-1000% increase in ED in men under 40, no study suggests severe tissue damage is behind this tremendous rise. The fact is, most men with porn-induced ED can achieve an erection and masturbate to climax just fine…as long as they’re viewing internet porn.

In short, absent underlying organic or psychological problems, erections and sexual arousal are not problems in youthful masturbators unless they are using digital porn. The Deniers’ Alliance motto appears to be: “It can’t be porn….anything but porn.”

As for the Alliance papers, only one paper attempts to examine whether “its porn or masturbation”, and it fails to do so because it had no reliable data for masturbation frequency (Perry, 2019). All the remaining Alliance papers have absolutely nothing to do with this section’s supposed theme: “is pornography or masturbation behind reported negative outcomes?”. RealYBOP hoping no one checks her work. We did.

Alliance Papers:

Carvalheira, A., Træen, B., & Štulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation and pornography use among coupled heterosexual men with decreased sexual desire: How many roles of masturbation?. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 41(6), 626-635. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. Citation inflation. It tells nothing about whether it’s “masturbation or films” (as if porn use & masturbation could ever be reliably separated in studies employing only recall). Only studies following porn users who abstain from porn over time could even begin to assess differing effects of masturbation and porn. The study found that masturbating to porn was related to decreased sexual desire and low relationship intimacy. Excerpts from study:

Among men who masturbated frequently, 70% used pornography at least once a week. A multivariate assessment showed that sexual boredom, frequent pornography use, and low relationship intimacy significantly increased the odds of reporting frequent masturbation among coupled men with decreased sexual desire.

Among men [with decreased sexual desire] who used pornography at least once a week [in 2011], 26.1% reported that they were unable to control their pornography use. In addition, 26.7% of men reported that their use of pornography negatively affected their partnered sex and 21.1% claimed to have attempted to stop using pornography.

Wow – over 25% said that porn use had negatively affected their sex lives. And porn use was related to decreased sexual desire and boredom with sexual partners. You didn’t get those juicy bits from the Alliance’s summary.

Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. M. (2008). Self-perceived effects of pornography consumption. Archives of sexual behavior, 37(4), 614-625.

Analysis: Citation inflation. It tells nothing about whether it’s “masturbation or films”. This study creeted as the Pornography Consumption Effect Scale (PCES). As explained in this critique by YBOP and a psychology professor the study creating the PCES may be the most egregious porn study ever published (Hald & Malamuth, 2008).

The PCES questions are designed and scored so that the more porn one uses the greater the benefits. In fact, if you don’t use porn, the lack of porn use is having a negative effect on your life according to this instrument. This is no exaggeration as many PCES- based studies conclude just that! This 7-minute video critique of the PCES reveal Hald & Malamuth’s primary results from what the dismayed psychology professor called a “psychometric nightmare”:

  • Porn use was almost always beneficial – with few, if any, drawbacks, for anyone.
  • The more hardcore the porn the greater its positive effects in your life. Put simply, “More porn is always better.”
  • For both genders the more porn you use, the more you believe it represents real sex, and the more you masturbate to it, the more positive the effects it has in every area of your life.

The PCES almost always reports benefits because:

  1. Hald & Malamuth randomly decided what was a “positive” and “negative” effect of porn use. For example “added to your knowledge of anal sex” is always beneficial, while “reducing your sexual fantasies” is always negative.
  2. The PCES gives equal weight to questions that do not assess equivalent effects. For example “Has added to your knowledge of anal sex?” can cancel out “Has led to problems in your sex life?” Whether or not you think superficial effects are positive effects, they are in no way equivalent to reduced quality of life (job loss, divorce), or problems in your sex life (erectile dysfunction, no sex drive).

In other words, your marriage could be destroyed and you could have chronic ED, but your PCES score can still show that porn has been just great for you. As one recovering porn user said after viewing the 47 PCES questions: “Yeah, I’ve dropped out of university, developed problems with other addictions, never had a girlfriend, have lost friends, got into debt, still have ED and never had sex in real life. But at least I know about all the porn star acts and am up to speed on all the different positions. So yeah, basically porn has enriched my life no end.”

Baćak a, V., & Štulhofer, A. (2011). Masturbation among sexually active young women in Croatia: Associations with religiosity and pornography use. International Journal of Sexual Health, 23(4), 248-257. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Stulhofer. More citation inflation. Study tells nothing about whether it’s “masturbation or films”. The Alliance was accurate in their summary:

60% of the female participants reported masturbating. Pornography use was very strongly, positively associated with masturbation.

What does this say about whether “porn or masturbation” is behind poorer relationship satisfaction? Nothing.

Hald, G. M. (2006). Gender differences in pornography consumption among young heterosexual Danish adults. Archives of sexual behavior, 35(5), 577-585. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation. Once again, the study tells nothing about whether it’s “masturbation or films”. The Alliance was accurate, in that earlier age of exposure to porn was related to greater porn use as the subjects aged:

Compared to women, men were exposed to pornography at a younger age, consumed more pornography as measured by time and frequency, and used pornography more often during sexual activity on their own.

These findings could easily be interpreted as earlier exposure leading to escalation of porn use, which is a sign of habituation, or even an addiction process.

Ley, D., Prause, N., & Finn, P. (2014).The emperor has no clothes: A review of the ‘pornography addiction’model. Current sexual health reports, 6(2), 94-105. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance members David Ley, Nicole Prause, Peter Finn. Completed in 2o13, published in early 2014. Not a real review of the literature. The following is a very long analysis David Ley’s opinion piece, which goes line-by-line, citation by citation showing all the shenanigans Ley, Prause & Finn incorporated in their “review”: The Emperor Has No Clothes: A Fractured Fairytale Posing As A Review. It completely dismantles the so-called review, and documents dozens of misrepresentations of the research they cited. The most shocking aspect of the Ley review is that it omitted ALL the many studies that reported negative effects related to porn use or found porn addiction! Yes, you read that right. While purporting to write an “objective” review, Ley & Prause justified omitting hundreds of studies on the grounds that these were correlational studies. Guess what? Virtually all studies on porn are correlational, including those they cited, and misused. Put simply, Ley et al., 2014 mirrors the Denier’s Alliance research page: A few cherry-picked, often irrelevant papers are cited and often misrepresented – while all reviews, all meta-analyses, and every study reporting negative outcomes related to porn use are omitted. Finally, this is just more citation inflation as Ley et al. fails to address this section’s supposed question: “is it Films or Masturbation?“.

The real expert’s opinion? Check out these more recent neuroscience-based reviews of the literature & commentaries which counter the unsupported assertions by Ley/Prause/Finn:

  1. For a thorough review of the neuroscience literature related to Internet addiction subtypes, with special focus on internet porn addiction, see – Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update (2015). The review also critiques two recent headline-grabbing EEG studies which purport to have “debunked” porn addiction.
  2. Sex Addiction as a Disease: Evidence for Assessment, Diagnosis, and Response to Critics (2015), which provides a chart that takes on specific criticisms and offers citations that counter them.
  3. Should Compulsive Sexual Behavior be Considered an Addiction? (2016) – Review of the literature by top addiction neuroscientists at Yale & Cambridge Universities
  4. Compulsive Sexual Behaviour as a Behavioural Addiction: The Impact of the Internet and Other Issues (2016) – Expands on the above review.
  5. Neurobiological Basis of Hypersexuality (2016) By neuroscientists at the Max Planck Institute
  6. Cybersex Addiction (2015) – By the German neuroscientists who have published the greatest number of studies on cybersex addiction
  7. Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016) – An extensive review of the literature related to porn-induced sexual problems. Involving US Navy doctors, the review provides the latest data revealing a tremendous rise in youthful sexual problems. It also reviews the neurological studies related to porn addiction and sexual conditioning via Internet porn. The doctors provide 3 clinical reports of men who developed porn-induced sexual dysfunctions
  8. Integrating psychological and neurobiological considerations regarding the development and maintenance of specific Internet-use disorders: An Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution model (2016) – A review of the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of specific Internet-use disorders, including “Internet-pornography-viewing disorder”
  9. Searching for clarity in muddy water: future considerations for classifying compulsive sexual behavior as an addiction (2016) – Excerpts: We recently considered evidence for classifying compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) as a non-substance (behavioral) addiction. Our review found that CSB shared clinical, neurobiological and phenomenological parallels with substance-use disorders. Although the American Psychiatric Association rejected hypersexual disorder from DSM-5, a diagnosis of CSB (excessive sex drive) can be made using ICD-10. CSB is also being considered by ICD-11.
  10. Sexual Addiction chapter from Neurobiology of Addictions, Oxford Press (2016)
  11. Neuroscientific Approaches to Online Pornography Addiction (2017) – Excerpt: In the last two decades, several studies with neuroscientific approaches, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), were conducted to explore the neural correlates of watching pornography under experimental conditions and the neural correlates of excessive pornography use. Given previous results, excessive pornography consumption can be connected to already known neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of substance-related addictions.
  12. Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction – A clinical review (De Sousa & Lodha, 2017) – Excerpts: In total, 59 articles were identified which included reviews, mini reviews and original research papers on the issues of pornography usage, addiction and neurobiology. The research papers reviewed here were centered on those that elucidated a neurobiological basis for pornography addiction. This was further supplemented with the personal clinical experience of both the authors who work regularly with patients where pornography addiction and viewing is a distressing symptom.
  13. Is excessive sexual behaviour an addictive disorder? (2017) – Excerpts: Research into the neurobiology of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder has generated findings relating to attentional biases, incentive salience attributions, and brain-based cue reactivity that suggest substantial similarities with addictions. We believe that classification of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder as an addictive disorder is consistent with recent data and might benefit clinicians, researchers, and individuals suffering from and personally affected by this disorder.
  14. The Proof of the Pudding Is in the Tasting: Data Are Needed to Test Models and Hypotheses Related to Compulsive Sexual Behaviors (2018) – Excerpts: Among the domains that may suggest similarities between CSB and addictive disorders are neuroimaging studies, with several recent studies omitted by Walton et al. (2017). Initial studies often examined CSB with respect to models of addiction (reviewed in Gola, Wordecha, Marchewka, & Sescousse, 2016b; Kraus, Voon, & Potenza, 2016b).
  15. Promoting educational, classification, treatment, and policy initiatives Commentary on: Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder in the ICD-11 (Kraus et al., 2018) – Excerpts: The current proposal of classifying CSB disorder as an impulse-control disorder is controversial as alternate models have been proposed (Kor, Fogel, Reid, & Potenza, 2013). There are data suggesting that CSB shares many features with addictions (Kraus et al., 2016), including recent data indicating increased reactivity of reward-related brain regions in response to cues associated with erotic stimuli (Brand, Snagowski, Laier, & Maderwald, 2016; Gola, Wordecha, Marchewka, & Sescousse, 2016; Gola et al., 2017; Klucken, Wehrum-Osinsky, Schweckendiek, Kruse, & Stark, 2016; Voon et al., 2014.
  16. Compulsive Sexual Behavior in Humans and Preclinical Models (2018) – Excerpts: Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) is widely regarded as a “behavioral addiction,” and is a major threat to quality of life and both physical and mental health. In conclusion, this review summarized the behavioral and neuroimaging studies on human CSB and comorbidity with other disorders, including substance abuse. Together, these studies indicate that CSB is associated with functional alterations in dorsal anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex, amygdala, striatum, and thalamus, in addition to decreased connectivity between amygdala and prefrontal cortex.
  17. Sexual Dysfunctions in the Internet Era (2018) – Excerpt: Among behavioral addictions, problematic Internet use and online pornography consumption are often cited as possible risk factors for sexual dysfunction, often with no definite boundary between the two phenomena. Online users are attracted to Internet pornography because of its anonymity, affordability, and accessibility, and in many cases its usage could lead users through a cybersex addiction: in these cases, users are more likely to forget the “evolutionary” role of sex, finding more excitement in self-selected sexually explicit material than in intercourse.
  18. Neurocognitive mechanisms in compulsive sexual behavior disorder (2018) – Excerpt: To date, most neuroimaging research on compulsive sexual behavior has provided evidence of overlapping mechanisms underlying compulsive sexual behavior and non-sexual addictions. Compulsive sexual behavior is associated with altered functioning in brain regions and networks implicated in sensitization, habituation, impulse dyscontrol, and reward processing in patterns like substance, gambling, and gaming addictions. Key brain regions linked to CSB features include the frontal and temporal cortices, amygdala, and striatum, including the nucleus accumbens.
  19. A Current Understanding of the Behavioral Neuroscience of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder and Problematic Pornography Use – Excerpt: Recent neurobiological studies have revealed that compulsive sexual behaviors are associated with altered processing of sexual material and differences in brain structure and function. Although few neurobiological studies of CSBD have been conducted to date, existing data suggest neurobiological abnormalities share communalities with other additions such as substance use and gambling disorders. Thus, existing data suggest that its classification may be better suited as a behavioral addiction rather than an impulse-control disorder.
  20. Ventral Striatal Reactivity in Compulsive Sexual Behaviors (2018) – Excerpt: Among currently available studies, we were able to find nine publications (Table 1) which utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging. Only four of these (3639) directly investigated processing of erotic cues and/or rewards and reported findings related to ventral striatum activations. Three studies indicate increased ventral striatal reactivity for erotic stimuli (3639) or cues predicting such stimuli (3639). These findings are consistent with Incentive Salience Theory (IST) (28), one of the most prominent frameworks describing brain functioning in addiction.
  21. Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t—A Systematic Review (2019) – Excerpt: As far as we know, a number of recent studies support this entity as an addiction with important clinical manifestations such as sexual dysfunction and psychosexual dissatisfaction. Most of the existing work is based off on similar research done on substance addicts, based on the hypothesis of online pornography as a ‘supranormal stimulus’ akin to an actual substance that, through continued consumption, can spark an addictive disorder.

Why didn’t the Deniers list any of the above peer-reviewed papers?

Clark, C. A., & Wiederman, M. W. (2000).Gender and reactions to a hypothetical relationship partner’s masturbation and use of sexually explicit media. Journal of Sex Research, 37(2), 133-141. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation – as the paper has nothing to do with this section’s supposed question: “is it porn or masturbation?” That said, the Alliance summary twisted the reported findings. From the abstract:

Compared to men, women indicated more negative feelings about a partner’s solitary sexual behavior. For men and women, a partner’s use of sexually explicit material was rated more negatively than a partner’s masturbation. Regarding the attributions, there was a difference on concerning the belief about partner satisfaction. Respondents were more likely to see a partner’s use of sexually explicit materials rather than masturbation as a sign of dissatisfaction with the original partner or the sexual relationship.

Put simply, men and women experienced greater negative feelings about a partner’s porn use than about their masturbation.

Miller, D. J., McBain, K. A., Li, W. W., & Raggatt, P. T. (2019).Pornography, preference for porn‐like sex, masturbation, and men’s sexual and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 26(1), 93-113. Link to web

Analysis: Once again, the Alliance omits any unfavorable findings. The paper contains a questionable abstract focusing on the dubious assessment of ‘preference for porn‐like sex,” and downplaying the important findings: Both studies (not just study 2) reported more porn use related to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. This paper attempts to blame masturbation, not porn, for relationship dissatisfaction, but there is no legitimate method to tease masturbation apart from porn use. Excerpts:

“Frequent pornography use was associated with sexual dissatisfaction, greater preference for porn‐like sex, and more frequent masturbation in both studies. Pornography use was associated with relationship dissatisfaction in Study 2 only.” [actually it was both studies]

The study falsely claims that porn use was associated with relationship dissatisfaction in study 2 only. See study tables for the truth. Miller et al., 2019 is included in YBOP’s list of over 70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.

Prause, N. (2019). Porn Is for Masturbation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-7. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Nicole Prause. More citation inflation, as it’s not a study. It’s an opinion piece with the familiar collection of cherry-picked studies and unsupported or false claims. As with all other opinion pieces by the Deniers, Prause’s commentary omits the vast preponderance of evidence countering her usual mishmash of talking points. Prause’s commentary is an unconvincing attempt to debunk many of the empirically well supported negative effects associated with internet porn use. Prause promotes the idea that using porn is actually beneficial…for most everyone…at any age. Aside from the bits about porn being safe for kids (below), Prause’s commentary is little more than bits and pieces copied from three earlier Prause pieces, which YBOP has critiqued:

  1. For an analysis of nearly every talking point and cherry-picked study Prause, Kohut and Ley ever cite, see this extensive critique of a 2018 piece published in SLATE magazine: Debunking “Why Are We Still So Worried About Wat­­ching Porn?”, by Marty Klein, Taylor Kohut, and Nicole Prause.
  2. For a critique of the claims in Prause’s 240-word letter to Lancet see this extensive response: Analysis of “Data do not support sex as addictive” (Prause et al., 2017).
  3. YBOP has long since addressed most of the cherry-picked, often irrelevant, studies and questionable claims in its response to Prause’s 2016 “Letter to the editor”: Critique of: Letter to the editor “Prause et al. (2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions“ (2016)

This critique addresses the cherry-picked studies and unsupported claims not found in the above critiques: Critique of Nicole Prause’s “Porn Is for Masturbation” (2019).

Perry, S. L. (2019). Is the link between pornography use and relational happiness really more about masturbation? Results from two national surveys. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Samuel Perry. Religion researcher Perry published this brief re-analysis of data used in one of his earlier porn studies. After sophisticated statistical “modeling” Perry proposed that masturbation, not porn use, is the real culprit in relationship happiness. The gaping hole in Perry’s new analysis is the absence of specific, reliable data on masturbation frequency, as he only asked “When did you last masturbate?” Without solid data on frequency, his claim is little more than a hypothetical. From Perry’s study:

Masturbation Practice. Both the NFSS and the RIA ask the same two questions about masturbation that the author combined into a single masturbation measure for both surveys. Participants were first asked if they have ever masturbated (Yes or No). Those who answered that they had ever masturbated were then asked, “When did you last masturbate?” Responses ranged from 1 = today to 9 = over a year ago.

Perry continues:

“While this question technically does not inquire about frequency…..”

No kidding. And yet Perry, Prause, Ley, Grubbs and others are now making extraordinary claims based on this solitary study, relying on these highly dubious data. The Alliance propaganda machine is in full view with respect to Perry’s re-analysis. Perry’s assertions are countered by over 70 studies linking porn use to lower sexual and relationship satisfaction – and Perry’s current study which correlated more porn use with less relationship happiness. That’s right, greater porn use was associated with less relationship happiness in both Perry samples (A & B):

———

Perry’s claims that he could magically tease apart porn use from masturbation cannot be taken seriously – especially since he lacked accurate data for masturbation frequency.

Walton, M. T., Lykins, A. D., & Bhullar, N. (2016).Sexual arousal and sexual activity frequency: Implications for understanding hypersexuality. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(4), 777-782. Link to web

Analysis: Not an actual study. The paper re-analyzes old data from Denier Alliance member James Cantor. The paper reported that sexual arousal (cravings, feeling horny) is linked to sexual activity. Groundbreaking. From discussion section:

Therefore, sexual arousal may be a stronger predictor of sexual activity frequency than data from self-report measures of hypersexuality, such as the HBI.

The paper has nothing to do with this section’s supposed question: “is it porn or masturbation?” However, the findings reveal that some who score high on “hypersexuality“ questionnaires are not that interested in actual sex:

Although results suggest that sexual arousal may be a stronger predictor of sexual activity frequency than hypersexuality, interpreting data becomes more complicated because sexual activity frequency of self-identified hypersexuals is likely to vary considerably.

