All About Pornography

Pornography, more commonly referred to as porn, consists of sexually explicit material intended to sexually arouse. Today porn is viewable at the click of a button by anyone with an Internet connection, though it also comes in the forms of literature, audio, magazines, and more. What effect has the ubiquity of porn had on us? Is it a harmless pastime or a pernicious addiction? A fun way to add spice to a couple's life, a relationship destroyer, or the potential to be both?

The debate continues over whether pornography is detrimental to our sexual development and mental health. Detractors say it damages our intimacy and relationships. Proponents say it may help stem sexual offenses and promote a greater understanding of sexual diversity. Regardless of the final verdict, pornography continues to be a sensitive subject for most.

Recent posts on Pornography

Turns Out, Porn Doesn’t Kill Love

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 28, 2016 in Women Who Stray
A 1989 study found that porn made men love their wives less, but these findings could not be replicated in more recent research.

What Might Research Ethics Teach Us About Effect Size?

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on November 07, 2016 in Pop Psych
The curious world in which our complex minds are passive and acted upon by information probably doesn't exist, but people sometimes say it does.

6 Ways to Develop Sexual Integrity

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 04, 2016 in Women Who Stray
There ARE ways to help people develop sexual integrity, and to resolve the conflicts between their values and their sexual desires and behaviors.

Dueling Statistics: How Much of the Internet Is Porn?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on November 03, 2016 in All About Sex
Social conservatives say that the Internet is awash in porn. Academic researchers disagree. Who's right?

Kids Need Porn Literacy

By Marty Klein PhD on October 30, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Concerned that your children are accessing porn--and getting wrong ideas about sex? Help them develop Porn Literacy.

What Porn Really Does to Relationships

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Two new studies go beyond the simple assumption that pornography is bad for relationships.

Cheating? But It Was Just a Webcam!

As our lives have become increasingly digital, the once-clear line between monogamy and infidelity has blurred.

Bring on the "Inspiration Porn"

By Amy S.F. Lutz on October 19, 2016 in Inspectrum
Do stories of compassion and consideration objectify the disabled? In fact, we celebrate connection between different people all the time, as we should.

The Decline of Trust

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in Anxiety Files
In almost all areas of our lives trust has declined—and it has been on the decline for decades.

Online Pornography and Young Minds

By Shimi Kang M.D. on October 12, 2016 in The Dolphin Way
How pornography and sexual imagery may be affecting your kids, and what to do about it.

How and When to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

New research indicates that 90% of kids learn about sex from online porn.

The Top Ten Myths About Men’s Sexuality

By Joe Kort Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Understanding the Erotic Code
It is time to stop gender bias and catch therapists up to understanding what really is happening in men’s erotic universe.

Pornography: Great Fantasies, Poor Modeling

By Marty Klein PhD on September 29, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Are you looking at porn realistically? It is neither a documentary nor primarily violent.

No, You Cannot Get Attached to Porn

By David J Ley Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Blaming porn-related personal and relationship problems on addiction disturbance is the worst form of pseudoscience - it's also potentially iatrogenic.

The Problem With "Sex Positive"

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on September 19, 2016 in Minority Report
"Sex positive" is a popular term among certain therapists who believe there's nothing wrong with pornography. Yet if you listen to young people today, they'll tell you otherwise

When Porn Consumption Goes Up, Sex Crimes Go Down

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Contrary to media hysteria, research shows that when porn consumption goes up, sex crimes go down.

Condoms in Porn: A Solution in Search of a Problem

By David J Ley Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Women Who Stray
A proposed law in California intends to require condom use in porn. But do such restrictions have an impact on the safety of performers or viewers?

Pamela Anderson & Shmuley Boteach: "Porn is for Losers"

By Marty Klein PhD on September 05, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
An anti-masturbation clergyman and a Baywatch actress join forces to promote a moral panic.

How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex?

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 30, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Normal sexual behavior may be overpathologized (that is, treated as disordered when it is not) if a clinician fails to recognize the wide range of normal human sexual expression...

Repairing the Damage of Abstinence-Based Sex Education

By David J Ley Ph.D. on August 17, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Only through good, real-world, holistic sex education can our country recover from the damage we've done to teens by promoting abstinence.

Mars, Venus, and Infidelity 


Do men and women agree on the definition of infidelity?

Diagnosing Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 08, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Is compulsive sexual behavior a new disorder?

Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 05, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Why should we be concerned about compulsive sexual behavior? Pornography, which is just one part of compulsive sexual behavior, is a huge business, and as such, it is here to stay.

Dammed if You Do, Damned if You Don't

By Mark Borigini M.D. on August 01, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
When actor Michael Douglas announced that he suffered from HPV-related throat cancer in 2013, he alerted the world that HPV poses a threat to both women and men.

How Common Are Sex-Related Injuries?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 24, 2016 in Women Who Stray
People often report sex-related injuries, from masturbation or vigorous passion. How common are these experiences, and are they evidence of people being "out of control"?

Does It Matter Why Someone Looks at Porn?

A new study links “escapist porn use” to negative life consequences.

The GOP Anti-Porn Platform

What is surprising is that the Republican rightwingers see a “crisis” in the vast new interest in porn, now that sexual images can be streamed on smartphones.

GOP Declares War on Modern Sexuality

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Women Who Stray
The 2016 GOP convention is contemplating strident stances that express opposition to our society's sweeping changes to sexual values and behaviors.

The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness

Organization is a topic that's sweeping the internet. What is it about cleanliness that makes us feel so good? Here's a look at the science behind our need to be tidy.

Sacrificing Reality to Sexual Politics

By Marty Klein PhD on June 30, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Exaggerating or inventing stories to bolster social justice movements will eventually undermine social justice.