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New Survey Investigates Porn Addiction And Its Impact On Marriage

Addiction to pornography is a serious issue, particularly with the widespread availability of explicit material via the Internet, and a new survey commissioned by Proven Men Ministries reveals some interesting findings about how common pornography use may be and the potential for addiction. Proven Men Ministries is a Christian organization dedicated to helping men overcome addiction to pornography with a 12-week, Bible-based program, and they surveyed over 1,000 U.S. adults to gain further insight into pornography addiction and the impact it has on marital life and work.

Surveying Americans About Porn Use

Proven Men Ministries hired Barna Group to conduct a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults, and asked questions about both pornography use and sexual behavior. There were many elements to the survey, but among the most important were the questions about frequency of porn viewing, whether respondents thought their porn use was excessive, whether they watched porn at work and whether they saw themselves as having an addiction. There were also questions about related issues, including infidelity.

One-Third Of Young Men May Be Addicted To Pornography

Porn Addiction And Its Impact On Marriage - ItsCheating.comThe researchers found that about two-thirds of men (64 percent) in the U.S. view pornography at least monthly, and this figure rises to eight in 10 (79 percent) when men ages 18 to 30 are considered. For women, around two in 10 view pornography at least monthly, and for the 18-to-30 age group, this figure increases to around four in 10 women, according to the data. The frequency of porn viewing decreases with age, and although Christian men were comparable to their non-Christian counterparts in frequency of viewing, Christian women watch pornography only about half as much as the national average, the survey found.

When asked if they thought they should view less pornography, 36 percent of men believed they should, and 8 percent were unsure. This means 44 percent of men either believed they watched too much porn or weren’t sure, compared to just 19 percent of women. Again, this is highest in the lower age group, with the equivalent figure for 18-to 30-year-old men being 64 percent. When grouped according to marital status, more single men than married men thought they should watch less pornography, and again there was little difference between Christians and non-Christians.

When asked whether they thought they might be addicted to porn, 13 percent of men said “yes” and another 5 percent said they weren’t sure. This means that just under two in 10 (18 percent) men either think they’re addicted to pornography or aren’t sure, with this figure rising to one-third when 18-to-30-year-old men were considered. For women, this figure was just 3 percent. Christian men were more likely to think they were addicted, as were married men by a slim margin (this latter difference is smaller than the margin of error in the survey, indicating that the difference may not be a genuine one).

The statistics for porn use at work also reveal the grasp pornography has over people. As survey sponsor Joel Hesch points out, “if you get caught looking at porn at work you get fired, [so] viewing porn at work is a significant risk of harm.” The results show that 63 percent of men admitted to having viewed porn at work at least once in the last three months, as well as over one-third (36 percent) of women. Additionally, 14 percent of men aged 18 to 30 and 20 percent of men aged 31 to 49 admitted that they’d viewed porn at work at least 10 times in the last three months. With many employers operating zero-tolerance policies, this represents a serious risk to one’s livelihood, and is a potential sign of addiction.

The survey also asked questions about extramarital affairs, and found that the number of men and women admitting to having an affair is roughly similar to the numbers watching porn. Hesch takes this as a suggested correlation between extramarital affairs and pornography use, but while this is certainly plausible, the study itself did not establish a correlation between the two.

Imperfect Research, But Pornography Addiction Is A Serious Problem

There is little doubt that pornography addiction can cause wide-ranging harm to individuals and families, but there are some limitations to this study. The main issue is that it relied on self-reporting (so the numbers may well be underestimates), and this is particularly important when drawing conclusions about addiction. It’s not uncommon for people who are addicted to be in denial. In addition, it is not unusual for people who don’t suffer from an addiction to describe their behavior as an addiction. The number of genuine porn addicts is still likely to be shockingly high, but without a more robust method for determining addiction, the answers to the “addiction” question in this study need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Get Help For A Debilitating Addiction

Despite all of this, the survey will undoubtedly bring much-needed attention to the problem of pornography addiction, and will hopefully encourage those struggling with porn use to seek help. Like all addictions, compulsive pornography use is a serious problem that can lead to wide-ranging damage to your psychological and social well-being, disrupting relationships and leading to problems at work. Getting psychological support from experts in pornography addiction is the most effective way to overcome the problem before it’s too late to salvage your job or relationship.

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