Findings align with the experience of many porn addicts, who are not aroused by real partners. It also debunks the unsupported talking point that “high sexual desire” explains away porn or sex addiction (as do at least 25 studies falsifying the claim that sex & porn addicts “just have high sexual desire”).

van Rouen, J. H., Slob, A. K., Gianotten, W. L., Dohle, G. R., van Der Zon, A. T. M., Vreeburg, J. T. M., & Weber, R. F. A. (1996).Sexual arousal and the quality of semen produced by masturbation. Human Reproduction, 11(1), 147-151.Link to web

Analysis: The paper has nothing to do with the section’s supposed question: “is it porn or masturbation?” However, its findings support YBOP’s contention that masturbating to pornography videos is more stimulating than masturbation to one’s imagination:

significantly higher scores were given for ‘feeling at ease/relaxed’, ‘sexual arousal’, ‘quality of erection’, ‘intensity of orgasm’, ‘satisfaction after orgasm’, and ‘ease with which orgasm was achieved with VES (sexually explicit video)

In fact the YBOP ‘Start Here’ article begins with a more recent and somewhat similar study, which demonstrates the combined power of video porn and sexual novelty:

This is called the Coolidge effect—the automatic response to novel mates. Interestingly, men ejaculate more motile sperm and they do it more quickly when they view a novel porn star. This powerful automatic response to erotic novelty is what started you down the road to getting hooked on internet porn.

The illegitimate RealYBOP’s citation supports the legitimate YBOP’s thesis! Thanks Deniers. By the way, several studies directly or indirectly demonstrate how video pornography or internet porn are uniquely different from static porn of the past:



Sex Offender Section

Context/Reality: Similar to other sections, several of the studies have nothing to do with the section’s heading (Sex Offenders). Forced to speculate, we must assume the Deniers are attempting to “falsify” any links between porn use and rape, violence, sexual aggression, sexual harassment, or sexual coercion. While studies report disparate findings, we discuss the Alliance’s over-reliance upon a few carefully chosen studies. We also provide numerous relevant studies that the Alliance purposely omitted. Two recent articles address many Alliance talking points:

In essence the Alliance points to a handful of studies correlating changes in a nation’s reported rape rates with estimated changes in the availability of porn. By citing studies involving a few select countries, various Deniers have irresponsibly claimed that sexual violence rates universally decrease as porn becomes more accessible in a society. Below we punch holes in this assertion.

#1 – What about other variables? Correlation doesn’t equal causation. Numerous other variables likely account for the decline in reported rapes in select countries. The most obvious variable playing a role is that developed countries have experienced a decline (per 100K of the population) in the age group most likely to commit sexual crimes (12-34) as the population aged. As you can see in the graph, US rates for all violent crimes peaked around 1990, and then declined until about 2013, when rape rates started to rise. Important to note that rape rates declined the least (of the crime categories) during this period:

The decline in violent crime coincided with an increase in percentage of aged members of the population, and a corresponding decrease in the age group most likely to commit violent crime. This demographic shift has occurred in many “first world” nations. First, the 1990 population distribution by age. Note the population in the 15-44 age ranges.

Next, the 2015 population distribution by age. Notice the decline in the age groups most likley to commit violent crimes, and how old folks make up a much larger percentage of the population.

The above demographic shifts could account for the decrease in rape rates (which are typically reported “per [X number] of the population”). Researcher Neil Malamuth responded on a major sexology listserve to Milton Diamond’s papers (touted by the Alliance as proof of their reckless claims):

The Aggregate Issue — Intuitively, it appears to make a lot of sense that the critical “bottom line” is what appears to be happening in the “real world” (e.g., rates of violent crime) as media violence and/or pornography consumption have increased over the years. I think that on the contrary, the problems with looking at this are great and it is virtually impossible to come to any cause and effect conclusions by looking at the aggregate data. For example, consider the following association: The number of guns in the US and the rates of crime. As revealed in the following article Pew: Homicide Rates Cut in Half Over Past 20 Years (While New Gun Ownership Soared) as the number of guns in the US has increased dramatically over the past twenty years, the rates of homicide have dramatically decreased. How many of us are willing to conclude therefore that the wide availability of guns is actually a very good thing and has contributed to the reduction in homicide, as some indeed would be quick to conclude? Drew Kingston and I discuss this aggregate issue more extensively in the following: Problems with Aggregate Data and the Importance of Individual Differences in the Study of Pornography and Sexual Aggression (2010).

The cross-cultural aggregate data regarding pornography use and crime (e.g., Mickey Diamond’s important work) have been obtained, to my knowledge, only in Denmark and in Japan. In those two countries, there has generally been a very low rate of known sexually violent crime. We might expect based on that data as well as several other sources of data that in these countries, there are relatively few men with risk for committing sexual aggression (within the culture and in non-wartime conditions). Therefore, in the context of the Confluence Model’s predictions, in such countries we would actually predict little or no increase in sexual aggression as the availability of pornography increases, as Diamond and associates have reported. Remember, that the men who we have studied in the USA who similarly have low risk have not shown any increased proclivity even with high pornography use. As a critical test, as I noted before, Martin Hald and I did find that even in Denmark, men with relatively higher risk did in fact show greater attitudes accepting of violence against women as a function of both experimental exposure in lab and in“real world” association (see 2015 publication). I would be very interested to see what would happen if a huge change occurred in the availability of pornography in countries with a relatively large percentage of men with high proclivity and associated, sexism, attitudes accepting of violence against women, hostility towards women, etc.).

Moreover, rates of known crime may not be the only “dependent variable” to examine (see below). Although Japan’s adjudicated rates of violence against women are indeed relatively very low (and my limited experience many years ago while visiting Japan suggested that women felt safe walking streets at night) the highest documented rates of rape ever were committed in a single day were by Japanese men (in China in the city of Nanking). Thus, once the culture sanctioned the violence, potential proclivities may have become very evident. Further, in current Japan, there appear to be other manifestations of what may be considered sexual aggressive proclivities and related acts and attitudes towards women (e.g., back in 2000, special train cars were introduced for women to combat men’s groping (chikan).

The “Dependent Variable” Issue

As I mentioned earlier, the Confluence Model focuses on sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors in men in the general population, particularly college students. Virtually none of the participants we have studied have ever been adjudicated. Known crime rates are therefore somewhat irrelevant. As part of the discussion of the applicability of the model, we have suggested over the years that when it comes to convicted individuals, the model has less relevance as it appears that with such men“general anti-sociality characteristics” have far more direct relevance. These convicted men are often not “specialists” but much more likely to commit a wide variety of crimes. Measures that have consistently shown their utility in the prediction of the sexual aggressors we study, (hostility towards women, attitudes supporting violence against women, etc.) have not as consistently been found to be predictive for known criminals in this area. Although changes in rates of sexual aggression among students would be relevant, it is far from clear whether these have actually increased or decreased over the years or whether there has just been more attention to the matter (I would guess the latter is important). This also relates to the “aggregate problem”: While availability of pornography has increased dramatically over the years, at the same time there has been much more intervention to reduce sexual assault and increase relevant awareness.

Almost every university in the nation now has mandated interventions for all freshman, something that was not the case years ago. Assuming the some media influences may contribute to some increased proclivity to sexual aggression, how can we possibly disentangle the corresponding increases in public awareness of the issue of sexual aggression and actual interventions occurring at much of the same time?

Another important variable revolves around the (in)accuracy of statistics related to sexual crimes.

#2 – Studies reveal that rape rates are often underreported. It’s important to keep in mind that the crime of rape is consistently under-reported. Even reports to police may be wildly off, as this paper by a US law professor suggests: How to Lie with Rape Statistics: America’s Hidden Rape Crisis (2014).

Using this novel method to determine if other municipalities likely failed to report the true number of rape complaints made, I find significant undercounting of rape incidents by police departments across the country. The results indicate that approximately 22% of the 210 studied police departments responsible for populations of at least 100,000 persons have substantial statistical irregularities in their rape data indicating considerable undercounting from 1995 to 2012. Notably, the number of undercounting jurisdictions has increased by over 61% during the eighteen years studied.

Correcting the data to remove police undercounting by imputing data from highly correlated murder rates, the study conservatively estimates that 796,213 to 1,145,309 complaints of forcible vaginal rapes of female victims nationwide disappeared from the official records from 1995 to 2012. Further, the corrected data reveal that the study period includes fifteen to eighteen of the highest rates of rape since tracking of the data began in 1930. Instead of experiencing the widely reported “great decline” in rape, America is in the midst of a hidden rape crisis.

#3 – Many countries have reported an increase in rape rates during this same period. For example, studies from Spain and Norway report findings that contradict Diamond’s claims (all omitted by the Alliance):

  • Is sexual violence related to Internet exposure? Empirical evidence from Spain (2009) Excerpt: Using a panel data approach for the provinces of Spain during the period 1998-2006, outcomes indicate that there is a substitution between rape and Internet pornography, while Internet pornography increases other violent sexual behaviors, such as sexual assaults.
  • Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? (2013) – Excerpt: Does internet use trigger sex crime? We use unique Norwegian data on crime and internet adoption to shed light on this question. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points in 2000–2008, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in internet use. Our instrumental variables estimates show that internet use is associated with a substantial increase in both reports, charges and convictions of rape and other sex crimes. Our findings suggest that the direct effect on sex crime propensity is positive and non-negligible, possibly as a result of increased consumption of pornography.

Take a look at this table of rape rates and you will see there’s no real global pattern (indicating a problem with gathering accurate statistics). One thing is for certain, Diamond omitted numerous “modern” countries where both the availability of porn and rape rates have concurrently increased, such as Norway, Sweden, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Iceland, Italy, Argentina, Portugal, etc.

#4 – Rates of sexual offenses rising in the US and United Kingdom (two biggest users of Pornhub). According to new statistics released by the FBI (see graph), the number of rapes (per 100,000 of the population) has steadily increased from 2014-2016 (the last year for which stats are available). In the UK, there were 138,045 sex offenses, up 23%, in the 12 months preceding September, 2017. Yet, during those same periods:

#5 – Studies assessing actual porn users show a link between porn and increased sexual violence, aggression and coercion. Instead of highly dubious aggregate studies on a few select countries, how about studies on actual porn users that controlled for relevant variables? As with every other Alliance section, this one omitted relevant reviews of literature and meta-analyses, so here are a few. (At the end of the section we also provide numerous individual studies omitted by the Alliance.)

A meta-analysis summarizing the effects of pornography II: Aggression after exposure (1995) – Excerpt:

Conducted a meta-analysis of 30 studies, published 1971–1985, to examine the effect of exposure to pornography on aggressive behavior under laboratory conditions, considering a variety of moderating conditions (level of sexual arousal, level of prior anger, type of pornography, gender of S, gender of the target of aggression, and medium used to convey the material).

Results indicate that pictorial nudity induces subsequent aggressive behavior, that consumption of material depicting nonviolent sexual activity increases aggressive behavior, and that media depictions of violent sexual activity generate more aggression than those of nonviolent sexual activity. No other moderator variable produced homogeneous findings.

Pornography and sexual aggression: are there reliable effects and can we understand them? (2000)– Excerpt:

In response to some recent critiques, we (a) analyze the arguments and data presented in those commentaries, (b) integrate the findings of several metaanalytic summaries of experimental and naturalistic research, and (c) conduct statistical analyses on a large representative sample. All three steps support the existence of reliable associations between frequent pornography use and sexually aggressive behaviors, particularly for violent pornography and/or for men at high risk for sexual aggression. We suggest that the way relatively aggressive men interpret and react to the same pornography may differ from that of nonaggressive men, a perspective that helps integrate the current analyses with studies comparing rapists and nonrapists as well as with cross-cultural research.

A meta-analysis of the published research on the effects of pornography (2000) – Excerpt:

A meta-analysis of 46 published studies was undertaken to determine the effects of pornography on sexual deviancy, sexual perpetration, attitudes regarding intimate relationships, and attitudes regarding the rape myth. Most of the studies were done in the United States (39; 85%) and ranged in date from 1962 to 1995, with 35% (n=16) published between 1990 and 1995, and 33% (n=15) between 1978 and 1983. A total sample size of 12,323 people comprised the present meta-analysis. Effect sizes (d) were computed on each of the dependent variables for studies which were published in an academic journal, had a total sample size of 12 or greater, and included a contrast or comparison group. Average unweighted and weighted d’s for sexual deviancy (.68 and .65 ), sexual perpetration (.67 and .46), intimate relationships (.83 and .40), and the rape myth (.74 and .64) provide clear evidence confirming the link between increased risk for negative development when exposed to pornography. These results suggest that the research in this area can move beyond the question of whether pornography has an influence on violence and family functioning.

Research and the Behavioral Effects Associated with Pornography

For Weaver (1993), the controversy stems from three theories of the consequences of exposure to pornography:

  1. The representation of sexuality as a form of learning in view of the social dogma related to what has long been denied or hidden (liberalization)— inhibition, guilt, puritanical attitudes, fixation on sexuality, all of which can be partly eliminated through pornography (Feshbach, 1955).2 Kutchinsky (1991) reiterated this idea, stating that the rate of sexual assault dropped when pornography was made more readily available, serving as a kind of safety valve that eases sexual tensions and thus reduces the rate of sexual offences. Although highly debatable, what this premise means is that pornography offers a form of learning which, according to the author, offsets the acting out. It is debatable because this argument is also used by proponents of the liberalization of prostitution as a way of potentially reducing the number of sexual assaults (McGowan, 2005; Vadas, 2005). That way of thinking undermines human dignity and what it means to be a person. The bottom line is that people are not commodities;
  2. The dehumanization of the person, in contrast to the preceding theory, and where pornography is first and foremost men’s misogynistic image of women (Jensen, 1996; Stoller, 1991);
  3. Desensitization through an image that is not in line with reality. Simply put, pornography offers a highly reductionist view of social relationships. Because the image is nothing more than a series of explicit, repetitive and unrealistic sexual scenes, masturbation to pornography is part of a series of distortions and not a part of reality. Those distortions can be compounded by dynamic and static criminogenic variables. Frequent exposure desensitizes the person by gradually changing his values and behaviour as the stimuli become more intense (Bushman, 2005; Carich & Calder, 2003; Jansen, Linz, Mulac, & Imrich, 1997; Malamuth, Haber, & Feshbach, 1980; Padgett & Brislin-Slutz, 1989; Silbert & Pines, 1984; Wilson, Colvin, & Smith, 2002; Winick & Evans, 1996; Zillmann & Weaver, 1999).

In short, the research carried out to date has not clearly shown a direct cause-and-effect link between the use of pornographic material and sexual assault, but the fact remains that many researchers agree on one thing: Long-term exposure to pornography material is bound to disinhibit the individual. This was confirmed by Linz, Donnerstein and Penrod in 1984, then Sapolsky the same year, Kelley in 1985, Marshall and then Zillmann in 1989, Cramer, McFarlane, Parker, Soeken, Silva, & Reel in 1998 and, more recently, Thornhill and Palmer in 2001, and Apanovitch, Hobfoll and Salovey in 2002. On the basis of their work, all of these researchers concluded that long-term exposure to pornography has an addictive effect and leads offenders to minimize the violence in the acts they commit.

Pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women: revisiting the relationship in nonexperimental studies (2010) – Excerpt:

A meta-analysis was conducted to determine whether nonexperimental studies revealed an association between men’s pornography consumption and their attitudes supporting violence against women. The meta-analysis corrected problems with a previously published meta-analysis and added more recent findings. In contrast to the earlier meta-analysis, the current results showed an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women in nonexperimental studies. In addition, such attitudes were found to correlate significantly higher with the use of sexually violent pornography than with the use of nonviolent pornography, although the latter relationship was also found to be significant. The study resolves what appeared to be a troubling discordance in the literature on pornography and aggressive attitudes by showing that the conclusions from nonexperimental studies in the area are in fact fully consistent with those of their counterpart experimental studies. This finding has important implications for the overall literature on pornography and aggression.

Research has examined pornography use on the extent of offending. However, virtually no work has tested whether other sex industry experiences affect sex crime. By extension, the cumulative effect of these exposures is unknown. Social learning theory predicts that exposure should amplify offending.

Drawing on retrospective longitudinal data, we first test whether exposure during adolescence is associated with a younger age of onset; we also examine whether adulthood exposure is linked with greater frequency of offending.

Findings indicate that most types of adolescent exposures as well as total exposures were related to an earlier age of onset. Exposure during adulthood was also associated with an overall increase in sex offending, but effects were dependent on “type.”

A MetaAnalysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies (2015). – Excerpt:

Meta‐analyses of experimental studies have found effects on aggressive behavior and attitudes. That pornography consumption correlates with aggressive attitudes in naturalistic studies has also been found. Yet, no meta‐analysis has addressed the question motivating this body of work: Is pornography consumption correlated with committing actual acts of sexual aggression? 22 studies from 7 different countries were analyzed. Consumption was associated with sexual aggression in the United States and internationally, among males and females, and in cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies. Associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor.

Adolescents and Pornography: A Review of 20 Years of Research (2016) – Excerpt:

The goal of this review was to systematize empirical research that was published in peer-reviewed English-language journals between 1995 and 2015 on the prevalence, predictors, and implications of adolescents’ use of pornography. This research showed that adolescents use pornography, but prevalence rates varied greatly. Adolescents who used pornography more frequently were male, at a more advanced pubertal stage, sensation seekers, and had weak or troubled family relations. Pornography use was associated with more permissive sexual attitudes and tended to be linked with stronger gender-stereotypical sexual beliefs. It also seemed to be related to the occurrence of sexual intercourse, greater experience with casual sex behavior, and more sexual aggression, both in terms of perpetration and victimization.

Predicting the Emergence of Sexual Violence in Adolescence (2017) – Excerpt:

After adjusting for potentially influential characteristics, prior exposure to parental spousal abuse and current exposure to violent pornography were each strongly associated with the emergence of SV perpetration-attempted rape being the exception for violent pornography. Current aggressive behavior was also significantly implicated in all types of first SV perpetration except rape. Previous victimization of sexual harassment and current victimization of psychological abuse in relationships were additionally predictive of one’s first SV perpetration, albeit in various patterns. In this national longitudinal study of different types of SV perpetration among adolescent men and women, findings suggest several malleable factors that need to be targeted, especially scripts of inter-personal violence that are being modeled by abusive parents in youths’ homes and also reinforced by violent pornography.

We conclude with another post from a major sexology listserve discussion of porn and sexual offenses/aggression. As you will see, the author is very pro-porn (and a PhD sex researcher):

I think that the general statement I made does stand for sexual aggression as well as for the other outcome variables. At this point, in addition to a) correlational data showing greater exposure to porn linked to all sorts of sexual and nonsexual aggressive attitudes and behaviors, we also have:

b) experimental data showing that exposure to porn increases nonsexual aggression in the lab (things like physical, material, or psychological aggression like the administration of electric shocks) (33 studies meta-analyzed in Allen, D’Alessio, & Brezgel, 1995);

c) experimental data showing exposure to porn increases attitudes supportive of sexual violence (acceptance of interpersonal violence, rape myth acceptance, and sexual harassment proclivities) (16 studies meta-analyzed in Emmers, Gebhardt, & Giery, 1995);

d) longitudinal evidence that watching more porn at Time 1 is linked to more acts of real-life sexual aggression at Time 2 (5 studies meta-analyzed in Wright, Tokunaga, & Kraus, 2015), even after controlling for many potential confounding factors, including sexual victimization, substance use, etc.

In light of all this evidence, it is really hard and unreasonable, in my opinion, to argue that the real-life causal links between porn and aggression are somehow not real and completely nonexistent. Yes, a dose of skepticism should remain, and better and more research studies should always continue to be done, but right now, if I was forced to bet, I’d have to say that I’d put my money on there being SOME negative effect of porn on sexual aggression, with that effect likely being a) relatively small, b) limited to a high-risk group of people, and c) much more pronounced for some types of porn (violent) than others (nonviolent but typical mainstream porn) and nonexistent for yet other types of porn (feminist, queer).

