Speaking in direct retort to a recent essay published by noted psychology figure Dr. Philip Zimbardo, another prominent psychologist has called for a greater adherence to "good science" when discussing the impact of pornography consumption and the likelihood of developing a true addiction. Dr. David J. Ley, a clinical psychologist and author, penned an impassioned essay for Psychology Today asserting that porn addiction—like its cousin sex addiction—is a concept deeply impacted by its frequent connections with "morality and religiosity" in those who openly refer to themselves as such addicts.
"I agree with Dr. Zimbardo’s conclusions," Dr. Ley writes. "We DO need to be having more open dialogue about the role that porn plays in our sexuality, and in the sexual education of our youth." However, Dr. Ley argues, that conversation may sadly be hindered if those at the forefront of that conversation continue to rely on methods plagued by the influence of "conformity theory" misleadingly presented as evidence.
According to Dr. Ley's rebuke of Dr. Zimbardo's insistence, much of the studies centered on understanding frequent viewers' relationship with pornography and its impact on their sexual experiences has been unfairly dominated by heterosexual male subjects. Furthermore, Dr. Ley directly references one of the same studies used by Dr. Zimbardo to perpetuate this porn addiction narrative:
"Dr. Valerie Voon, who conducted the Cambridge brain porn study cited by Dr. Zimbardo, as well as many others, has recently published a paper where she and her co-authors actually state that at this point, there is not a scientific consensus that porn or sex actually is an addiction, nor that this language is appropriate."
Adding that forcing someone into the identity of a "porn addict" only maximizes stress and fear related to one's sexual experiences, Dr. Ley makes specific note of religion-based morality's potential impact on the sense of guilt inspired by a so-called porn addiction. "Numerous research studies in the past year from authors such as Joshua Grubbs of Case Western and Alexander Stulhofer of Croatia, have consistently confirmed the role of morality and religiosity in the backgrounds of those who identify as sex or porn addicts," Dr. Ley writes, adding that the identity of such an addict has been shown to not be predicted by frequency.
Peep Dr. Ley's full study here, ensuring that you and your loved ones are forever gifted with the distinct pleasure of being well-informed.