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Study: Porn Compulsion Shouldn't Be Labelled Addiction

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With easy access to technology, rates of so-called porn addiction have risen in recent years, with more clinicians willing to diagnose the disorder. However, a new study suggests that viewing pornography should not be classed with other disorders.

The study, conducted at The University of California in Los Angeles, found a reversal of the brain’s typical addiction response in study participants when they were shown sexual images. With the use of brain wave monitoring, participants who reported major problems controlling their viewing of sex films showed decreased brain reactions when shown the sexual images, rather than heightened activity as having a “porn addiction” would suggest.

Other studies have shown that people with drug or gambling addiction show an increased activity when they are shown pictures of their stimuli.

“This finding is important, because it shows a reversal of a part of the brain response that has been consistently documented in other substance addictions and gambling disorder,” the study author  said.

Defining whether or not pornography can be addictive could affect treatment.

“Labeling a person’s attempt to control urges a ‘sexual addiction’ may interfere with therapy approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that can reduce distressing sexual behaviors,” said co-author and psychologist Cameron Staley.

 

Related:

NIH Identifies Gene Variant Linked to AUD

Addiction May Affect Women's Brains More than Men's

Eye Color Linked with Alcoholism

 
 

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