Of course, neither experimental nor longitudinal data are perfect for determining causality in the real world, but we all seem to agree that they strongly imply causality when it comes to other areas of psych research. They are our gold standards for establishing causality for all sorts of behavioral outcomes. Why are we so skeptical when it comes to this one area of research? Because it doesn’t suit our desires for porn not to have any negative effects? I’m sorry, but I love porn as much as you all do (I really do), but I cannot justify holding porn to higher standards of proof just because I don’t like the findings. This is what I meant when I said that rejecting or ignoring these findings makes us as blind and ideological about it as the anti-porn crusaders….

…..I didn’t mean to equate us with the anti-porn in how we use the findings and the implications for real-world interventions we draw from them. What I was saying is that just like they do, we seem to be employing some pretty strong confirmation biases to only see what we want to see. But by turning a blind eye to the evidence that keeps mounting, we are compromising our credibility as objective truth-seekers, and we are limiting the impact our position that banning porn is not the solution can have on enacting real-world change. By taking an extreme position (“no kind of porn has any effects on sexual aggression in anyone”) which is not supported by the evidence, we’re making ourselves less relevant and more easily dismissed as just as ideologically driven as the crazies taking the other extreme position (“all porn increases sexual aggression in everyone who watches it”).

Again, don’t get me wrong: I love porn, I watch it all the time, and have zero desire to ban it.

On to the studies the Alliance carefully chose, and many more examples of what was purposely omitted.

Alliance Studies:

Burton, D. L., Leibowitz, G. S., & Howard, A. (2010).Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure: The absence of relationships between exposure to pornography and sexual offense characteristics 1. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 6(3), 121-129. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary omits a few very important findings: porn use was related to both sexual offending and non-sexual crimes. From the abstract:

Sexual abusers reported more pre‐ and post‐10 (years of age) exposure to pornography than nonsexual abusers. Yet, for the sexual abusers, exposure is not correlated to the age at which the abusers started abusing, to their reported number of victims, or to sexual offense severity. The pre‐10 exposure subscale was not related to the number of children the group sexually abused, and the forceful exposure subscale was not correlated with either arousal to rape or degree of force used by the youth. Finally, exposure was significantly correlated with all of the nonsexual crime scores in the study.

The Alliance is hoping that no one reads the actual study.

Kutchinsky, B. (1991). Pornography and rape: Theory and practice? Evidence from crime data in four countries where pornography is easily available. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Link to web

Analysis: Pre-internet data from the 1980’s. As with Milton Diamond’s selected countries, this involves nation-wide data. Addressed in the introduction.

Rasmussen, K. R., & Kohut, T. (2019). Does religious attendance moderate the connection between pornography consumption and attitudes toward women? The Journal of Sex Research, 56(1), 38-49. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Taylor Kohut. More citation inflation, as his study has nothing to do with sex offending. Like other Kohut studies (described above), he chose criteria to make sure religious women (who use less porn) score lower on his version of “egalitarian attitudes.” Kohut framed “egalitarianism” as only:

  1. Support for abortion.
  2. NOT Believing that family life suffers when the woman has a full-time job.

Regardless of your personal beliefs, it’s easy to see that religious populations would score far lower on Taylor Kohut’s 2-part “egalitarianism” assessment.

Here’s the key: secular populations, which tend to be more liberal, use porn at far higher rates than religious populations. By choosing only these 2 criteria and ignoring endless other variables, Taylor Kohut knew he would end up with porn use (greater in secular populations) correlating with his study’s strategically selected criteria of what constitutes “egalitarianism” (lower in religious populations). Then Kohut chose a title that spun it all.

Kristen N. Jozkowski, Tiffany L. Marcantonio, Kelley E. Rhoads, Sasha Canan, Mary E. Hunt & Malachi Willis (2019) A Content Analysis of Sexual Consent and Refusal Communication in Mainstream Films, The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1595503 Link to web

More citation inflation. This study is not about pornography. None of the selected movies were X-rated. In fact, most were PG-13. Nice try, Alliance.

Kutchinsky, B. (1992). The politics of pornography research. Law & Soc’y Rev., 26, 447. Link to web

Analysis: Not a study. An irrelevant 1992 commentary about an essay. Talk about citation inflation.

Mellor, E., & Duff, S. (2019).The use of pornography and the relationship between pornography exposure and sexual offending in males: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary was fairly accurate. However, we question the author’s choice of accepting only 21 of the 157 relevant papers for his review. Our reservations are supported by that fact that no other literature review arrives at the same conclusions. In addition, most of the 21 chosen papers involved adult on child sex offenders, not child on child, or adult on adult offenders. Commenting on Milton Diamond’s studies, researcher Neil Malamuth noted that the effects of pedophiles using child pornography may be quite different from the effects of non-pedophiles using adult pornography:

It is worthwhile to consider the possibility that there may be some very different “subgroups” with very differing (and opposite) influences of exposures, particularly in connection with child pornography, as suggested by Mickey Diamond’s work and the virtual pornography possibility. We have discussed this topic in the following article: Malamuth, N. & Huppin, M. (2007). Drawing the line on virtual child pornography: Bringing the law in line with the research evidence.

Put simply, the meta-analaysis omitted nearly every study on adult sexual offenders, which resulted in a very skewed result.

Ferguson, C. J., & Hartley, R. D. (2009).The pleasure is momentary… the expense damnable?: The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault. Aggression and violent behavior, 14(5), 323-329. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary is accurate – “Victimization rates for rape in the United States demonstrate an inverse relationship between pornography consumption and rape rates. Data from other nations have suggested similar relationships.” However, the study depends on aggregated data on rape rates and porn availability from only a handful of countries. The serious flaws in these types of studies are examined above in the introduction, which also addressed the Milton Diamond study below.

Note: For years, Ferguson has been attacking the concept of internet addiction, while intensely campaigning to keep Internet Gaming Disorder out of the ICD-11. (He lost that one in 2019 when the World Health Organization adopted the ICD-11, but his campaign continues on many fronts.) In fact, Ferguson and Nicole Prause were co-authors on major paper attempting to discredit internet addictions. (Their assertions were debunked in a series of papers by experts, in this issue of Journal of Behavioral Addictions.)

Diamond, M., Jozifkova, E., & Weiss, P. (2011). Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(5), 1037-1043. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance’s summary is accurate: “A prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal …showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.” Here’s what Malamuth said about Diamond’s study in a discussion on an academic sexology listserve (“You Wrote” is questioner, response is Malamuth):

Pornography use and sex crimes: I think that many people seem to have the impression that the correlational country wide research has shown an inverse correlation between porn use and rape. I don’t believe this is true at all. If you go to Milton Diamond’s own site you can see that once the data is separated between child sex abuse and rape, it is clear that the latter did not decrease (but also did not increase) as porn became more available. Furthermore you can see that there are examples of countries where at least cross-sectionally, there is a high positive correlation between the two. For example, there is an article there indicating that,

“Papua New Guinea, is the most pornography-obsessed country in the world, according to Google Trends. PNG has a population of less than 8 million people and low rates of internet use, but has the greatest percentage of searches for the words “porn” and “pornography” compared to the nation’s total searches. A study published in The Lancet reported that 59 percent of the men in PNG Autonomous Region of Bougainville had raped their partner and 41 per cent had raped a woman who was not their partner.

In addition, the article indicates that Top ten countries searching for ‘pornography’: Google Trends
1. Papua New Guinea
2. Zimbabwe
3. Kenya
4. Botswana
5. Zambia
6. Ethiopia
7. Malawi
8. Uganda
9. Fiji
10. Nigeria

I would guess that among these may also be countries with high rates of sexual and other forms of violence against women. Please note that I am not arguing that pornography is “the” or even “a” cause but rather against the common belief that world-wide or longitudinally that an inverse association has been demonstrated between porn use and rape. It would be interesting to conduct a study that looked cross-culturally at the association after controlling statistically for the risk factors of the Confluence Model, particularly Hostile Masculinity. I would predict that in those countries with high levels of risk, there is a positive correlation between porn use and rape (particularly among men generally rather than only adjudicated crimes) but no correlation or an inverse one in countries with relatively few men who are at risk according to the Confluence Model.

YOU WROTE: at a society level, pornography may indeed have a positive effect on adjudicated sex crimes

RESPONSE: As I indicated before, I don’t believe the Diamond’s and related data reveal what is often assumed about sex crimes generally. As Diamond and colleagues have themselves noted, the data show an inverse relationship between pornography availability and child sex abuse. There is no similar significant association generally between pornography and rape. The causes of rape and the characteristics of rapists vs. child abusers are often quite different and should not be lumped together. In addition, the data are correlational at the country level generally and require much caution about causal relationships, partly due to the “aggregate problem” (Kingston & Malamuth, 2011). What can be concluded with confidence is that for the countries studied, there is no general increase in rape when pornography laws are changed to allow greater availability of pornography. Also, it is important to keep in mind that it appears that all of the countries studied by Diamond and associates appear to be ones that may have relatively few men who are at relatively high risk for committing sexual aggression. I hadn’t previously looked up Croatia, but a quick google search indicates that 94% do not agree with the statement that women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.

YOU WROTE: but, within that society wide access there are men exposed to porn where porn increases risk of sex violence, due to a confluence of risk factors

RESPONSE: largely consistent with what you wrote but phrased somewhat differently: for men in the general population who have relatively high levels on the “key” risk factors, the data strongly indicate that “heavy” use of porn may increase sexually violent attitudes and behavioral inclinations.

YOU WROTE: societies which allow porn access may be engaging in a trade off, accepting a small amount of increased risk in a small group for a larger amount of decreased risk across the larger population

RESPONSE: I think we have to be careful about making generalizations about societies without taking into consideration the contextual differences among them. I would guess that changing pornography laws in Saudi Arabia vs. Denmark would have had very different consequences. Also, I think that focusing only or primarily on adjudicated sex crimes, particularly rape, may be a problem. For example, as we have written elsewhere, Japan is often used as one of the prime examples of countries where pornography is widely available (including “violent” porn) and rates of rape are very low now and historically. Japan is indeed a country that has had strong socialized inhibitions against “within group” violence against women. Yet, consider other potential manifestations: “Groping in crowded commuter trains has been a problem in Japan: according to a survey conducted by Tokyo Metropolitan Police and East Japan Railway Company, two-thirds of female passengers in their 20s and 30s reported that they had been groped on trains, and the majority had been victimized frequently.” When violence against women has been tolerated, it has been extremely high (e.g., see Chang, *The Rape of Nanking*,). Although I am not necessarily disagreeing with your suggestion, I am not sure we can reach such a conclusion at this time.

Put simply, relying on two sets of nationwide data (reported sex crimes and estimated porn availability) from a handful of countries (while ignoring hundreds of other countries), to support a claim that more porn definitively leads to fewer sexual offenses, doesn’t fly among true scientists.

Goldstein, M., Kant, H., Judd, L., Rice, C., & Green, R. (1971).Experience with pornography: Rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, and controls. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1(1), 1-15. Link to web

Analysis: A 1971 study on adult men (probably born in the 1920’s-40’s) to assess the effects of “Sex Films” on “deviants.” Note – the study categorized gay and transgender subjects as “deviants.” Numerous more recent studies (listed below), report findings that counter the 1971 study.

Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. N. (2015). Experimental effects of exposure to pornography: The moderating effect of personality and mediating effect of sexual arousal. Archives of sexual behavior, 44(1), 99-109. Link to web

Analysis: Supports the hypothesis that porn use may lead to sexual attitudes supporting violence against women among certain personality types. The abstract:

Using a randomly selected community sample of 200 Danish young adult men and women in a randomized experimental design, the study investigated the effects of a personality trait (agreeableness), past pornography consumption, and experimental exposure to non-violent pornography on attitudes supporting violence against women (ASV). We found that lower levels of agreeableness and higher levels of past pornography consumption significantly predicted ASV. In addition, experimental exposure to pornography increased ASV but only among men low in agreeableness. This relationship was found to be significantly mediated by sexual arousal with sexual arousal referring to the subjective assessment of feeling sexually excited, ready for sexual activities, and/or bodily sensations associated with being sexually aroused. In underscoring the importance of individual differences, the results supported the hierarchical confluence model of sexual aggression and the media literature on affective engagement and priming effects.

Note: Men with “lower levels of agreeableness” might represent a significant percentage of the population.

Bauserman, R. (1996). Sexual aggression and pornography: A review of correlational research. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 18(4), 405-427. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance left out a key sentence from their excerpt of the abstract (it’s underlined):

Sex offenders typically do not have earlier or more unusual exposure to pornography in childhood or adolescence, compared to nonoffenders. However, a minority of offenders report current use of pornography in their offenses. Findings are consistent with a social learning view of pornography, but not with the view that sexually explicit materials in general contribute directly to sex crimes. The effort to reduce sex offenses should focus on types of experiences and backgrounds applicable to a larger number of offenders.

A whole lot of studies have been published in the last 25 years that do report links between porn use and sexual offending.

The following studies link porn use to sexual offending, sexual aggression, and sexual coercion. The Alliance conveniently omitted all from this section:

  1. Facilitating effects of erotica on aggression against women (1978)
  2. Rape fantasies as a function of exposure to violent sexual stimuli (1981)
  3. Sexual Experiences Survey: A research instrument investigating sexual aggression and victimization (1982)
  4. Pornography and Sexual Callousness and the Trivialization of Rape (1982)
  5. Exposure to pornography, permissive and nonpermissive cues, and male aggression toward females (1983)
  6. The effects of aggressive pornography on beliefs in rape myths: Individual differences (1985)
  7. Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women (1986)
  8. An empirical investigation of the role of pornography in the verbal and physical abuse of women (1987)
  9. Use of pornography in the criminal and developmental histories of sexual offenders (1987)
  10. The use of sexually explicit stimuli by rapists, child molesters, and nonoffenders (1988)
  11. Violent pornography and self-reported likelihood of sexual aggression (1988)
  12. Women’s attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function of early exposure to pornography (1992)
  13. Patterns of exposure to sexually explicit material among sex offenders, child molesters, and controls (1993)
  14. Pornography and sexual aggression: Associations of violent and nonviolent depictions with rape and rape proclivity (1993)
  15. Sexually Violent Pornography, Anti-Women Attitudes, and Sexual Aggression: A Structural Equation Model (1993)
  16. Date Rape and Sexual Aggression in College Males: Incidence and the Involvement of Impulsivity, Anger, Hostility, Psychopathology, Peer Influence and Pornography Use (1994)
  17. Pornography and abuse of women (1994)
  18. Violent pornography and abuse of women: theory to practice (1994)
  19. Effects of violent pornography upon viewer’s rape myth beliefs: A study of Japanese males (1994)
  20. The effects of exposure to filmed sexual violence on attitudes toward rape (1995)
  21. The relationship between pornography usage and child molesting (1997)
  22. Pornography and the Abuse of Canadian Women in Dating Relationships (1998)
  23. Violent pornography and abuse of women: theory to practice (1998)
  24. Exploring the connection between pornography and sexual violence (2000)
  25. The role of pornography in the etiology of sexual aggression (2001)
  26. The use of pornography during the commission of sexual offenses (2004)
  27. An Exploration of Developmental Factors Related to Deviant Sexual Preferences Among Adult Rapists (2004)
  28. When Words Are Not Enough: The Search for the Effect of Pornography on Abused Women (2004)
  29. Pornography and teenagers: the importance of individual differences (2005)
  30. Risk Factors for Male Sexual Aggression on College Campuses (2005)
  31. Men’s Likelihood of Sexual Aggression: The Influence of Alcohol, Sexual Arousal, and Violent Pornography (2006)
  32. Rape-myth congruent beliefs in women resulting from exposure to violent pornography: Effects of alcohol and sexual arousal (2006)
  33. Predicting sexual aggression: the role of pornography in the context of general and specific risk factors (2007).
  34. Use of pornography and self-reported engagement in sexual violence among adolescents (2007)
  35. Trends in youth reports of sexual solicitations, harassment and unwanted exposure to pornography on the Internet (2007)
  36. Relationships among cybersex addiction, gender egalitarianism, sexual attitude and the allowance of sexual violence in adolescents (2007)
  37. Linking Male Use of the Sex Industry to Controlling Behaviors in Violent Relationships (2008)
  38. Pornography use and sexual aggression: the impact of frequency and type of pornography use on recidivism among sexual offenders (2008)
  39. The Importance of Individual Differences in Pornography Use: Theoretical Perspectives and Implications for Treating Sexual Offenders (2009)
  40. Pornography use as a risk marker for an aggressive pattern of behavior among sexually reactive children and adolescents (2009)
  41. Is sexual violence related to Internet expsure? Empirical evidence from Spain (2009)
  42. Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure the absence of relationships between exposure to pornography and sexual offense characteristics (2010)
  43. Problems with Aggregate Data and the Importance of Individual Differences in the Study of Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Comment on Diamond, Jozifkova, and Weiss (2010)
  44. Pornographic exposure over the life course and the severity of sexual offenses: Imitation and cathartic effects (2011)
  45. Mass Media Effects on Youth Sexual Behavior Assessing the Claim for Causality (2011)
  46. Pornography Viewing among Fraternity Men: Effects on Bystander Intervention, Rape Myth Acceptance and Behavioral Intent to Commit Sexual Assault (2011)
  47. X-rated material and perpetration of sexually aggressive behavior among children and adolescents: is there a link? (2011)
  48. Watching pornography gender differences violence and victimization: An exploratory study in Italy (2011)
  49. Differences between sexually victimized and nonsexually victimized male adolescent sexual abusers: developmental antecedents and behavioral comparisons (2011)
  50. Pornography, Individual Differences in Risk and Men’s Acceptance of Violence Against Women in a Representative Sample (2012)
  51. Effects of Exposure to Pornography on Male Aggressive Behavioral Tendencies (2012)
  52. Part II: differences between sexually victimized and nonsexually victimized male adolescent sexual abusers and delinquent youth: further group comparisons of developmental antecedents and behavioral challenges (2012)
  53. Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? (2013)
  54. “So why did you do it?”: Explanations provided by Child Pornography Offenders (2013)
  55. Does deviant pornography use follow a Guttman-like progression? (2013)
  56. Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents (2013)
  57. Anal heterosex among young people and implications for health promotion: a qualitative study in the UK (2014)
  58. Experimental Effects of Exposure to Pornography The Moderating Effect of Personality and Mediating Effect of Sexual Arousal (2014)
  59. Forced sex, rape and sexual exploitation: attitudes and experiences of high school students in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (2014)
  60. Pornography, Alcohol, and Male Sexual Dominance (2014)
  61. Capturing Sexual Violence Experiences Among Battered Women Using the Revised Sexual Experiences Survey and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (2014)
  62. Critical Criminological Understandings of Adult Pornography and Woman Abuse: New Progressive Directions in Research and Theory (2015)
  63. Viewing child pornography: prevalence and correlates in a representative community sample of young Swedish men (2015)
  64. Exploring the Use of Online Sexually Explicit Material: What Is the Relationship to Sexual Coercion? (2015)
  65. Men’s Objectifying Media Consumption, Objectification of Women, and Attitudes Supportive of Violence Against Women (2015)
  66. Is pornography use associated with anti-woman sexual aggression? Re-examining the Confluence Model with third variable considerations (2015)
  67. Adolescent Pornography Use and Dating Violence among a Sample of Primarily Black and Hispanic, Urban-Residing, Underage Youth (2015)
  68. Time-Varying Risk Factors and Sexual Aggression Perpetration Among Male College Students (2015)
  69. Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People’s Intimate Relationships: A European Study (2016)
  70. Deviant Pornography Use: The Role of Early-Onset Adult Pornography Use and Individual Differences (2016)
  71. Attitudes towards sexual coercion by Polish high school students: links with risky sexual scripts, pornography use, and religiosity (2016)
  72. Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People’s Intimate Relationships: A European Study (2016)
  73. Juvenile Sex Offenders (2016)
  74. The Lived Experience of the Adolescent Sex Offender: A Phenomenological Case Study (2016)
  75. Naked Aggression: The Meaning and Practice of Ejaculation on a Woman’s Face (2016)
  76. Predicting the Emergence of Sexual Violence in Adolescence (2017)
  77. An Examination of Pornography Use as a Predictor of Female Sexual Coercion (2017)
  78. More Than a Magazine: Exploring the Links Between Lads’ Mags, Rape Myth Acceptance, and Rape Proclivity (2017)
  79. Masculine norms, peer group, pornography, Facebook, and men’s sexual objectification of women (2017)
  80. Talking about child sexual abuse would have helped me Young people who sexually abused reflect on preventing harmful sexual behavior (2017)
  81. Crossing the Threshold From Porn Use to Porn Problem: Frequency and Modality of Porn Use as Predictors of Sexually Coercive Behaviors (2017)
  82. Sexual coercion, sexual aggression, or sexual assault: how measurement impacts our understanding of sexual violence (2017)
  83. Bridging the Theoretical Gap: Using Sexual Script Theory to Explain the Relationship Between Pornography Use and Sexual Coercion (2018)
  84. Men’s Sexual Sadism towards Women in Mozambique: Influence of Pornography? (2018)
  85. Abuse disclosures of youth with problem sexualized behaviors and trauma symptomology (2018)
  86. Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women: objectification, sexism, discrimination (2018)
  87. “Adding fuel to the fire”? Does exposure to non-consenting adult or to child pornography increase risk of sexual aggression? (2018)
  88. Exposure to internet pornography and sexually aggressive behaviour: protective roles of social support among Korean adolescents (2018)
  89. Problematic Pornography Use and Physical and Sexual Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among Men in Batterer Intervention Programs (2018)
  90. When the “emotional brain” takes over – A qualitative study about risk factors behind the development of sexual behaviour disorder according to therapists and treatment assistants (2019)
  91. The Association Between Exposure to Violent Pornography and Teen Dating Violence in Grade 10 High School Students (2019)

The Deniers exposed.


