Should compulsive sexual behavior be considered an addiction? (2016): Excerpt analyzing “Prause et al., 2015”

Link to original paper – Should compulsive sexual behavior be considered an addiction? (2016)

COMMENTS: This review, like the other papers, says that Prause et al., 2015 aligns with Kühn & Gallinat, 2014 (Citation 72) which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn. In other words, “porn addicts” were either desensitized or habituated, and needed greater stimulation than non-addicts

Excerpt Describing Prause et al., 2015 (Citation 73)

In contrast, other studies focusing on individuals without CSB have emphasized a role for habituation. In non-CSB men, a longer history of pornography viewing was correlated with lower left putaminal responses to pornographic photos, suggesting potential desensitization [72]. Similarly, in an event-related potential study with men and women without CSB, those reporting problematic use of pornography had a lower late positive potential to pornographic photos relative to those not reporting problematic use. The late positive potential is elevated commonly in response to drug cues in addiction studies [73]. These findings contrast to, but are not incompatible with, the report of enhanced activity in the fMRI studies in CSB subjects; the studies differ in stimuli type, modality of measure and the population under study. The CSB study used infrequently shown videos compared to repeated photos; the degree of activation has been shown to differ to videos versus photos and habituation may differ depending on the stimuli. Furthermore, in those reporting problematic use in the event-related potential study, the number of hours of use was relatively low [problem: 3.8, standard deviation (SD) = 1.3 versus control: 0.6, SD = 1.5 hours/week] compared to the CSB fMRI study (CSB: 13.21, SD = 9.85 versus control: 1.75, SD = 3.36 hours/week). Thus, habituation may relate to general use, with severe use potentially associated with enhanced cue-reactivity. Further larger studies are required to examine these differences.”


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  1. […] have been repeatedly discredited in the peer-reviewed literature (2013: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5.; 2015: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, […]

  2. […] critique that this study actually found desensitization/habituation in frequent porn users: 1, 2, 3, 4, […]

  3. […] or become aroused. Four peer-reviewed papers agree with this analysis of the study – 1, 2, 3, 4. Read an extensive […]

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