Sat 1st Nov 2014 | Last updated: Fri 31st Oct 2014 at 16:19pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Comment & Blogs

Pornography can be as addictive and destructive as alcohol or heroin

Former lad’s mag editor Martin Daubney should be applauded for exposing the damage it does

By on Monday, 30 September 2013

Pornography addiction can work in the same way as addiction to alcohol or heroin

Pornography addiction can work in the same way as addiction to alcohol or heroin

People sometimes criticise my blogs when I raise scientific subjects, on the grounds that I know nothing whatever about science. That’s unfair; I once, very briefly, did something called “General Science” at school. But you don’t need to be a (rocket) scientist to know there is a fundamental difference between the questions raised by physics and those raised by metaphysics. It is only when science strays outside its own legitimate territory and thinks it knows the answers to theological questions that one has to point out that it doesn’t. I won’t mention names.

Anyway, it is good to be able to report that occasionally the two disciplines complement and support each other in their findings. Moralists and religious believers have long said that accessing pornography is morally and spiritually degrading; even if it doesn’t lead to actual criminal behaviour (though some in the legal profession, including some judges, do think there is a link), it is harmful to one’s humanity, one’s integrity and one’s self-respect. It is an ignoble activity.

Now a report on LifeSiteNews for 25 September by Kirsten Andersen, entitled “Porn activates the same addiction centres in the brain as alcohol and heroin” suggests that science has begun to endorse the harmful effects of pornography that spiritual directors and priests have known about for a long time. A study shortly to be published by Cambridge University researcher, Dr Valerie Voon, seems to confirm that porn use can become a physical addiction. Dr Voon studied 19 men aged 19-34 who had tried to relinquish pornography and failed, even after losing relationships and jobs because of their habit. She scanned their brains as they watched erotic imagery and found that “they displayed the same addiction responses as those of alcoholics shown ads for booze or drug abusers shown images of dealers”.

She stated, “We found greater activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum which is a reward centre, involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure. When an alcoholic sees an ad for a drink their brain will light up in a certain way and they will be stimulated in a certain way. We are seeing this same kind of activity in users of pornography.”

Andersen comments that “Similarities between the compulsive behaviour of porn users and those struggling with chemical addictions have long been noted by the mental health community, but Voon’s study is believed to be the first of its kind to study the actual physical signs of addiction in the brain in response to pornography exposure.”

Voon’s study is part of a documentary to be shown on Channel 4 later today called “Porn on the Brain.” The documentary will be presented by Martin Daubney, the former editor of the lads’ magazine Loaded from 2003-2010. An item on SPUC news for 28th September quotes Daubeney as saying that “an entire generation’s sexuality has been hijacked by grotesque online porn”. His documentary will examine how some people have lost their jobs, failed their exams or got into serious debt through using porn.

Daubney is now ashamed at the part he played when editing Loaded in encouraging young men to access hard pornography. The most interesting detail for me in this news item was Daubney’s admission that becoming a father and turning 40 had radically changed the way he looked at things. Becoming 40 is to enter middle age, often a time to reflect on one’s life so far and to change direction. And becoming a father is as overwhelming in its own way as becoming a mother: encountering the mystery of a new, unique life and the responsibility for shaping and raising it can be a Damascus road event – and I am not talking religion here anymore than Dr Valerie Voon is in her Cambridge study.

One of the most heart-warming stories I heard on this subject was related to me by a friend. When her two oldest sons were very young she asked her brother-in-law, an alcoholic, to babysit for them one evening. The experience of being responsible for these two innocent little boys for an evening made him reflect on his own shambolic life with its many shameful episodes- and he decided there and then to give up alcohol. This was many years ago and he has not touched a drop since.
I applaud Daubney’s courage in acknowledging publicly his own past failings – especially in an area as controversial as pornography.

  • Isaac

    I find this amusing because I doubt you’ve ever been in a real fight in your life, let alone a fight for your life. The quote refers to battles which are far different thing from an exchange of words on the net. You belittle by comparison.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    … and then you dare to complain about other people’s posting “tactics”

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Where in my last post was I impolite?

    I have no idea why you think that my comment concerns only one of your posts.

  • $20596475

    Then you are again guilty of that tactic of yours of selective quotes and subsequent distortion. That you also frequently complain of “straw men” being injected into threads is also a little cynical given this tendency of yours.

  • $20596475

    There you go again, attempting to shift the focus away from the criticism of your own tactics and inventing some that cannot possibly exist.

    As I have repeatedly told you there are no “atheistic dogmas”, let alone any “pet” ones. Some people who happen not to believe in a deity might have dogmas, which arise from other aspects of their lives , but not all, so they cannot be “atheist dogmas”. It is just a pet theory of people like you who try to find some mud to hurl at those who disagree with them.

    If I were you I would feel thoroughly ashamed of such small minded tactics.

  • Isaac

    I have never complained about your tactics… just named them. I haven’t got round to commenting on their effectiveness yet.

    I think your new one which involves condemnation is ill-advised, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Isaac

    Still can’t give an answer?