LGBT Section

Context/Reality: Not sure why this section exists. The studies here falsify nothing. The section could be viewed as another example of RealYBOP cherry-picking, as most other studies report higher rates of porn use and porn addiction (CSBD) in gays and lesbians. From The Role of Maladaptive Cognitions in Hypersexuality among Highly Sexually Active Gay and Bisexual Men (2014):

Problematic hypersexuality is a particular concern for gay, bisexual, and other MSM given the unique psychosocial factors driving this problem among this group, including minority stressors across development (Parsons, Grov, & Golub, 2012; Parsons et al., 2008) and the relationship between problematic hypersexuality and HIV risk (Dodge et al., 2008; Grov, Parsons, & Bimbi, 2010). In addition to experiencing disproportionate problems with hypersexuality compared to heterosexual men (Baum & Fishman, 1994; Missildine, Feldstein, Punzalan, & Parsons, 2005), gay and bisexual men contend with elevated rates of other factors shown to be associated with both hypersexuality and maladaptive cognitive processes, including childhood sexual abuse (Purcell et al., 2007) and stressors related to social prejudice and stigma (Muench & Parsons, 2004; Pincu, 1989). These stressors combine with mental health problems, such as problematic hypersexuality, to form a synergistic cluster of risks, or syndemic, that simultaneously threaten the health of this group of individuals (Parsons et al., 2012; Stall et al., 2003). Thus, the identification of treatable components of any one of these health risks has the potential to disrupt the health-depleting cascade of interrelated risks facing members of this population.

The Alliance cherry-picked studies that did not assess porn’s effects on the user, while omitting all studies that did examine the effects of porn use on LGBT subjects (the following studies reported porn use linked to negative outcomes):

Sexually Explicit Online Media, Body Satisfaction, and Partner Expectations Among Men who have Sex with Men: a Qualitative Study (2017)– Excerpt:

Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 MSM, covering the perceived influence of MSM-specific SEOM. All nine men who broached the topics of body satisfaction and partner expectations reported that MSM-specific SEOM set unreasonably high physical appearance expectations for themselves and/or their potential partners.

Viewing Sexually Explicit Media and Its Association with Mental Health Among Gay and Bisexual Men Across the U.S. (2017) – Excerpts

Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have reported viewing significantly more sexually explicit media (SEM) than heterosexual men. There is evidence that viewing greater amounts of SEM may result in more negative body attitude and negative affect. However, no studies have examined these variables within the same model.

Greater consumption of SEM was directly related to more negative body attitude and both depressive and anxious symptomology. There was also a significant indirect effect of SEM consumption on depressive and anxious symptomology through body attitude. These findings highlight the relevance of both SEM on body image and negative affect along with the role body image plays in anxiety and depression outcomes for GBM.

Pornography use in sexual minority males: Associations with body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, thoughts about using anabolic steroids and quality of life (2017) Excerpts:

A sample of 2733 sexual minority males living in Australia and New Zealand completed an online survey that contained measures of pornography use, body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, thoughts about using anabolic steroids and quality of life. Almost all (98.2%) participants reported pornography use with a median use of 5.33 hours per month.

Multivariate analyses revealed that increased pornography use was associated with greater dissatisfaction with muscularity, body fat and height; greater eating disorder symptoms; more frequent thoughts about using anabolic steroids; and lower quality of life.

The Dual Control Model – The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior (2007) – Study by Kinsey Institute scientists reporting a connection between porn exposure and both reduced desire and sexual performance. In an experiment employing video porn, 50% of the gay young men couldn’t become aroused or achieve erections with standard porn used in earlier experiments (average age was 29). The shocked researchers discovered that the men’s erectile dysfunction was,

“related to high levels of exposure to and experience with sexually explicit materials.“

The men experiencing erectile dysfunction had spent a considerable amount of time in bars and bathhouses where porn was “omnipresent,” and “continuously playing.” The researchers stated:

Conversations with the subjects reinforced our idea that in some of them a high exposure to erotica seemed to have resulted in a lower responsivity to “vanilla sex” erotica and an increased need for novelty and variation, in some cases combined with a need for very specific types of stimuli in order to get aroused.”

Understanding the Personality and Behavioral Mechanisms Defining Hypersexuality in Men Who Have Sex With Men (2016) – Excerpt:

Further, we found no associations between the CSBI Control scale and the BIS-BAS. This would indicate that lack of sexual behavior control is related to specific sexual excitation and inhibitory mechanisms and not to more general behavioral activation and inhibitory mechanisms. This would seem to support conceptualizing hypersexuality as a dysfunction of sexuality as proposed by Kafka. Further, it does not appear that hypersexuality is a manifestation of high sex drive, but that it involves high excitation and a lack of inhibitory control, at least with respect to inhibition owing to expected negative outcomes.

Sexual Excitability and Dysfunctional Coping Determine Cybersex Addiction in Homosexual Males (Laier et al., 2015) – Neuropsychological study reported the signs and symptoms of addiction in gay men (greater cravings/sensitization) – Excerpt:

The aim of this study was to test this mediation in a sample of homosexual males. Questionnaires assessed symptoms of CA, sensitivity to sexual excitation, pornography use motivation, problematic sexual behavior, psychological symptoms, and sexual behaviors in real life and online. Moreover, participants viewed pornographic videos and indicated their sexual arousal before and after the video presentation. Results showed strong correlations between CA [addiction] symptoms and indicators of sexual arousal and sexual excitability, coping by sexual behaviors, and psychological symptoms. CA was not associated with offline sexual behaviors and weekly cybersex use time. Coping by sexual behaviors partially mediated the relationship between sexual excitability and CA. The results are comparable with those reported for heterosexual males and females in previous studies and are discussed against the background of theoretical assumptions of CA, which highlight the role of positive and negative reinforcement due to cybersex use.

Depression, Compulsive Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk-Taking Among Urban Young Gay and Bisexual Men: The P18 Cohort Study (2016) – Excerpt:

Young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at increased likelihood of experiencing depression and engaging in condomless sexual behaviors…. We found a significant positive correlation between CSB and depression and between CSB and frequency of condomless anal sex acts reported over the last 30 days. Multivariate results found that the presence of both depression and CSB contributed to elevated sexual risk-taking among these urban YMSM.

Sexually Explicit Media and Condomless Anal Sex Among Gay and Bisexual Men (2017) – Excerpt:

Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have reported viewing significantly more sexually explicit media (SEM) than heterosexual men. There is some evidence that SEM depicting bareback anal sex may be linked to engagement in condomless anal sex (CAS) and thus HIV/STI transmission among GBM….. there was an interaction between amount of SEM consumed and percentage of bareback SEM consumed on both outcomes, such that men who reported both a high frequency of SEM consumption and a high percentage of their SEM being bareback reported the highest levels of risk behavior. These findings highlight the role that barebacking depicted in SEM may play in the normalization of sexual risk behaviors for GBM.

Sexually explicit media exposure as a sexual milestone among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (2018)– Excerpt:

Every 1-year delay in age of first SEM exposure resulted in a 3% decrease in the odds of engaging in condomless anal sex as an adult. This association remained significant in 3 separate multivariable models that controlled for age of sexual debut, age of anal sex debut, and current age, respectively. This association was moderated by ethnicity such that the effect was stronger among Latino men.

Conclusions: GBMSM who were exposed to SEM earlier in their lives report more sexual risk behavior as adults. SEM exposure in GBMSM is an important sexual development milestone deserving further research.

Sexually explicit online media and sexual risk among men who have sex with men in the United States (2014) Excerpt:

This study aimed to describe sexually explicit online media (SEOM) consumption among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States and examine associations between exposure to unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in SEOM and engagement in both UAI and serodiscordant UAI.

In the 3 months prior to interview, more than half (57 %) of the men reported viewing SEOM one or more times per day and almost half (45 %) reported that at least half of the SEOM they viewed portrayed UAI. Compared to participants who reported that 0-24 % of the SEOM they viewed showed UAI, participants who reported that 25-49, 50-74, or 75-100 % of the SEOM they viewed portrayed UAI had progressively increasing odds of engaging in UAI and serodiscordant UAI in the past 3 months. As SEOM has become more ubiquitous and accessible, research should examine causal relations between SEOM consumption and sexual risk-taking among MSM as well as ways to use SEOM for HIV prevention.

The relationship between pornography use and sexual behaviours among at-risk HIV-negative men who have sex with men (2010) – Excerpt:

Results: Time spent viewing pornography was significantly associated with having more male sexual partners and unprotected insertive anal sex acts. Moreover, increased substance use and decreased perception of risk for HIV infection were found to be significantly associated with greater time spent viewing pornography.

Conclusions: This exploratory study is novel in that it sheds light on the associations between viewing pornography and sexual risk taking for HIV infection. Future studies in this area should focus on understanding how the content of pornography; in particular, the viewing of unprotected and protected sex acts, may affect sexual risk taking behaviour.

Viewing pornography depicting unprotected anal intercourse: are there implications for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men? (2012)– Excerpt:

Polytomous logistic regression of the 751 subjects who provided data on pornography viewing showed significantly elevated odds ratios for having engaged in receptive UAI, insertive UAI, and both receptive and insertive UAI associated with increasing percentage of pornography viewed that depicted UAI. We also found independently significant associations of engaging in UAI with age, use of inhalant nitrites, and HIV status. Although the data cannot establish causality, our findings indicate that viewing pornography depicting UAI and engaging in UAI are correlated. Further research is needed to determine if this observation may have utility for HIV prevention.

Examining the relationship between use of sexually explicit media and sexual risk behavior in a sample of men who have sex with men in Norway (2015) Excerpt:

The purpose of this study was to investigate consumption patterns of gay-oriented sexually explicit media (SEM) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Norway, with a particular emphasis on a possible relationship between gay SEM consumption and HIV risk behavior.

SEM consumption was found to be significantly associated with sexual risk behaviors. Participants with increased consumption of bareback SEM reported higher odds of UAI and I-UAI after adjusting for other factors using multivariable statistics. MSM who started using SEM at a later age reported lower odds of UAI and I-UAI than MSM who started earlier. Future research should aim at understanding how MSM develop and maintain SEM preferences and the relationship between developmental and maintenance factors and HIV sexual risk behavior.

Normal, Problematic and Compulsive Consumption of Sexually Explicit Media: Clinical Findings using the Compulsive Pornography Consumption (CPC) Scale among Men who have Sex with Men (2015) – Excerpt:

While most (76-80%) MSM do not report compulsive symptoms, about 16-20% report levels of problematic SEM consumption, including 7% with extreme scores consistent with DSM criteria for compulsive disorders. Demographic, sexual, and HIV risk differences were identified between the three groups. Researchers and clinicians are encouraged to consider using the CPC scale for comprehensive assessment of compulsive sexual behavior.

On to the Alliance’s largely irrelevant papers:

Alliance Studies:

Downing, M. J., Schrimshaw, E. W., Scheinmann, R., Antebi-Gruszka, N., & Hirshfield, S. (2017). Sexually explicit media use by sexual identity: A comparative analysis of gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men in the United States. Archives of sexual behavior, 46(6), 1763-1776. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary seemed reasonable: Both gay and bisexual men reported significantly more frequent use of Internet SEM compared to heterosexual men. 20.7 % of heterosexual identified men reported viewing male same-sex behavior and 55.0 % of gay-identified men reported viewing heterosexual films.

Meiller, C., & Hargons, C. N. (2019). “It’s Happiness and Relief and Release”: Exploring Masturbation Among Bisexual and Queer Women. Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research, Practice, and Education, 1(1), 3. Link to web

Analysis: Citation inflation as the study did not assess the effects of porn use: it was a qualatative study about female masturbation. Speaking of cherry-picking, a few excerpts not shared by RealYBOP:

Having mixed feelings towards porn. Participants reflected on the negative ways porn has treated their identities, specifically as bisexual and queer women. Participants struggled with how to enjoy and feel comfortable in their use of porn during their masturbation, while understanding the larger societal impacts of the messages within porn. Joan
shared:

I think there’s a real big stigma for women, much less queer women to look at porn, you know? It’s demeaning to women, it’s only made for men, especially if you’re a queer woman, you hear that one a lot

Joan went on to describe how she has started giving herself permission to look at porn and go against some of these messages. Gloria experienced guilt for looking at porn because “porn really informs a lot of straight people’s ideas about gay and lesbian sex, and I feel guilty for looking it up and getting o on it.” The conflicted feelings towards porn would result in feelings of guilt or decreased pleasure during masturbation for the women interviewed.

Træen, B., Nilsen, T. S. R., & Stigum, H. (2006). Use of pornography in traditional media and on the Internet in Norway. Journal of Sex Research, 43(3), 245-254. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation as the study did not assess the effects of porn use. Note, the survey was done in 2002.

Billard, T. J. (2019). (No) Shame in the Game: The Influence of Pornography Viewing on Attitudes Toward Transgender People. Communication Research Reports, 36(1), 45-56. Link to web

Analysis: The study surveyed transgender pornography viewers (reddit community dedicated to viewing transgender porn). It did not assess the effects of porn use. The findings:

In this study, we found statistically significant but substantively negligible associations between pornography consumption and attitudes toward transgender people, while finding highly significant and substantively large associations between shame about sexual attractions to transgender people and attitudes.

Though not hypothesized, these results do, however, offer evidence that among viewers of transgender pornography sexual shame is an important direct influence on attitudes toward transgender women.

The significance of the above findings remains unclear. As for ‘shame” two recent studies debunk an often repeated talking point that same induces porn addiction:

Like the other Alliance studies, this too falied to assess the effects of porn on the user.

McCormack, M., & Wignall, L. (2017).Enjoyment, exploration and education: Understanding the consumption of pornography among young men with non-exclusive sexual orientations. Sociology, 51(5), 975-991. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation as the study did not assess the effects of porn use .Only 35 subjects. Interviews, not quantitative. Abstract claimed that “pornography had educational benefits for these young men.” Not surprising, as most young men do get their sex education from porn. Citing Deniers Alliance member Alan Mckee, the authors admit they were uninterested in exploring the negative effects of porn use:

In order to move beyond the negative effects paradigm, McKee (2012) called for pornography to be conceived as a form of entertainment. He argued this would establish a different research agenda than one which is focused on potential negative effects.

Rather than focusing on the potential harms of pornography, we use an inductive analytic approach to explore the broader range of experiences that participants had, since the time they first consumed pornography.

The takeaway – most young men like porn.

Döring, N. (2000). Feminist views of cybersex: Victimization, liberation, and empowerment. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3(5), 863-884. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation as it has nothing to do with this section’s theme or the effects of porn on the viewer. It’s nothing more than a random, 20 year-old opinion piece, claiming that:

“cybersex frees females to explore their sexualities more safely and to enjoy more sex, better sex, and different sex”

First, numerous other opinion pieces contradict this finding (a Google scholar search for pornography+feminism returns 57,000 citations). Second, the vast preponderance of studies link porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women and sexist views.


Tolerance Section

Context/Reality: Tolerance or habituation is the need for higher doses of a drug or greater stimulation in an attempt to achieve the desired effect. Sometimes this phenomenon is called desensitization or habituation (less and less response to a drug or a stimulus). With porn users, tolerance/habituation leads to boredom with current genre or type of porn. Greater stimulation is often achieved by escalating to new or more extreme genres of porn.

Tolerance may be a sign of an addiction process or simply of physical dependence without addiction. Prause, Ley and other Deniers don’t appear to understand the difference. For example, millions of individuals take high levels of pharmaceuticals such as opioids for chronic pain, or prednisone for autoimmune conditions. Their brains and tissues have become dependent on them, and immediate cessation of use could cause severe withdrawal symptoms. However they are not necessarily addicted. Addiction involves multiple well-indentified brain changes that lead to what experts call the “addiction phenotype.” If the distinction is unclear, I recommend this simple explanation by NIDA.

The Alliance’s Tolerance Section was likely created as a vehicle for Deniers to claim that porn addiction doesn’t exist because tolerance has yet to be demonstrated (which is a lie). Several Alliance members (Prause, Janssen, Georgiadis, Finn, Klein and Kohut) have attempted this flawed strategy in two previous articles that YBOP dismantled:

The Deniers are wrong on two counts:

  1. First, tolerance is not required to diagnose an addiction. You will find the languageneither tolerance nor withdrawal is necessary or sufficient for a diagnosis…” in both the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 where they address addiction.
  2. That said, both internet porn research and numerous self-reports demonstrate that some porn users indeed experience withdrawal and/or tolerance. Employing various methodologies and approaches, the following diverse group of studies report habituation to “regular porn” along with escalation into more extreme and unusual genres. A few also report withdrawal symptoms: Over 40 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms

For internet porn users, tolerance leading to escalation has been reported both clinically and empirically for some time now. Norman Doidge MD wrote about this in his 2007 bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself:

The current porn epidemic gives a graphic demonstration that sexual tastes can be acquired. Pornography, delivered by high-speed Internet connections, satisfies every one of the prerequisites for neuroplastic change…. When pornographers boast that they are pushing the envelope by introducing new, harder themes, what they don’t say is that they must, because their customers are building up a tolerance to the content. The back pages of men’s risque magazines and Internet porn sites are filled with ads for Viagra-type drugs—medicine developed for older men with erectile problems related to aging and blocked blood vessels in the penis. Today young men who surf porn are tremendously fearful of impotence, or “erectile dysfunction” as it is euphemistically called. The misleading term implies that these men have a problem in their penises, but the problem is in their heads, in their sexual brain maps. The penis works fine when they use pornography. It rarely occurs to them that there may be a relationship between the pornography they are consuming and their impotence.

In 2012 reddit/nofap produced a member survey, which found that over 60% of its members’ sexual tastes experienced significant escalation, through multiple porn genres.

Q: Did your tastes in pornography change?

  • My tastes did not change significantly – 29%
  • My tastes became increasingly extreme or deviant and this caused me to feel shame or stress – 36%
  • My tastes became increasingly extreme or deviant and this did not cause me to feel shame or stress – 27%

And here’s the 2017 evidence from PornHub that real sex is decreasingly interesting to porn users. Porn isn’t enabling people to find their “real” tastes; it’s driving them beyond normal into urges to view extreme novelty and “unreal” genres:

It appears that the trend is moving more toward fantasy than reality. ‘Generic’ porn is being replaced with fantasy specific or scenario specific scenes. Is this as a result of boredom or curiosity? One thing is certain; the typical ‘in-out, in-out’ no longer satisfies the masses, who are clearly looking for something different” notes Dr Laurie Betito.

Below we provide a few examples of escalation and habituation/tolerance in porn viewers from this list of over 40 studies:

We start with the largest (n= 6463) and most recent study: Prevalence, Patterns and Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption in Polish University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study (2019). The study reported everything the Denier’s claim do not exist: tolerance/habituation, escalation of use, needing more extreme genres to be sexually aroused, withdrawal symptoms when quitting, porn-induced sexual problems, porn addiction, and more. A few excerpts related to tolerance/habituation/escalation:

The most common self-perceived adverse​ effects of pornography use included: the need for longer stimulation (12.0%) and more sexual stimuli​ (17.6%) to reach orgasm, and a decrease in sexual satisfaction (24.5%)…

The present study also suggests that earlier exposure may be associated with potential desensitization to sexual stimuli as indicated by a need for longer stimulation and more sexual stimuli required to reach orgasm when consuming explicit material, and overall decrease in sexual satisfaction…..

Various changes of pattern of pornography use occurring in the course of the exposure period were reported: switching to a novel genre of explicit material (46.0%), use of materials that do not​ match sexual orientation (60.9%) and need to use more extreme (violent) material (32.0%). The latter was more frequently reported by females considering themselves as curious compared to​those regarding themselves as uninquisitive

the present study found that a need to use more extreme pornography material was more frequently ​reported by males describing themselves as aggressive.

Additional signs of tolerance/escalation: needing multiple tabs open and using porn outside of home:

The majority of students admitted to use of private mode (76.5%, n = 3256) and multiple windows (51.5%, n = 2190) when browsing online pornography. Use of porn outside residence was declared by 33.0% (n = 1404).

Earlier age of first use related to greater problems and addiction (this indirectly indicates tolerance-habituation-escalation):

Age of first exposure to explicit material was associated with increased likelihood of negative effects of pornography in young adults—the highest odds were found for females and males exposed at 12 years or below. Although a cross-sectional study does not allow an assessment of causation, this finding may indeed indicate that childhood association with pornographic content may have long-term outcomes….

Addiction rates were relatively high, even though it was “self-perceived”:

Daily use and self-perceived addiction was reported by 10.7% and 15.5%, respectively.

The study reported withdrawal symptoms, even in non-addicts (a definitive sign of addiction-related brain changes):

Among those surveyed who declared themselves to be current pornography consumers (n = 4260), 51.0% admitted to making at least one attempt to give up using it with no di erence in the frequency of these attempts between males and females (p > 0.05; 2 test). 72.2% of those attempting to quit pornography use indicated the experience of at least one associated e ect, and the most frequently observed included erotic dreams (53.5%), irritability (26.4%), attention disturbance (26.0%), and sense of loneliness (22.2%) (Table 2).

Many of the participants believed that porn is a public health issue:

In the present study, the surveyed students often indicated that pornography exposure may have an adverse outcome on social relationships, mental health, sexual performance, and may affect psychosocial development in childhood and adolescence. Despite this, the majority of them did not support any need for restrictions to pornography access….

Debunking the claim that pre-existing conditions are the real issue, not porn use, the study found that personality traits were not related to outcomes:

With some exceptions, none of personality traits, which were self-reported in this study, differentiated the studied parameters of pornography. These findings support the notion that access and exposure to pornography are presently issues too broad to specify any particular psychosocial characteristics of its users. However, an interesting observation was made regarding consumers who reported a need to view increasingly extreme pornographic content. As shown, frequent use of explicit material may potentially be associated with desensitization leading to a need to view more extreme content to reach similar sexual arousal.

Here’s one of the first studies to ask porn users directly about escalation: Online sexual activities: An exploratory study of problematic and non-problematic usage patterns in a sample of men (2016). The study reports escalation, as 49% of the men reported viewing porn that was not previously interesting to them or that they once considered disgusting. An excerpt:

Forty-nine percent mentioned at least sometimes searching for sexual content or being involved in OSAs that were not previously interesting to them or that they considered disgusting.

The Dual Control Model: The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior, 2007. Indiana University Press, Editor: Erick Janssen, pp.197-222. In an experiment employing video porn (of the type used in previous experiments), 50% of the young men couldn’t become aroused or achieve erections with porn (average age was 29). The shocked researchers discovered that the men’s erectile dysfunction was,

related to high levels of exposure to and experience with sexually explicit materials.

The men experiencing erectile dysfunction had spent a considerable amount of time in bars and bathhouses where porn was “omnipresent,” and “continuously playing.” The researchers stated:

Conversations with the subjects reinforced our idea that in some of them a high exposure to erotica seemed to have resulted in a lower responsivity to “vanilla sex” erotica and an increased need for novelty and variation, in some cases combined with a need for very specific types of stimuli in order to get aroused.

A recent study directly addressed the tolerance question: Facets of impulsivity and related aspects differentiate among recreational and unregulated use of Internet pornography (2019) – Excerpt:

A further interesting result is that the effect size for post-hoc tests duration in minutes per session, when comparing unregulated [problematic] users with recreational–frequent users, was higher [in problematic users] in comparison to the frequency per week. This might indicate that individuals with unregulated IP [internet porn] use especially have difficulties to stop watching IP during a session or need longer time to achieve the desired reward, which might be comparable with a form of tolerance in substance use disorders.

How about about a longitudinal study? Exposure to online sexual materials in adolescence and desensitization to sexual content (2018)– Abstract:

The present study aimed to explore exposure to sexually explicit materials on the Internet and a possible desensitizing effect on the perception of online sexual content over time. The study design was longitudinal; data were collected in 3 waves at 6 months intervals starting in 2012. The sample included 1134 respondents (girls, 58.8%; mean age, 13.84 ± 1.94 years) from 55 schools.

The results showed that the respondents changed their perception of sexually explicit material on the Internet over time depending on age, frequency of exposure and whether exposure was intentional. They became desensitized in terms of being less bothered by the sexual content. The results may indicate a normalization of sexually explicit material on the Internet during adolescence.

Another adolecnt study: Effect of Pornography Exposure on Junior High School Teenagers of Pontianak in 2008 (2009) Malaysian porn use study on junior high students. It’s unique in that this is the only study to report escalation into more extreme material, desensitization (tolerance), and porn addiction in a teen population. (It’s the only study to ask teens these questions.) Excerpts:

A total of 83.3% of junior high school adolescents in Pontianak City have exposed to pornography, and from being exposed as many as 79.5% experience the effects of exposure to pornography. Teenagers who experience the effects of exposure to pornography as much as 19.8% were in the addiction stage, [among the addicted] adolescents 69.2% is at the escalation stage, [among those who escalated] 61.1% is at the desensitization stage, and [among those who reported desensitization] 31.8% was at the stage of act out.

How about a brain scan study? Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn (Kühn & Gallinat, 2014). This Max Planck Institute fMRI study found less grey matter in the reward system (dorsal striatum) correlating with the amount of porn consumed. It also found that more porn use correlated with less reward circuit activation while briefly viewing sexual photos. Researchers hypothesized that their findings indicated desensitization, and possibly tolerance, which is the need for greater stimulation to achieve the same level of arousal. Lead author Simone Kühn said the following about her study:

This could mean that regular consumption of pornography dulls the reward system. … We therefore assume that subjects with high pornography consumption require ever stronger stimuli to reach the same reward level …. This is consistent with the findings on the functional connectivity of the striatum to other brain areas: high pornography consumption was found to be associated with diminished communication between the reward area and the prefrontal cortex.

Another brain scan study Novelty, conditioning and attentional bias to sexual rewards (2015). Cambridge University fMRI study reporting greater habituation to sexual stimuli in compulsive porn users. An excerpt:

Online explicit stimuli are vast and expanding, and this feature may promote escalation of use in some individuals. For instance, healthy males viewing repeatedly the same explicit film have been found to habituate to the stimulus and find the explicit stimulus as progressively less sexually arousing, less appetitive and less absorbing (Koukounas and Over, 2000). … We show experimentally what is observed clinically that Compulsive Sexual Behavior is characterized by novelty-seeking, conditioning and habituation to sexual stimuli in males.

From the related press release:

This same habituation effect occurs in healthy males who are repeatedly shown the same porn video. But when they then view a new video, the level of interest and arousal goes back to the original level. This implies that, to prevent habituation, the sex addict would need to seek out a constant supply of new images. In other words, habituation could drive the search for novel images.

“Our findings are particularly relevant in the context of online pornography,” adds Dr Voon. “It’s not clear what triggers sex addiction in the first place and it is likely that some people are more pre-disposed to the addiction than others, but the seemingly endless supply of novel sexual images available online helps feed their addiction, making it more and more difficult to escape.

How about Nicole Prause’s own EEG study, which itself actually found habituation? Modulation of Late Positive Potentials by Sexual Images in Problem Users and Controls Inconsistent with “Porn Addiction” (Prause et al., 2015). Compared to controls “individuals experiencing problems regulating their porn viewing” had lower brain responses to one-second exposure to photos of vanilla porn. The lead author claims these results “debunk porn addiction.” Incidentally, what legitimate scientist would claim that their lone anomalous study has debunked a well established field of study?

In reality, the findings of Prause et al. 2015 align perfectly with Kühn & Gallinat (2014), which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn. The Prause et al. findings also align with Banca et al. 2015, which reported that lower EEG readings meant that subjects were paying less attention to the pictures than controls. Put simply, frequent porn users were desensitized to static images of vanilla porn. They were bored (habituated or desensitized). Eight peer-reviewed papers agree that Prause et al. 2015 actually found desensitization/habituation in frequent porn users (consistent with addiction).

Here’s another study that reported both tolerance and withdrawal (two items Prause’s Lancet piece falsely claimed that no porn study had reported):The Development of the Problematic Pornography Consumption Scale (PPCS) (2017). This paper developed and tested a problematic porn use questionnaire that was modeled after substance addiction questionnaires. This 18-item questionnaire assessed tolerance and withdrawal with the following 6 questions:

———-

Each question was scored from one to seven on a Likert scale: 1- Never, 2- Rarely, 3- Occasionally, 4- Sometimes, 5- Often, 6- Very Often, 7- All the Time. The graph below grouped porn users into 3 categories based on their total scores: “Nonproblematic,” “Low risk,” and “At risk.” Results below show that many porn users experience both tolerance and withdrawal.

Put simply, this study actually asked about escalation (tolerance) and withdrawal – and both are reported by some porn users.

How about a study on men with porn-induced sexual dysfunctions? Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction Among Young Men (2019)– Study reveals tolerance (declining arousal) and escalation (needing more extreme material to be aroused) in such subjects. From the abstract:

This paper explores the phenomenon of pornography induced erectile dysfunction (PIED), meaning sexual potency problems in men due to Internet pornography consumption. Empirical data from men who suffer from this condition have been collected…. they report that an early introduction to pornography (usually during adolescence) is followed by daily consumption until a point is reached where extreme content (involving, for example, elements of violence) is needed to maintain arousal. A critical stage is reached when sexual arousal is exclusively associated with extreme and fast-paced pornography, rendering physical intercourse bland and uninteresting. This results in an inability to maintain an erection with a real-life partner, at which point the men embark on a “re-boot” process, giving up pornography. This has helped some of the men to regain their ability to achieve and sustain an erection.

Having processed the data, I have noticed certain patterns and recurring themes, following a chronological narrative in all of the interviews. These are: Introduction. One is first introduced to pornography, usually before puberty. Building a habit. One begins to consume pornography regularly. Escalation. One turns to more “extreme” forms of pornography, content-wise, in order to achieve the same effects previously achieved through less “extreme” forms of pornography. Realization. One notices sexual potency problems believed to be caused by pornography use. “Re-boot” process. One tries to regulate pornography use or eliminate it completely in order to regain one’s sexual potency.

I could provide 25 more studies reporting or suggesting habituation to “regular porn” along with escalation into more extreme and unusual genres, but these are sufficient to reveal the Alliance’s unconscionable cherry-picking. On to their own two citations:

Alliance Studies:

Landripet, Busko, & Štulhofer (2019).Testing the content progression thesis: A longitudinal assessment of pornography use and preference for coercive and violent content among male adolescents. Social Science Research. Link to web

Analysis: By Alliance member Alexander Štulhofer. As with previous studies, Štulhofer limits his sample to Croatian high-school students (age 16; 58% females). Escalation often takes years to manifest, so high school students aren’t the obvious choice of subjects as they are (presumably) early in their porn-viewing careers.

Second, the study limited escalation inquiry specifically to porn that the teen judged as “coercive” or “painful.” This omits the majority of genres young people name when they describe their history of escalation (e.g. incest porn, hentai, TS porn, gang bang, bukake, MILF, FemDom, bestiality, you name it).

And to what degree are coercion and pain accurately perceived, as streaming hard-core videos shape teens’ perception of what constitutes “real sex”? A 2019 review (Viewing pornography through a children’s rights lens) comments on this question:

Research suggests that those who develop problems with pornography viewing show a stronger preference for novel imagery than healthy controls, as well as more rapid habituation to images, which in turn may increase the drive for even more novel imagery (Barron and Kimmel, 2000). This may explain the documented trend towards more extreme pornography, which may include violence, choking, hitting, hair pulling, violent penetration by multiple men, gagging, force, male domination, non-consensual acts, female submission, female eagerness and willingness, degradation and name calling, ejaculating on a female face, anal intercourse, multiple partners, bondage, domination, sadism, masochism, racism, urination, defecation, bestiality, rape, and child abuse imagery (more commonly known as “child pornography”), which today constitutes approximately 20 percent of the pornography industry (Foley, 2006; Gorman, Monk-Turner, & Fish, 2010; “Harm being done to Australian children,” 2016; Hamilton-Giachritsis, Hanson, Whittle, & Beech, 2017). Indeed, one controversial study found that 88 percent of pornography includes acts of violence (Bridges, Wosnitzer, Scharrer, Sun, & Liberman, 2010; Foubert, Brosi, & Bannon, 2011), while others place it at a much lower percentage (McKee, 2005). McKee arrives at the especially low percentage of two percent by excluding all violence that is deemed to be consensual, but in the case of children watching pornography, they may not understand the difference between consensual violence and nonconsensual violence and there is no evidence that the former is less impactful than the latter on a child viewer. Regardless of which line of research is correct, almost all of the violence that does exist in pornography today is directed towards women (Barron & Kimmel, 2000, p. 164; Hamilton-Giachritsis, et al., 2017).

Third, the study did not directly ask the students if their porn use had escalated into genres they considered to be extreme, or not in alignment with their original sexual tastes. Thus, the Štulhofer study could not accurately assess tolerance or escalation.

In fact, Štulhofer’s actual findings (omitted from the abstract, but included in the paper) link higher porn use to viewing a greater variety of porn genres:

Interestingly, our analysis pointed to a significant association between higher baseline frequency of pornography use and less pronounced decline in the preference for coercive/violent contents over time. Although this finding neither supports nor falsifies the CPT, it suggests that higher pornography use is linked to more diverse content (i.e., more heterogeneous interest) in adolescence. This may be relevant for subsequent dynamics of pornography use and should be further investigated.

Translation: greater porn use was related to teens seeking out novel and stranger genres of porn (escalation). This is not surprising as chronic porn users often describe escalation in their porn use that takes the form of greater time viewing or seeking out new genres of porn. New genres that induce shock, surprise, violation of expectations or even anxiety can function to increase sexual arousal, and in porn users whose response to stimuli is growing blunted due to overuse, this phenomenon is extremely common.

Shor, E., & Seida, K. (2019).“Harder and harder”? Is mainstream pornography becoming increasingly violent and do viewers prefer violent content?. The Journal of Sex Research, 56(1), 16-28. Link to web

Analysis: This study did not assess porn use in any subjects so it can tell us nothing about tolerance or escalation. Nor is the Alliance summary accurate. This paper is a misleading, irresponsible attempt to counter the 2010 Ana Bridges study on aggression in porn (“Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: A content analysis update”), which found that 88% of the most popular porn films featured physical aggression against women.

However, Shor & Seida 2019 is not comparable to the Bridges study, which chose the most popular videos. This newer study can tell us nothing about trends of aggression in the most popular videos between 2008-2016, as it claims to do. Why? Because the study did not assess videos based only on popularity, as this excerpt from the “Sample and Data Section” reveals:

In our initial sampling strategy, we sought to increase representation for both women and men from multiple ethnic and racial groups. Accordingly, we employed a purposive sampling technique, including in the initial sample the most watched videos from the following PornHub categories: “All” (70 videos), “Interracial” (25 videos), “Ebony” (52 videos), “Asian/Japanese” (35 videos), “Latina” (19 videos), and “Gay” (25 videos)

Choosing videos by predetermined categories, while omitting most other categories (there are probably hundreds of categories), means the researchers did not choose the most popular videos by views.

It gets worse. In the “Dependent variables to assess video popularity” section the researchers say they added in several random videos with relatively few views:

Our initial sample included only the most highly watched videos, leading to relatively low heterogeneity on this measure. We therefore added an additional random sample of videos that received fewer views. The final sample thus includes a substantial variety of videos, ranging from about 11,000 views to more than 116 million views.

In short, the researchers appear to have kept one foot on the scales until they produced the trend they were seeking. This paper looks more like attempted propaganda than serious scholarship. Had it been reviewed by serious academic scholars, such shoddy, biased work would never have passed peer review.

Our impression that their work is both biased and unscientific is bolstered by the unsupported remarks that the authors of the paper then made to mainstream reporters. The researchers implied that their artfully produced results had not only proved that porn was becoming less violent (flying in the face of nearly every other account anywhere), but that these results also somehow disproved the “addictiveness of pornography” – presumably based on their unconvincing claim that porn is becoming “softer.” Balderdash. Below are a few studies countering this study’s spurious claims (in chronological order):

Dominance and Inequality in X-Rated Videocassettes (1988) – Excerpt:

Feminists have been concerned about the debasement of women in sexually explicit material. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of domination and sexual inequality in x-rated videocassettes through a content analysis of 45 widely available x-rated videocassettes. The sample was randomly drawn from a list of 121 adult movie titles widely available in family videocassette rental stores in southern California. Over half of the explicitly sexual scenes were coded as predominantly concerned with domination or exploitation. Most of the domination and exploitation was directed by men toward women. Specific indicators of domination and sexual inequality, including physical violence, occurred frequently. The growth of the videocassette rental industry and the popularity of x-rated films, coupled with the messages these films convey, is a cause for concern.

Violence and degradation as themes in “adult” videos (1991) – Excerpt:

Videocassettes have become the dominant medium for pornography. One previous content analysis examined the prevalence of violence in such videos. The Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography (1986) has asserted that nonviolent pornography depicting degradation produces harm similar to that from violent pornography. Content analysis of a 10% random sample (n = 50) of the videos displayed in the “adult” section of a video store showed that 13.6% of the scenes in the videos contained violent acts and 18.2% contained degrading acts.

Racism and sexism in interracial pornography (1994) – Excerpt:

Racism and sexism were examined in interracial (Black/White) X‐rated pornography videocassettes. Sexism was demonstrated in the unidirectional aggression by men toward women. Racism was demonstrated in the lower status of Black actors and the presence of racial stereotypes. Racism appeared to be expressed somewhat differently by sex, and sexism somewhat differently by race. For example, Black women were the targets of more acts of aggression than were White women, and Black men showed fewer intimate behaviors than did White men. More aggression was found in cross‐race sexual interactions than in same‐race sexual interactions. These findings suggest that pornography is racist as well as sexist.