    Do you, knowingly, change comments after they have been replied to?

  • Isaac

    You are good, you unite people.

    Just not in the way you want.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I have never complained about your tactics… just named them

    The hypocrisy of this comment is as blatant as it is self-serving, supercilious, and unpleasantly-minded.

    I think your new one which involves condemnation is ill-advised, but that’s just my opinion.

    This from an individual who has just posted the expression of his desire to see the Catholic moral teachings overthrown and destroyed. Never mind the double standards, you simply seek to unload your own flaws onto the responsibility of others.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    ???

    I do realise that your knowledge of rhetorics is non-existent, private, but to disagree with your own unforced false statement that you are “polite”, given your daily regimen of personal attack, insult, and ad hominem, is hardly a “strawman”.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    As I have repeatedly told you there are no “atheistic dogmas”

    Not true — you have instead repeatedly demonstrated your dogmatic belief in the creed that “atheism has no dogmas”.

    It is just a pet theory of people like you who try to find some mud to hurl at those who disagree with them

    False, it is a statement of truth derived from understanding the nature of belief systems in the structural make-up of each individual human rationality. Not that I expect you to address this, expecting you instead to provide some form of personal or corporate attack against either myself personally or your so-called (imaginary) “people like me” strawmen.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    That the enemies of the Catholic Truth should unite against those who defend it is surprising not in the slightest.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    It seems to have escaped your “keen intellect” that the answer has already been provided. See if you can spot the sarcasm.

  • Isaac

    Why is it that those who are so fond of “Moral Truths” seem incapable of telling a simple, plain old, normal truth?

    Treat me as stupid, just as stupid as you can imagine…..just give a simple answer I can understand.

    Do you, knowingly, change comments after they have been replied to?

  • Acleron

    This argument is always amusing. To claim that no dogma is actually dogma in itself is obviously incorrect. But taking it to be true and holding that it is a bad characteristic is criticising your own belief which is only composed of dogma.

  • $74497298

    It is not only conservative Catholics who hold this view (the less young people know about it the better), it’s part of our Christian heritage.

  • $20596475

    There is no dogma involved. I am just stating a simple truth. That I have to say it rather frequently is only because of your own dogmatic insistence in repeating your lie. It needs to be said. Not because I have the slightest hope of you ever accepting it, for your misbelief is very deep. It is so those of a more reflective mind might be able to see what the truth really is.

    What you claim is just untrue. Atheists are a completely disparate group with nothing joining one to another other than none have any belief in a deity. Most are completely passive about their lack of belief. There is, and there cannot be, any dogma involved.

  • $20596475

    If that is what I said, maybe. All I said was that your claims are cynical given your tendency to distort and misquote. Such tactics are not that far away from the “straw man” tactic. Both are intended to divert the debate by introducing things that weren’t actually being discussed.

  • Isaac

    MC… I now bow before your patience!

    How do you do it? I went all lowest common denominator. One side of a thread was censored, but I think mine was very much on the cusp. In fairness I think, perhaps, it was a little unfair, perhaps based on “previous”.

    I’m gonna try to be more polite in future, not get sucked into the temptation to be naff and insulting. I’ll also stop trying to be Matlock and accept that the people who know Truths are the most likely to have a limited grasp of the truth.

  • loveGodwithallyourheart

    … I have seen people claim porn is like using a drug like heroin.

    What I have not seen is that this is different from normal married sex

    I mean to say that normal married sex may be like using heroin, and is still licit.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    your own belief … is only composed of dogma

    LMAO

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    There is no dogma involved. I am just stating a simple truth

    You will not understand this, but those two statements are mutually incompatible with each other.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    /facepalm/

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    patience

    His blinkered and pig-headed stubbornness, you mean …

  • $20596475

    Dogma, OED definition:-

    “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true”

    As there is NO authority involved there cannot be any dogma.

    Truth exists without the need for an authority, but clearly you don’t understand this.

  • $20596475

    Patient? Trust me, VERY. Blinkered? No. Pig-headed? No. Stubborn? Yes, but I need to me.

  • $20596475

    Spot on!

  • $20596475

    No-one, so far as I can tell, is an enemy of The Catholic Faith here, with the possibly exception of yourself. You confuse your own indoctrination with Truth and project it as always true. You do more harm than any of your opponents.

  • Guest

    Then allow me be the first to suggest to you that intimacy in marriage differs from pornography and heroin addiction.

  • Isaac

    “You’re so vain you think this song is about ya”…

    Habits I’ve noticed.

    The others are that some people will presume you are using their tactics against them. So dishonesty is rife and simple observation is seen as a statement of intent or motive, even if you’re just pointing out what someone else said. Quote-mining is a given, being obtuse is a virtue..but your inability to understand the word-salad de jour means you are stupid. They can call you stupid but you are just giving ad-homs in every sentence.

    The constant insistence that atheism is a religion and questioning is heresy. Asserting that being a catholic with questions is bad, but haranguing certain parts of the hierarchy is good….. It’s all about which questions!

    I have to stop here… tired fingers!