Sexual violence in three pornographic media: Toward a sociological explanation (2000) – Excerpt:

This study measures the sexually violent content in magazine, video, and Usenet (Internet newsgroup) pornography. Specifically, the level of violence, the amount of consensual and nonconsensual violence, and the gender of both victim and victimizer are compared. A consistent increase in the amount of violence from one medium to the next is found, although the increase between magazines and videos is not statistically significant. Further, both magazines and videos portray the violence as consensual, while the Usenet portrays it as nonconsensual. Third, magazines portray women as the victimizers more often than men, while the Usenet differs sharply and portrays men as the victimizers far more often.

Free Adult Internet Web Sites: How Prevalent Are Degrading Acts? (2010) – Excerpt:

Russell (Dangerous relationships: Pornography, misogyny, and rape, 1988) argued that essential features of pornography were the inclusion of more female than male nakedness and the portrayal of men in dominant roles. Utilizing a sample of 45 Internet adult web sites, a content analysis was conducted to see if free and easily available Internet adult videos may generally be described as pornography in line with Russell’s (1988) work…. More than half of the videos in our sample (55% of all videos with two actors present) were more likely to show naked women than men and 55% of all videos had a main theme of either exploitation or domination where the male actor wasportrayed as being in control. Therefore, a majority of the free internet videos in our sample may generally be described as degrading pornography in line with Russell’s [34] work.

Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: a content analysis update (2010) – Excerpt:

This current study analyzes the content of popular pornographic videos with the objectives of updating depictions of aggression, degradation, and sexual practices and comparing the study’s results to previous content analysis studies. Findings indicate high levels of aggression in pornography in both verbal and physical forms. Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88.2% contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name–calling. Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.

Gender (In)equality in Internet Pornography: A Content Analysis of Popular Pornographic Internet Videos (2015) – Excerpt:

Although Internet pornography is widely consumed and researchers have started to investigate its effects, we still know little about its content. This has resulted in contrasting claims about whether Internet pornography depicts gender (in)equality and whether this depiction differs between amateur and professional pornography. We conducted a content analysis of three main dimensions of gender (in)equality (i.e., objectification, power, and violence) in 400 popular pornographic Internet videos from the most visited pornographic Web sites. Objectification was depicted more often for women through instrumentality, but men were more frequently objectified through dehumanization. Regarding power, men and women did not differ in social or professional status, but men were more often shown as dominant and women as submissive during sexual activities.

What Behaviors Do Young Heterosexual Australians See in Pornography? A Cross-Sectional Study (2018) – Excerpt:

This study investigated how frequently a group of young heterosexual Australians (ages 15 to 29) saw a range of behaviors represented in pornography over the previous 12 months…. Men’s pleasure (83%) was seen frequently by the highest proportion of young people surveyed, followed by a man being portrayed as dominant (70%). Women were more likely to report frequently seeing violence toward a woman.

Age, Aggression, and Pleasure in Popular Online Pornographic Videos (2019) – Excerpt:

This article analyzes the content of 172 popular videos from the pornographic website PornHub.com . Although I found no difference between the levels of aggression in videos featuring teenage performers and those featuring adult performers, the former were more likely to have a title that suggests aggression and to include anal penetration and facial ejaculation. In addition, although all female performers were more likely to express pleasure following aggression, this association was stronger in videos featuring teenage performers. These videos portray aggression and degradation as both consensual- i.e., men dominating willing women-and sensual– i.e., producing pleasure for both men and women.


Body Image Section

Context/Reality: This Alliance section contains no reviews of the literature or meta-analyses. Rather, it contains only a solitary study on porn users, and it reported only an indirect effect. In reality, the vast preponderance of studies link porn viewing to negative body image, greater objectification and greater dissatisfaction. Let’s begin with the meta-analyses and reviews the Deniers Alliance omitted:

Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015 – Excerpt:

The goal of this review was to synthesize empirical investigations testing effects of media sexualization. The focus was on research published in peer-reviewed, English-language journals between 1995 and 2015. A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed. The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.

The Alliance also omitted this 2017 meta-analysis of quantitative studies – Women’s perceptions of their male partners’ pornography consumption and relational, sexual, self, and body satisfaction: toward a theoretical model.– Excerpts:

This paper’s meta-analysis of quantitative studies conducted to date primarily supports the hypothesis that the majority of women are negatively impacted by the perception that their partner is a pornography consumer. In main analyses including all of the available studies, perceiving partners as pornography consumers was significantly associated with less relational, sexual, and body satisfaction. The association for self satisfaction was also negative. The results also suggested that women’s satisfaction will generally decrease in correspondence with the perception that their partners are consuming pornography more frequently.

The Alliance omitted this 2017 review of longitudinal studies as well – Longitudinal associations between the use of sexually explicit material and adolescents’ attitudes and behaviors: A narrative review of studies. – Excerpts:

The reviewed studies found that the use of sexually explicit material may affect a range of adolescents’ attitudes and beliefs, such as sexual preoccupancy (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008b), sexual uncertainty (Peter & Valkenburg, 2010a; van Oosten, 2015), the sexual objectification of women (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009a), sexual satisfaction (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009b), recreational and permissive sex attitudes (Baams et al., 2014; Brown & L’Engle, 2009; Peter & Valkenburg, 2010b), egalitarian gender role attitudes (Brown & L’Engle, 2009) and body surveillance (Doornwaard et al., 2014).

And the Alliance omitted this 2019 review on adolescents and porn use – Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health: latest evidence from the literature. – From abstract:

According to selected studies (n = 19), an association between consumption of online pornography and several behavioral, psychophysical and social outcomes – earlier sexual debut, engaging with multiple and/or occasional partners, emulating risky sexual behaviors, assimilating distorted gender roles, dysfunctional body perception, aggressiveness, anxious or depressive symptoms, compulsive pornography use – is confirmed.

The impact of online pornography on minors’ health appears to be relevant. The issue can no longer be neglected and must be targeted by global and multidisciplinary interventions. Empowering parents, teachers and healthcare professionals by means of educational programs targeting this issue will allow them to assist minors in developing critical thinking skills about pornography, decreasing its use and obtaining an affective and sex education that is more suitable for their developmental needs.

Alliance Studies:

Vogels, E. A. (2018).Loving oneself: The associations among sexually explicit media, body image, and perceived realism. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13. Link to web

Analysis: Cherry-picked outlier study with only an indirect effect (i.e. statistical manipulation) in a non-representative sample.

Borgogna, N. C., Lathan, E. C., & Mitchell, A. (2019). Is Women’s Problematic Pornography Viewing Related to Body Image or Relationship Satisfaction?. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 1-22. Link to web

Analysis: The Alliance summary is only partially accurate and omits important findings (“pornography viewing frequency, perceptions of excessive use, and control difficulties were unrelated to body image”). First, no correlations between some aspects (not all) of problematic porn use and body image must be viewed as an outlier result. Second, the Alliance omitted that some aspects of problematic porn use were correlated to poorer body image. Excerpt from the study:

The findings from this study support the need for evidence-based interventions for women experiencing problematic viewing. Particularly, our findings indicate that women who use pornography to escape mental/emotional problems also demonstrate poor body image and relationship satisfaction.

Third, and most importantly, the study’s abstract incorrectly stated that frequency or porn use was unrelated to relationship satisfaction. In reality, more porn use, and problematic porn use, were correlated with poorer relationship satisfaction. From the study: RAS (#6) = “relationship satisfaction”:

Excerpt from the body of the study:

We specifically examined the relationships between viewing frequency and problematic viewing constructs on body image and relationship satisfaction in women….. Also regarding H1, viewing frequency was significantly negatively associated with women’s relationship satisfaction at the bivariate level.

The Deniers omitted this key finding.

Laan, E., Martoredjo, D. K., Hesselink, S., Snijders, N., & van Lunsen, R. H. (2017). Young women’s genital self-image and effects of exposure to pictures of natural vulvas. Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics & gynecology, 38(4), 249-255. Link to web

Analysis: More citation inflation – as this study has nothing to do with porn viewing. Excerpts from the study:

Forty-three women were either shown pictures of natural vulvas (N = 29) or pictures of neutral objects (N = 14). Genital self-image was measured before and after exposure to the pictures and two weeks later.

Results: A majority of the participants felt generally positively about their genitals. Having been exposed to pictures of natural vulvas resulted in an even more positive genital self-image, irrespective of levels of sexual function, sexual distress, self-esteem and trait anxiety. In the women who had seen the vulva pictures, the positive effect on genital self-image was still present after two weeks.

News flash: You can learn anatomy without visiting Pornhub.

To expose the Alliance’s irresponsible cherry-picking we provide numerous studies linking porn use to poorer self-image and body dissatisfaction, which they purposely omitted:

Effect of Erotica on Young Men’s Aesthetic Perception of Their Female Sexual Partners (1984) – Excerpt:

After exposure to beautiful females, mates’ aesthetic value fell significantly below assessments made after exposure to unattractive females; this value assumed an intermediate position after control exposure.

Pornography’s Impact on Sexual Satisfaction (1988) – Excerpt:

Male and female students and nonstudents were exposed to videotapes featuring common, nonviolent pornography or innocuous content. Exposure was in hourly sessions in six consecutive weeks. In the seventh week, subjects participated in an ostensibly unrelated study on societal institutions and personal gratifications. [Porn use] strongly impacted self-assessment of sexual experience. After consumption of pornography, subjects reported less satisfaction with their intimate partners—specifically, with these partners’ affection, physical appearance, sexual curiosity, and sexual performance proper.

Influence of popular erotica on judgments of strangers and mates (1989) – Excerpt:

In Experiment 2, male and female subjects were exposed to opposite sex erotica. In the second study, there was an interaction of subject sex with stimulus condition upon sexual attraction ratings. Decremental effects of centerfold exposure were found only for male subjects exposed to female nudes. Males who found the Playboy-type centerfolds more pleasant rated themselves as less in love with their wives.

Adolescents’ Exposure to a Sexualized Media Environment and Their Notions of Women as Sex Objects (2007) – Excerpt:

Exposure to sexually explicit material in on-line movies was the only exposure measure significantly related to beliefs that women are sex objects in the final regression model, in which exposure to other forms of sexual content was controlled.

Exposure to Sexually Explicit Material and Variations in Body Esteem, Genital Attitudes, and Sexual Esteem among a Sample of Canadian Men (2007) – Excerpt:

As predicted, significant negative correlations were obtained between exposure to pornographic imagery on the Internet and levels of genital and sexual esteem.

Sex in America Online: An Exploration of Sex, Marital Status, and Sexual Identity in Internet Sex Seeking and Its Impacts (2008)– Excerpt:

This was an exploratory study of sex and relationship seeking on the Internet, based on a survey of 15,246 respondents in the United States Seventy-five percent of men and 41% of women had intentionally viewed or downloaded porn. Men and gays/lesbians were more likely to access porn or engage in other sex-seeking behaviors online compared with straights or women. A symmetrical relationship was revealed between men and women as a result of viewing pornography, with women reporting more negative consequences, including lowered body image, partner critical of their body, increased pressure to perform acts seen in pornographic films, and less actual sex, while men reported being more critical of their partners’ body and less interested in actual sex.

Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Notions of Women as Sex Objects: Assessing Causality and Underlying Processes (2009)– Excerpt:

However, the direct influence of notions of women as sex objects on exposure to SEIM was only significant for male adolescents. Further analyses showed that, regardless of adolescents’ gender, liking of SEIM mediated the influence of exposure to SEIM on their beliefs that women are sex objects, as well as the impact of these beliefs on exposure to SEIM.

Pornography and the Male Sexual Script: An Analysis of Consumption and Sexual Relations (2014)– Excerpt:

We argue pornography creates a sexual script that then guides sexual experiences. To test this, we surveyed 487 college men (ages 18-29 years) in the United States to compare their rate of pornography use with sexual preferences and concerns. Results showed the more pornography a man watches, the more likely he was to use it during sex, request particular pornographic sex acts of his partner, deliberately conjure images of pornography during sex to maintain arousal, and have concerns over his own sexual performance and body image. Further, higher pornography use was negatively associated with enjoying sexually intimate behaviors with a partner.

Sex-related online behaviors and adolescents’ body and sexual self-perceptions (2014)– Excerpt:

Four-wave longitudinal data among 1132 seventh- to 10th-grade Dutch adolescents (mean age at wave 1: 13.95 years; 52.7% boys) were collected. Self-perception outcomes at wave 4 and parental strategies predicting online behaviors were investigated by adding regression paths to growth models.

Higher initial levels and/or faster increases in sex-related online behaviors generally predicted less physical self-esteem (girls’ SNS use only), more body surveillance, and less satisfaction with sexual experience. Private Internet access and less parental rule setting regarding Internet use predicted greater engagement in sex-related online behaviors. Although most sex-related online behaviors are not widespread among youth, adolescents who engage in such behaviors are at increased risk for developing negative body and sexual self-perceptions

No Harm in Looking, Right? Men’s Pornography Consumption, Body Image, and Well-Being (2014) – Excerpt:

Path analyses revealed that men’s frequency of pornography use was (a) positively linked to muscularity and body fat dissatisfaction indirectly through internalization of the mesomorphic ideal, (b) negatively linked to body appreciation directly and indirectly through body monitoring

Does exposure to sexually explicit Internet material increase body dissatisfaction? A longitudinal study (2014)

Based on a two-wave panel survey held among a nationally representative sample of 1879 Dutch respondents we found that more frequent exposure to SEIM increased males’ dissatisfaction with their body in general and their stomach in particular.

Internet Pornography Use and Sexual Body Image in a Dutch Sample (2016)– Excerpt:

Penis size dissatisfaction is associated with pornography use… These results support prior speculation and self-reports about the relationship between pornography use and sexual body image among men.

Viewing Sexually Explicit Media and Its Association with Mental Health Among Gay and Bisexual Men Across the U.S. (2017) – Excerpts

Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have reported viewing significantly more sexually explicit media (SEM) than heterosexual men. There is evidence that viewing greater amounts of SEM may result in more negative body attitude and negative affect. However, no studies have examined these variables within the same model.

Greater consumption of SEM was directly related to more negative body attitude and both depressive and anxious symptomology. There was also a significant indirect effect of SEM consumption on depressive and anxious symptomology through body attitude. These findings highlight the relevance of both SEM on body image and negative affect along with the role body image plays in anxiety and depression outcomes for GBM.

Pornography use in sexual minority males: Associations with body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, thoughts about using anabolic steroids and quality of life (2017) Excerpts:

A sample of 2733 sexual minority males living in Australia and New Zealand completed an online survey that contained measures of pornography use, body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, thoughts about using anabolic steroids and quality of life. Almost all (98.2%) participants reported pornography use with a median use of 5.33 hours per month.

Multivariate analyses revealed that increased pornography use was associated with greater dissatisfaction with muscularity, body fat and height; greater eating disorder symptoms; more frequent thoughts about using anabolic steroids; and lower quality of life.

Sexually Explicit Online Media, Body Satisfaction, and Partner Expectations Among Men who have Sex with Men: a Qualitative Study (2017)– Excerpt:

Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 MSM, covering the perceived influence of MSM-specific SEOM. All nine men who broached the topics of body satisfaction and partner expectations reported that MSM-specific SEOM set unreasonably high physical appearance expectations for themselves and/or their potential partners.

Internet Pornography Use Among Collegiate Women: Gender Attitudes, Body Monitoring, and Sexual Behavior (2018) – Excerpt:

Women who use Internet pornography had a higher endorsement of rape myths, a higher number of sexual partners, and engaged in more body monitoring.

Major Motivators and Sociodemographic Features of Women Undergoing Labiaplasty (2018)– Excerpts:

Half of the patients reported that they had an idea about the female genitalia (50.7%) and they were influenced through the media (47.9%). The majority of those (71.8%) stated that they did not have normal genitalia and considered labiaplasty more than 6 months ago (88.7%). The pornography consumption rate in the last month was 19.7% and was significantly related with lower genital self-image and self-esteem.

Perceptions of male partner pressure to be thin and pornography use: Associations with eating disorder symptomatology in a community sample of adult women (2019) – Study on porn’s effects on the female partner of a porn user. Excerpt:

The present study examined two partner-specific variables that were hypothesized to be linked to women’s ED symptoms: perceived male partner thinness-related pressures and pornography use.

Current and previous partner pornography use were related to higher ED symptomatology, adjusting for age and women’s reports of being bothered by this use. Partner thinness-related pressure and previous partner pornography use were associated with ED symptomatology both directly and through thin-ideal internalization, whereas current partner pornography use was directly associated with ED symptomatology.

Pornography and Heterosexual Women’s Intimate Experiences with a Partner (2019) – Excerpts:

Among female consumers who were sexually active, higher rates of consumption for masturbation were associated with increased mental activation of the pornographic script during sex-heightened recall of pornographic images during sex with a partner, heightened reliance on pornography for achieving and maintaining arousal, and a preference for pornography consumption over sex with a partner. Furthermore, higher activation of the pornographic script during sex, rather than simply viewing pornographic material, was also associated with higher rates of insecurities about their appearance and diminished enjoyment of intimate acts such as kissing or caressing during sex with a partner.

Sociocultural Influences on Men’s Penis Size Perceptions and Decisions to Undergo Penile Augmentation: A Qualitative Study (2019) – Excerpts:

An increasing number of men are dissatisfied with their penis size and are seeking cosmetic procedures to enhance their penis size. However, less is known about the social and cultural factors that influence men to consider these procedures….. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 6 adult men who had previously undergone a penile augmentation.

Three main themes emerged from the interviews, namely “influence of pornography”, “comparison with peers” and “indirect appearance-related teasing”. The men noted that the large penises of male actors in pornography had skewed their perception of normal penis size. All men had compared their penis size with their peers, usually in the locker room, and often felt their own penis was smaller as a result.

Size Matters After All: Experimental Evidence that SEM Consumption Influences Genital and Body Esteem in Men (2019) – Excerpts:

Previous research has found that images depicted in the mainstream media have a negative influence on self-esteem, particularly among women. With the ease of accessibility and distribution of sexually explicit material (SEM) in recent years, due largely to the rise of the Internet, it has been postulated that consumers of SEM may experience reduced self-esteem in an effect similar to that found in research on exposure to mainstream media imagery.

To our knowledge, this is the first study to directly examine the effect of SEM exposure on state-specific self-esteem in comparison with media advertisements utilizing both genders in an experimental design. As hypothesized, men exposed to SEM reported statistically significant reduced satisfaction with the appearance of their genitalia compared with those who viewed media images or no images at all. Our results do suggest, then, that exposure to SEM has a negative impact on the state self-esteem of some male consumers, specifically about the size and appearance of their genitals, lending credence to theories of social comparison. Previous research on this topic has been largely based on self-report; our methodology explicitly exposed participants to SEM during data collection.


Performers Section

Context/Reality: None of the Alliance members has authored a study on porn performers. Moreover, the Alliance’s site claims to be concerned with “the effects of sex films” on viewers. So why has the Alliance thrown in a section with two cherry-picked studies reporting positive news about female porn performers? The answer is painfully obvious: the Alliance functions to promote porn use and support the porn industry’s agenda (as needed). If you think we are exaggerating check out what the “experts” post on their collective Twitter account.

Alliance Studies:

Griffith, J. D., Mitchell, S., Hart, C. L., Adams, L. T., & Gu, L. L. (2013). Pornography actresses: An assessment of the damaged goods hypothesis. Journal of Sex Research, 50(7), 621-632. Link to web

Analysis: Another example of Alliance cherry-picking. Why did the Deniers’ Alliance omit the following studies on adult film performers?

Dubin, J. M., Greer, A. B., Valentine, C., O’Brien, I. T., Leue, E. P., Paz, L., … & Ramasamy, R. (2019). Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers. The journal of sexual medicine. Link to web

Analysis: The finding is not surprising as most everyone would expect female porn performers to experience lower rates of sexual dysfunction than reported in the general population. First, the general population includes a large portion of individuals with chronic physical or mental conditions that affect both sexual and general health (diabetes, psychiatric illness, depression, autoimmune disease, chronic pain, etc.) Moreover, porn stars tend to be physically fit, attractive, sexual athletes, and often report an earlier onset of sexual activity. That said, lower rates of sexual dysfunction do not equate with greater well-being.

Nonetheless, this citation is a perfect example of the Deniers’ cherry-picking: the Alliance omitted a study by the same research group. It reported ED rates in male performers that are significantly higher than in the general population. The research survey of male adult film actors, published in 2018, reported that 37% of male porn stars (ages 20-29) had moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. (The study employed the IIEF, which measures function during partnered sex, the standard urology test for erectile function.)

Here are some examples of the Alliance’s Twitter account promoting the female performer study (yet not the male study):

Once again, promoting the study on female performers only:

The Alliance also uses its Twitter account to promote the benefits of prostitution, posting a “study” claiming that using prostitutes is aligned with “the principles of sexual health.”

Why does RealYBOP constantly tweet in support of porn industry and prostitution, when the site claims to be about the effects of porn on the user? For many more examples see – SECTION 4: “RealYBOP”: Prause and associates create a biased website and social media accounts that support a pro-porn industry agenda.

Aggressive trademark infringement waged by group headed by Nicole Prause (www.realyourbrainonporn.com).

Introduction

As Your Brain on Porn has been continuously engaged in vigorous debate around the subject of compulsive pornography consumption since before 2011, our website certainly doesn’t take issue with, or fear, opposing views. Sexual health experts are welcome to offer views about internet pornography’s effects that differ from our views.

We thrive on debate as we believe that the facts surrounding the issue, along with the research, support that problems often emerge when people use too much internet pornography. But to this day, not many pro-porn activists have been willing to engage in substantive debate with us, resorting instead to unsavory tactics such as straw-men, lies, personal attacks, harassment, and defamation – and now, trademark infringement, impersonation, and domain-name squatting.

While we encourage these intellectual opponents to share their pro-porn views for us to continue to refute with facts and citations, they are not legally permitted to impersonate us. Table of contents:

  1. At long last, porn addiction deniers openly function as an agenda-driven collective (RealYBOP “experts”)
  2. Trademark infringement and targeted harassment: Details
  3. Why not revert to ScienceOfArousal.com?
  4. RealYBOP Twitter account: Attempted trademark grab includes a Twitter account with a pro-porn industry agenda
  5. The experts create a Reddit account (Sciencearousal) to promote “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” while disparaging Gary Wilson & the legitimate “Your Brain On Porn”
  6. The “experts” create two aliases to edit Wikipedia, inserting links to RealYourBrainOnporn.com while deleting legitimate material about pornography’s effects
  7. May 1, 2019 cease and desist letters to those behind the infringing site (the “Experts”)

At long last, porn addiction deniers openly function as an agenda-driven collective (RealYBOP “experts”)

While we welcome opposing views, we think it worth pointing out that many members of this new collective of RealYBOP “experts” are well known to YBOP and other porn skeptics. Some of them are authors of outlier studies and many parrot unsupported pro-industry talking points, which find their way into biased (placed?) mainstream press articles (Nicole Prause, Marty Klein, Lynn Comella, David J. Ley, Emily F. Rothman, Samuel Perry, Taylor Kohut, William Fisher, Peter Finn, Janniko Georgiadis, Erick Janssen, Aleksandar Štulhofer, Joshua Grubbs, James Cantor, Michael Seto, Justin Lehmiller, Victoria Hartmann, Julia Velten, Roger Libby, Doug Braun-Harvey, David Hersh, Jennifer Valli).

A few of the experts regularly mislead journalists, their colleagues, and academic journal editors about the true balance of internet porn research. On social media and in lay articles they promote their small collection of cherry-picked, outlier papers, and/or misrepresent the true implications of their data. Visit this page to see critiques of some of their most questionable progeny.

While many of these “experts” have regularly collaborated on social media or co-authored academic or popular articles, each member of the RealYBOP has until now purported to be an independent and unbiased purveyor of truth and science. Yet YBOP and many other porn skeptics have long known that various members of this cliquish band of “experts” conspire overtly and behind the scenes, manipulating journalists, sharing talking points, emailing governing bodies, and even influencing the peer-reviewed process in dubious ways (these 2 pages provide extensive documentation of said behaviors: page 1, page 2).

The two most vocal and best known, Nicole Prause and David Ley, have engaged in overt and covert defamation, harassment and cyberstalking, targeting groups and individuals who believe, based on the objective evidence, that today’s porn might be causing significant problems for some users. Few of their targets are aware of Prause and Ley’s long history of misconduct and disturbing malfeasance. The following pages document hundreds of incidents over several years:

It seems likely that Prause is a key participant in the RealYBOP website and related social media accounts, as:

  1. The content, studies, and phrasing of the illegitimate site and tweets mirror Prause’s previous propaganda pieces and social media posts. Curiously, PornHub was the first to retweet the new Twitter account’s maiden tweet, even though the new Twitter account had no followers yet. How did PornHub know of its inception?
  2. The press release, site and related social media accounts target Gary Wilson (overtly or covertly), and Prause has been obsessively harassing Wilson for 6 years.
  3. This appears to be Prause’s second attempt at creating an agenda-driven website. In 2016, it seems that Prause created a username called “PornHelps,” which had its own Twitter account (@pornhelps) and a website (with a forum no one used) promoting the porn industry as well as outlier studies reporting “positive” effects of porn. “PornHelps” chronically badgered the same people and organizations that Prause also often attacks. In fact, Prause herself would sometimes team up with her apparent alias “PornHelps” to attack individuals on Twitter and elsewhere in tandem. For documentation, see Was Nicole Prause “PornHelps”? (PornHelps website, @pornhelps on Twitter, comments under articles). All accounts deleted once Prause was outed as “PornHelps.”

 


Trademark infringement and targeted harassment: Details

The URL for this website (YourBrainOnPorn.com) was registered in 2010, has some 20,000 unique visitors a day, more than 11,000 pages of content, and has long functioned as a well-known clearinghouse for information related to internet porn’s effects. For almost a decade it has been linked to by thousands of other websites, and mentioned in numerous news articles or podcasts, as well as being cited in several peer-review studies. The host of the site is also the author of a highly regarded book entitled Your Brain On Porn, first published in 2014.

On January 29, 2019, Prause filed a trademark application to obtain YOURBRAINONPORN and YOURBRAINONPORN.COM. These marks have been used by the popular website www.YourBrainOnPorn.com and its host Gary Wilson for nearly a decade – facts well known to Prause, who has frequently disparaged the latter website and its host since 2013.

In April, 2019, a blatant trademark infringement campaign was launched targeting YourBrainOnPorn.com. A new website with the URL realyourbrainonporn.com appeared, just a few days after the website ScienceOfArousal.com (see above) had appeared. As explained above, the later URL, featuring much the same cast of self-proclaimed “experts,” replaced the earlier ScienceOfArousal.com. Use of the URL for the latter redirected its visitors to the second (infringing) site’s URL.

The new imposter site attempts to trick the visitor, with the center of each page declaring “Welcome to the REAL Your Brain On Porn,” as the tab falsely proclaims “Your Brain On Porn.”

When the link for the imposter site is emailed it appears as “Your Brain on Porn”:

When a RealYourBrainOnPorn (@BrainOnPorn) tweet is retweeted it appears as “Your Brain on Porn” and “YBOP (our most frequently used nickname)”:

The URL for the counterfeit site was registered on March 13th, 2019:

Although the Whois Record withholds the identity of the registrant, those apparently responsible for this unlawful trademark infringement can presumably be found among the infringing site’s so-called “Experts”: https://www.realyourbrainonporn.com/experts.

To promote their new site, while maliciously disparaging Gary Wilson and the legitimate YourBrainOnPorn, the creators of the imposter site created a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/BrainOnPorn), YouTube channel, Facebook page, and published a press release.

Twitter account: Judge for yourself whether the imposter site and its “experts” further the interests of the porn industry or the authentic search for scientific truth by perusing this collection of RealYBOP tweets. Written in Dr. Nicole Prause’s distinctive, misleading style, the tweets extol the benefits of porn, misrepresent the current state of the research, and troll individuals and organizations Prause has previously harassed.

Facebook:

YouTube:

Press release: In a further attempt to confuse the public, the press release falsely claims to originate from Gary Wilson’s home town – Ashland, Oregon. (None of the imposter site’s “experts” live in Oregon, let alone Ashland.)

In addition, the creators of the imposter site registered a reddit account (user/sciencearousal) to spam porn recovery forums reddit/pornfree and reddit/NoFap with promotional drivel, claiming porn use is harmless and disparaging YourBrainOnPorn.com and Gary Wilson (see their reddit comments below). These comments, in Prause’s style, promote her studies, attack the concept of porn addiction, disparage Wilson and YBOP, belittle men in recovery, and defame porn skeptics. It’s important to note that Prause has a long, documented history of employing numerous aliases to post on porn recovery forums.

On April 25th, the Sciencearousal username appeared on Wikipedia, inserting links and deleting legitimate material about pornography’s effects. (On April 17 one of Sciencearousal’s aliases tried to do the same: SecondaryEd2020). See the scienceofarousal Wikipedia edits below. This campaign of misinformation is business-as-usual, as these 2 pages have documented over 30 apparent, illicit sock-puppets of Prause (one of the new site’s “experts”), which she has created to insert her propaganda and defame individuals and organizations: page 1, page 2. (Wikipedia’s rules prohibit sock-puppets.)

The legitimate YBOP, this website, stands by its brand, services and resources and is taking legal steps to address the infringing and unfair activities of the “Real Your Brain On Porn” site.


Why not revert to ScienceOfArousal.com?

Why did these self-proclaimed experts change their site name to mirror our website’s name, when their first-choice URL was ScienceOfArousal.com? Proof: copy & paste this URL into your browser. It will redirect you to “realyourbrainonporn” – https://www.scienceofarousal.com. Why do they now claim that they have been censored by a request to cease their trademark infringement, when they could simply revert to their erstwhile brand name ScienceOfArousal.com and continue to operate freely and legally?

SCREENSHOT FROM APRIL 16, 2019, when SOA first appeared

We have never attempted to censor opposing views and critiques, unlike one of the Alliance “experts,” Dr. Prause, who has repeatedly tried to remove evidence of her behavior with groundless DMCA takedown requests. We simply ask that that these vocal spokespersons hold forth from their original pulpit, the URL and brand name “Science of Arousal” (ScienceOfArousal.com). And that they relinquish the subsequent name they employed along with the corresponding trademark application (for a name that YBOP has operated under for almost 10 years). Why do they engage in these apparent attempts to suppress traffic to our website and confuse the public?

On to RealYBOP’s social media accounts.

“RealYBOP Twitter account”: Attempted trademark grab includes a Twitter account with a pro-porn industry agenda

Here is a full collection of tweets by the new site (all of which are written in Prause’s distinctive, misleading style). These were compiled for legal reasons. Judge for yourself, do they further the interests of the porn industry or the authentic search for scientific truth? Below we offer select RealYBOP tweets, revealing Prause’s familiar agenda.

Note: the twitter account for RealYBOP has yet to tweet a study reporting negative outcomes related to porn… even though the vast preponderance of pornography studies report negative outcomes. This alone exposes both accounts as promoting the porn industry’s agenda.

We start with the very first tweet by Real YBOP. Notice that about half of the retweets were by accounts associated with the porn industry. Note: As the RealYBOP account had no followers at that point, it means these accounts were likely notified via email. In fact, PornHub was the second account to retweet this, indicating a coordinated effort between PornHub and the RealYBOP account!

PornHub was the second account to retweet the above, but a RealYBOP listed expert, Victoria Hartman, was the first:

Evidence that RealYBOP Twitter and website are in cahoots with the porn industry?

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Just as Prause often does, RealYBOP trolls an account that claims porn use may cause problems:

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Trolling another porn skeptic:

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Just like Prause, RealYBOP attacks state resolutions about porn:

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RealYBOP tweeting under a Ley tweet libeling Gary Wilson (Prause & Ley’s top targets are Wilson and YBOP). Who else but Prause would do this?

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Just as Prause often does, RealYBOP cites Taylor Kohut’s oulier non-quantitative study on relationships:

Taylor Kohut’s skewed qualitative paper is thoroughly dismantled here: Perceived Effects of Pornography on the Couple Relationship: Initial Findings of Open-Ended, Participant-Informed, “Bottom-Up” Research (2016), Taylor Kohut, William A. Fisher, Lorne Campbell. The intention behind this Taylor Kohut study is to (attempt to) counter the over 65 studies linking porn use to negative effects on relationships.

RealYBOP trolling Skeptic Magazine editor Michael Shermer (who published 2 articles by Gary Wilson and Phil Zimbardo).

Prause and Ley have often disparaged Dr. Zimbardo: Summer, 2018: Prause & David Ley attempt to smear renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo

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Again, trolling a thread to spread propaganda and falsehoods. RealYBOP is lying about the World Health Organization’s diagnostic manual the ICD-11, as Prause did in 50 preceding tweets, and in her Slate article: Debunking “Why Are We Still So Worried About Wat­­ching Porn?”, by Marty Klein, Taylor Kohut, and Nicole Prause (2018).

RealYBOP mimics all of Prause’s favorite talking points in this second tweet.

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Next up: Promoting a new study on female porn stars, which reported an expected finding: lower rates of sexual dysfunction than the general population. BUT RealYBOP did not tweet a study by the same research group, which found much higher rates of ED in male performers! The research survey of male adult film actors published in 2018 reported 37% of male porn stars, ages 20-29, had moderate to severe erectile dysfunction (the IIEF, which measures performance during partnered sex, is the standard urology test for erectile function).

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Prause’s number 1 obsession. This tweet is about Gary Wilson and the study involving 7 Navy doctors, which has been a Prause obsession for 4 years running: Prause’s efforts to have Behavioral Sciences review paper (Park et al., 2016) retracted. The paper in question: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (Park et al., 2016). As of early 2019, Park et al., 2016 has been cited by over 40 other peer-reviewed papers, and is the most viewed paper in the history of the journal Behavioral Sciences.

Two lies in the RealYBOP tweet:

  1. Real YBOP lies about replication, as Park et al., 2016 was review of the literature, and the new study was survey data from a naval urology clinic. (You can’t “replicate” a review.)
  2. The authors of the new paper believe it supports the existence of porn-induced ED.

The authors of the current study do not agree with spin and omissions by “realYBOP.” The US Navy doctors believe their data lend support to the existence of porn-induced ED (see screenshots). They suspect sexual conditioning, rather than porn addiction (which is what YBOP has said for years). Graph:

The above study was presented at the American Urological Association’s 2017 meeting – Study sees link between porn and sexual dysfunction (2017).

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In the following 4-tweet series, RealYBOP posts on Gary Wilson’s thread. Both Prause and RealYBOP blocked Wilson so they could sneak tweets onto his threads. Are they afraid that Wilson will debunk their misinformation?

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April, 28th, 2019 – RealYBOP trolls a few old tweets by Director of Abolition for Exodus Cry, Laila Mickelwait. This is no coincidence as Prause has harassed and libeled Exodus Cry, their CEO Benjamin Nolot, and Director Laila Mickelwait. For details see this section of Prause page #2: February, 2019: Prause falsely accuses Exodus Cry of fraud. Asks twitter followers to report the non-profit to the Missouri attorney general (for spurious reasons), Appears to have edited the CEO’s Wikipedia page.

RealYBOP tweets under 2-week old tweet, misrepresnting the reserach (sounds exactly like Prause)

RealYBOP trolls another old Mickelwait thread, informing her that Norman Doidge is mistaken about porn-induced ED:

Here are some”actual scientists”: 30 studies linking porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. The first 6 studies in the list demonstrate causation, as participants eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions.

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There are many more RealYBOP tweets on this page (which are collected for legal reasons).


The experts create a Reddit account (Sciencearousal) to promote “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” while disparaging Gary Wilson & the legitimate “Your Brain On Porn”

On April 13, 2019 RealYBOP “experts” created a reddit account user/sciencearousal to troll and spam reddit porn recovery forums, usually posting wherever Gary Wilson’s name or “Your Brain On Porn” appeared. Until otherwise informed, we must assume that user/sciencearousal speaks (defames?) for all the “experts” listed on their collective website: https://www.realyourbrainonporn.com/experts.

Sciencearousal’s first post boldly references to the imposter site “Your Brain On Porn”:

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More trolling/spamming:

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Trolling a 2-month old post about Gary Wilson, disparaging him:

The above comments mirror those made by both Nicole Prause (and her many aliases) and David Ley. The defamatory and malicious comments began appearing in July, 2013, a few days after Wilson published a critique of Prause ‘s first EEG study. The comments are very similar in content and tone. In the beginning Prause employed dozens of fake usernames to post on porn recovery forums, Quora, Wikipedia, and in the comment sections under articles. Prause rarely used her real name or her own social media accounts.

That all changed after UCLA chose not to renew Prause’s contract (around January, 2015). Freed from any oversight and now self-employed, Prause began to put her name to falsehoods, openly cyber-harassing multiple individuals and organizations on social media and elsewhere. As Prause’s primary target was Wilson (hundreds of social media comments along with behind-the-scenes email campaigns), it became necessary to monitor and document Prause’s tweets and posts. This was done for her victims’ protection, and crucial for any future legal actions. These 2 pages document hundreds of incidents of harassment and documented defamation:

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Once again, comments mirror those made by Prause (and her many aliases), disparaging Wilson. In addition, Sciencearousal misrepresents the state of the research, promotes the porn industry’s agenda, and informs a r/pornfree member that porn use is positive for 99% of the population:

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Sciencearousal trolls another thread mentioning “Your Brain On Porn”:

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Sciencearousal trolls another thread mentioning “Your Brain On Porn”. She posts a comment in a one-person subreddit that spams NoFap. The pots is a 2012 rant about Gary Wilson’s TEDx talk, by ReaYBOP “expert” Jason Winters:

Jason Winters rant was thoroughly debunked on these 2 extensive pages:

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Sciencearousal trolls a thread mentioning Gary Wilson’s book, disparaging both: Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction

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As Prause and her internet aliases have done countless times, Sciencearousal disparages Wilson’s TEDx talk:

There’s evidence that Prause (and some of the other “experts” listed on “RealYBOP”) harassed TED for 5 straight years… until its biased “science curator” gave in (the curator only has a bachelor’s degree in writing, not science) and placed an unmerited note on the talk. In reality everything in the TEDx talk is fully supported, with hundreds of new studies supporting its assertions since the talk was given (March, 2012). See these 2 extensive pages for scientific support for Wilson’s talk:

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Sciencearousal continues to disparage Wilson while try to persuade the world that RealYBOP accurately represents the current state of the research (it doesn’t):

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More inaccurate, unsupported claims by Sciencearousal. Continued attacks on Wilson:

Incidentally, the imposter site features cherry-picked studies, while excluding nearly every study linking porn use to negative outcomes (that is, the majority of porn studies). In those few RealYBOP studies listed that did report negative outcomes, RealYBOP omits such findings from its descriptions. Thanks to YBOP’s curated lists of relevant studies anyone can easily identify RealYBOP’s bias:

  1. RealYBOP omitted all 43 neurological studies on porn users and CSB subjects, except for Prause et al., 2015 (RealYBOP doesn’t tell the readers about the 8 peer-reviewed papers that say that Prause’s EEG study actually supports addiction model).
  2. RealYBOP omitted all but two of these70 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. It misled the reader on those 2 studies (and others in the “love” category): as both link porn use to poorer relationship satisfaction or more infidelity: study 1, study 2.
  3. RealYBOP omitted all 22 recent neuroscience-based literature reviews & commentaries, authored by some of the top neuroscientists in the world. All 21 papers support the addiction model.
  4. RealYBOP omitted every study on this list of over 25 studies linking porn use to “un-egalitarian attitudes” toward women and sexist views. It omitted this 2016 meta-analysis of 135 studies assessing the effects of porn and sexual media use on beliefs, attitudes and behaviors: Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995–2015.
  5. RealYBOP omitted all but two of the papers in this list of over 35 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms (all signs and symptoms associated with addiction). The two studies are by Nicole Prause and Alexander Štulhofer, whose carefully crafted write-ups mislead the reader: study 1 (Prause et al., 2015 – again); study 2 by Štulhofer.
  6. RealYBOP omitted all but three of the papers in this list of over 30 studies linking porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. Not surprisingly, the 3 studies are by Alexander Štulhofer, Joshua Grubbs, and James Cantor. In a blatant example of science deniers misrepresenting their own studies, the actual data in all 3 papers in fact reported links between sexual problems and porn use or porn addiction: study 1 by Štulhofer; study 2 by Grubbs; study 3 by James Cantor.
  7. RealYBOP omitted all but two of the 26 studies countering the talking point that sex and porn addicts “just have high sexual desire” (same two papers misrepresented in the previous list: study by Štulhofer; study by James Cantor).
  8. RealYBOP omitted all the papers in this list of over 65 studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health and poorer cognitive outcomes.
  9. RealYBOP omitted all 250 studies in this comprehensive list of peer-reviewed papers assessing porn’s effect on adolescents.

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Sciencearousal posts, spamming porn addiction recovery site reddit/NoFap:

Incidentally, Prause has spent years defaming and harassing Nofap founder Alexander Rhodes. See these sections documenting Prause and Ley’s unethical harassment and defamation:

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Concurrently, sciencearousal creates a post, spamming porn addiction recovery site reddit/pornfree:

Sciencearousal posts 17 comments under the above post. Many comments involve defamation and disparagement of Wilson and this website.

This comment is identical to emails, social media posts, and Wikipedia edits by Prause. Prause fabricates a story that Wilson is being paid off by a charity. Not so, as documented.

For documentation of Prause’s lies and harassment related to the charity see:

Sciencearousal continues with falsehoods and disparagement:

As for cherry-picking, YBOP exposes many of RealYBOP’s “experts” as the cherry-pickers in this article: Porn Science Deniers Alliance (AKA: “Real Your Brain On Porn”)

Sciencearousal’s “expert” continues with defamation of Wilson and a Scottish charity:

More falsehoods and disparagement of Wilson and YBOP:

When called out for blatant trademark infringement, Sciencearousal accuses a r/pornfree member of “libel”:

Note: everyone on r/pornfree is aware of the legitimate YBOP, as a link to YourBrainOnPorn.com has been in the right-hand sidebar there for years.

When called out Sciencearousal responds by accusing the pornfree member of “misrepresenting the science”:

Sciencearousal escalates:

Pointing out blatant trademark infringement by RealYBOP is mischaracterized as “attacking scientists.”

Sciencearousal’s comments become increasingly bizarre:

No one accused anyone of “being in porn.” However, a few r/pornfree members wondered in comments if Sciencearousal might just be Prause. They, and the r/pornfree moderator, were obviously aware of Prause’s past history of employing various aliases to spread her propaganda on r/pornfree. Prause has long had an odd habit of creating most of her usernames from 2-4 capitalized words (i.e. GaryWilsonStalker). See list of her apparent aliases below. While many of the usernames and comment were deleted, a few examples with content remain:

  • https://www.reddit.com/user/SexMythBusters
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/ReadMoreAndMore
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/HeartInternetPorn
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/FightPower
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/DallasLandia
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/CupOJoe2010
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/GaryWilsonPervert
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/PenisAddict
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/DataScienceLA
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/AskingForProof
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/JumpinJackFlashZ0oom
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/fappygirlmore
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/locuspocuspenisless
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/ijdfgo
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/vnwpwejfb
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/alahewakbear
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/gjacwo
  • http://www.reddit.com/user/SearchingForTruthNot
  • http://www.reddit.com/user/DontDoDallas
  • http://www.reddit.com/user/HighHorseNotOn
  • http://www.reddit.com/user/SoManyMalts
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/TruthWithOut
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/RevealingAll
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/sinwvon
  • https://www.reddit.com/user/sciencearousal

Many more (apparent) Prause aliases are exposed here, and here.

When asked which RealYBOP “expert” they might be, Sciencearousal plays the victim:

Questioned as to ‘which model of what’ RealYBOP is claiming to falsify, Sciencearousal evades:

When asked for a second time to divulge identity, Sciencearousal resorts to disparaging YBOP and fabricating incidents:

Like Prause, Ley and some of the other RealYBOP “experts” often do, Sciencearousal disparages Don Hilton, Rob Weiss, IITAP and CSATs:

Several sections documenting Prause and Ley’s history of defaming and harassing CSAT’s, Don Hilton MD, and Rob Weiss:

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Sciencearousal tunes up a few days later on r/NoFap, telling us that masturbation, not porn is the real problem. (Apparently, porn must be protected at all costs, even if it means throwing masturbation under the bus.)

Prause and Ley have been campaigning to blame masturbation for over 3 years: Sexologists deny porn-induced ED by claiming masturbation is the problem (2016), while simultaneously insisting that anyone mentioning porn-related problems is anti-masturbation. (Huh?)

——————

Sciencearousal on r/NoFap once again trying to convince men with problematic porn use that masturbation, not porn, is the real culprit. Also falsely claims that 7 labs have independently confirmed her assertion (simply untrue).

As for peer-reviewed data that quitting improves outcomes, see the first 9 studies on this page: Over 75 Studies demonstrating internet use & porn use causing negative outcomes & symptoms, and brain changes.

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June 7th, 2019: realyourbrainonporn twitter account and reddit user scienceofarousal tune up on a smear campaign they initiated. RealYBOP falsely claims the “anti-porn” movement is rooted in hate groups.

As RealYBOP was tweeting, the RealYBOP Reddit account (user/sciencearousal) was spamming r/nofap with the Kuznia article, implying that r/nofap is a hate group:

Sciencearousal (Prause) followed up her post with what on the surface appears to be an uncharacteristically sincere answer:

However, closer examination reveals a link to one of Prause & Ley’s all time favorite propaganda articles: a 2016 David Duke article with a link to Gary Wilson’s TEDx talk. Ley and Prause have used this over and over to suggest (falsely) that Wilson is allied with Duke. That’s what sciencearousal is trying to do with her oh-so-reasonable comment (hoping not to be deleted). Disgusting ploy.

A few more examples:

Prause immediately retweeted it (then later deleted her tweet):

Wilson’s TEDx talk has some 11 million views, so thousands of folks of all stripes have linked to (and recommended) Wilson’s talk, “The Great Porn Experiment.” How does this implicate Gary Wilson as a “white supremacist?” It doesn’t, of course. This ridiculous assertion is like suggesting all dog lovers are Nazis because Hitler loved his dogs.


The “experts” create two aliases to edit Wikipedia, inserting links to RealYourBrainOnporn.com while deleting legitimate material about pornography’s effects.

On April 24th, the Sciencearousal username appeared on Wikipedia, inserting links to RealYourBrainOnporn.com and deleting legitimate material about pornography’s effects. This wasn’t Sciencearousal’s first attempt, as an alias (SecondaryEd2020) tried to do the same on April 17th. (Wikipedia’s rules prohibit sock-puppets, but pro-porn posters seem immune from its rules.) Screenshot of the Pornography Wikipedia talk page with SecondaryEd2020 and Sciencearousal, trying to convince other Wikipedia editors to allow her to cite “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com”:

Eventually Wikipedia banned both Sciencearousal and SecondaryEd2020 as sockpuppets of NeuroSex/Prause (several more sockpuppets are still being investigated): wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_NeuroSex. (These 2 pages document over 20 apparent illicit sock-puppets of Nicole Prause, created to insert her propaganda and defame individuals and organizations: page 1, page 2.)

We present further evidence that Sciencearousal and SecondaryEd2020 and NeuroSex all are Prause.

April 14, 2019: SecondaryEd2020 attempting to insert “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” into the Pornography Addiction Wikipedia page:

Within a few a days SecondaryEd2020 was banned as yet another sockpuppet of NeuroSex (Prause) – but that didn’t prevent Prause from creating another sockpuppet.

A few days later Prause created Sciencearousal, editing the Pornography Addiction Wikipedia page with material mirroring previous edits by other Prause sockpuppets. For example, Sciencearousal deletes well-known neurological studies by addiction neuroscientists (Neurobiology of Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Emerging Science (Kraus et al., 2016); HPA Axis Dysregulation in Men With Hypersexual Disorder (Chatzittofis, 2015):

Sciencearousal inserts the infamous 2016 AASECT proclamation (asserting sex addiction doesn’t exist) and disparages America’s top addiction experts at The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Numerous Prause sockpuppets have inserted the same edits.

It must be stated that AASECT is not a scientific organization and cited nothing to support the assertions in its own press release – rendering its opinion meaningless. Most importantly AASECT’s proclamation was pushed through by Michael Aaron and a few other AASECT members using unethical “guerrilla tactics” as Aaron admitted in this Psychology Today blog post: Analysis: How the AASECT Sex Addiction Statement Was Created. For accurate accounting of AASECT’s propaganda, we suggest: Decoding AASECT’s “Position on Sex Addiction, Here’s to Hope for a Change, Alternative Facts: AASECT and the Anti Sex Addiction Rant, and The Revealing Backstory to the AASECT Position Statement on Sex/Porn Addiction.

Giving herself away, Sciencearousal adds two Nicole Prause papers to the pornography addiction page: (1) Modulation of Late Positive Potentials by Sexual Images in Problem Users and Controls Inconsistent with ‘Porn Addiction’ (Prause et al., 2015), and Analysis of “Data do not support sex as addictive” (Prause et al., 2017)

Both papers thoroughly exposed on these 2 pages:

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Sciencearousal went on to edit Prause’s other obsession, the Wikipedia page of academic publisher MDPI. As explained in other elsewhere, Prause is obsessed with MDPI because (1) Behavioral Sciences published two articles that Prause disagrees with (because they discussed papers by her, among hundreds of papers by other authors), and (2) Gary Wilson is a co-author of Park et al., 2016. Prause has a long history of cyberstalking and defaming Wilson, chronicled in this very extensive page. The two papers:

Prause immediately insisted that MDPI retract Park et al., 2016. The professional response to scholarly articles one disapproves of is to publish a comment outlining any objections. Behavioral Sciences’s parent company, MDPI, invited Prause to do this. She declined. Instead of publishing a formal comment, she unprofessionally turned to threats and social media (and most recently the Retraction Watch blog) to bully MDPI into retracting Park et al., of which I am a co-author with 7 US Navy physicians (including two urologists, two psychiatrists and a neuroscientist). In addition, she informed MDPI that she had filed complaints with the American Psychological Association. She then filed complaints with all the doctors’ medical boards. She also pressured the doctors’ medical center and Institutional Review Board, causing a lengthy, thorough investigation, which found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the paper’s authors. Prause also complained repeatedly to COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). COPE finally wrote MDPI with a hypothetical inquiry about retraction, based on Prause’s narrative that the “patients weren’t consented.” MDPI thoroughly re-investigated the consents obtained by the doctors who authored the paper, as well as US Navy policy around obtaining consents. On and on Prause went, including employing multiple aliases to edit MDPI Wikipedia pages inserting falsehoods about Wilson, his coauthors. and the paper. For much more, see: From 2015 through 2019: Prause’s efforts to have Behavioral Sciences review paper (Park et al., 2016) retracted.

Below are examples of Prause (as Sciencearousal) inserting her usual drivel. First, she tried to insert a mistake by the Norwegian Register, who accidentally downgraded MDPI’s rating from the normal “1” to a “0”.

The downgraded rating was a clerical error, and had long been resolved on the MDPI Wikipedia page. Prause knows the zero rating was a clerical error, yet she tweeted last month that MDPI was downgraded and that MDPI is a predatory journal (both are false and both are in Sciencearousal’s Wikipedia edit):

Prause (as Sciencearousal) also inserted her usual set of falsehoods related to Park et al., 2016 and Gary Wilson:

May 5, 2109: Sciencearousal appeals her ban as a sockpuppet of NeuroSex. Wikipedia informs her they made no mistake (they know she is lying):

As stated, we know of at least 30 other likely sockpuppets she has used to edit Wikipedia:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/ScienceIsForever
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/PatriotsAllTheWay
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/76.168.99.24
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/ScienceEditor
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/JupiterCrossing
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/NotGaryWilson
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Neuro1973
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/209.194.90.6
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/172.91.65.30
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/130.216.57.166
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/71.196.154.4
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Editorf231409
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Cash_cat
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/TestAccount2018abc
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Suuperon
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/NeuroSex
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Defender1984
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/OMer1970
  19. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/185.51.228.245
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/23.243.51.114
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/71.196.154.4
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/130.216.57.166
  23. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/67.129.129.52
  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/SecondaryEd2020
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Vjardin2
  26. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/204.2.36.41
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Wikibhw
  28. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Baseballreader899
  29. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/NewsYouCanUse2018
  30. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Sciencearousal
  31. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/101.98.39.36

There are probably many more we don’t know about…. and many more to come. A few sections of the Prause pages documenting some her Wikipedia sockpuppets (aliases):


May 1, 2019 cease and desist letters to those behind the infringing site (the “Experts”).

On May 1, 2019 the attorneys for the common-law owner of the trademarks “Your Brain On Born” and “YourBrainOnPorn.com” (this website) sent a cease and desist letter to all of those who appeared to be behind the infringing site (the “Experts”). A second letter also demands that Dr. Prause abandon her trademark-squatting application for the marks “Your Brain On Porn” and “YourBrainOnPorn.com.” Screenshots of Gary Wilson’s Cease & Desist letter:

Instead of complying with the letters’ reasonable, well documented demands, a number of the Experts responded with a derisory Twitter rage storm, baseless accusations that their “free speech rights” were being violated, and indications of malicious intent, such as threats to go to the press to have their infringing activities mischaracterized as “free speech.”

Here’s a Twitter response to the C&D letter by one of the experts, Lynn Comella, who incorrectly spins this as squelching her freedom of speech. PornHelp.org educates Comella. Eventually RealYBOP responds with a link that only Prause ever posts:

The old CBC link is mischaracterized by RealYBOP, as it has always been by Prause. It’s part of a very long saga, other highlights of which include Prause’s Twitter account being permanently banned, Prause publicly asking Gary Wilson about the size of penis…and so much more. See:

On the same Lynn Comella thread PornHelp.org educates a confused PhD:

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Real YBOP “expert” Victoria Hartmann joins the fray: with same drivel about “free speech”:

———————

Real YBOP “expert” Roger Libby joins the fray, claiming “intimidation” and “good science”:

——————-

A tweet by Chris Donaghue, disparaging Gary Wilson, was later deleted:

——————–

Real YBOP “expert” David Ley responds, claiming that he is regularly “threatened” (in all these years never provides a legitimate example of a threat). RealYBOP tweets “100%”:

Ley continues: (later deleted) –

——————

RealYBOP (Prause) is getting one of her allies to write an article:

———————-

RealYBOP responds in her usual style:

——————–

More false claims about being silenced:

——————–

Prause & RealYBOP mirror each other’s tweets:

RealYBOP continues her rampage against Wilson:

Above tweet is nearly identical to 2 earlier tweets by Prause.

The journalist in question is Tracy Clark-Flory, who contacted Gary Wilson on May 22, 2019, with the following request:

I’m a reporter at Jezebel hoping to speak with you today. I’m writing about the recent conflict between the sites Your Brain on Porn and Real Your Brain On Porn, and I’m hoping to chat briefly by phone.

This means that Clark-Flory had been working on this story for 3 weeks before contacting Gary Wilson. Clark-Flory is sending a last-minute, so she can claim Wilson was contacted. For over 2 weeks, this notice has appeared at the bottom of several realYBOP pages:

There is little doubt that Clark-Flory’s article will be nothing more than a fictional account fed to her by Ley and Prause. Clark-Flory has a very long history of publishing stories in support of Prause and Ley’s agenda, usually claiming that porn use causes no problems or is largely beneficial. A few examples of Clark-Flory’s work related to pornography. Much bias?

  1. The best of Tumblr porn
  2. Is the government screwing pornographers?
  3. The war on lad mags
  4. Does porn cause violence? Morality in Media says evidence proves that porn causes does – but the faith-based organization is wrong
  5. Academia does porn
  6. Report: Sex addiction is BS
  7. Does porn hurt relationships?
  8. Study: Porn stars aren’t “damaged”
  9. GOP, hands off my porn!
  10. What is ethical porn?
  11. Santorum’s bad porn science
  12. Santorum is using kids to attack porn
  13. A new breed of porn CEO — female
  14. Porn is coming for your daughter!
  15. Anti-Porn Conservatives Turn a Porn Performer’s University Speech Into a Dumb-Ass Scandal
  16. Halsey’s Support for Sex Workers Has Nothing to Do With Trafficking
  17. Porn That Takes Senior Sex Seriously
  18. A Troll’s Alleged Attempt to Purge Porn Performers from Instagram
  19. The Porn Industry Is Rethinking How It Works With HIV Positive Performers
  20. ‘It Is Definitely Pee’: The Ecstatic, Pedialyte-Fueled Art of Performing Squirting in Porn
  21. This 1748 Erotic Novel Sure Can Describe a Dick!
  22. I.P Tumblr, Which Just Banned Porn
  23. Hugh Hefner’s Copy of Marilyn Monroe’s PlayboyIs Up For Auction for Creeps Into ‘Desperation’ Nudes
  24. Is ‘Feminist’ Porn Getting Its #MeToo Moment?
  25. Stoya Is ‘Over’ Talking About Feminist Porn
  26. Hundreds of Sex Workers Rally for International Whores Day
  27. Instagram’s Censorship of #Stripper Sparks Outcry from Sex Workers and Allies (Updated)
  28. How to Watch Porn, According to Shutterstock
  29. ‘Dwayne Johnson’ and ‘DJ Khaled’ Porn Searches Are Surging Because People Wanna See ‘Em Eat it
  30. Erika Lust Says She Has an ‘Ethical’ Alternative to ‘Mass-Produced’ Porn
  31. Inside the Feminist Porn Film Tackling Emotional Abuse and Fat-Shaming
  32. Facing SESTA and Political Threats, Sex Worker Organizations Brace for Fallout
  33. Checklists, Safe Words, and Interrupted Orgasms: How Directors Are Navigating Consent During ‘Rough’ Porn Shoots
  34. Pornhub Launches $25k Sex Research Grant for College Students

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RealYBOP comes back with a bizarre tweet under a 2-week old libelous tweet by David Ley, who actually (falsely) stated that the “folks at YBOP threatened his life.” (This false felony-accusation is grounds for a “defamation per se” a lawsuit).

RealYBOP claims Wilson has a puppet account (he doesn’t) and of course fails to link to this imaginary puppet account.

Playing tag-team, Prause provides her legal expertise to the Twitterverse:

We all do. But perhaps she should read trademark law…as well as the 1st amendment.

Note: Your Brain On Porn will pursue any and all legal recourse to oppose trademark infringement.

Nicole Prause & David Ley libelous claim that Gary Wilson was fired from Southern Oregon University

Gary Wilson’s cyberstalker, Dr. Nicole Prause, prepared a libelous blog piece, which she posted on an adult industry website. It was removed after Wilson tweeted this. (Original url: http://mikesouth.com/scumbags/dr-nicole-prause-destroys-yourbrainonporn-dont-fall-22064/).

Article by University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse student newspaper (The Racquet) posts false police report by Nicole Prause (March, 2019)