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Heavy Porn Use Harms Sex with Real Live Girls

Along with the reported exodus of young men from relationships with women comes an academic report that college-aged men are using online porn at epidemic levels, and its use is having a generally negative effect on their relationships with real live girls.

Researchers asked college men about their use of pornography; when they started, how they see it, how often, if they use it for masturbation, and how its use might affect their sexual experiences with real women. It’s not good news.

The researchers found what we already know: that porn use is now at epidemic levels and its use is starting younger and younger. According to a number of other studies cited by the authors, a majority of boys and girls will have seen hard-core porn by the time their reach 16-years-old. By age 17, 93% of boys and 62% of girls “have been exposed to pornography, with 66% of boys and 39% of girls have seen at least once form of pornography within the past year.”

The researches wanted to know if heavy porn use resulted in insecurities about penis size and performance, whether porn use becomes necessary to maintain sexual excitement, whether users integrated porn into sex, and if porn use negatively affects enjoyment of intimate but non-sexual behavior.

They found in surveying nearly 500 heterosexual male college students that porn is used a great deal, almost all of it on the Internet and almost all of it for free.

They found a correlation between regular porn use and the need to use porn for sexual arousal and that these heavy users are “more likely to integrate pornography in sexual activities,” and “men with high rates of pornography use expressed diminished enjoyment in the enactment of sexual intimate behaviors.”

On the upside, the survey found that men who used porn did not experience increased sexual insecurities.

One complaint of the researchers is that “exposure [to porn] is also associated with less progressive gender roles, an acceptance of more negative gender stereotypes, including a sexual hierarchy of dominant men and subservient women…”

Such results are hardly unknown or new to those who have been studying this issue. Four years ago, Princeton University hosted a conference called The Social Costs of Pornography where academics from a number of disciplines looked at how porn use is negatively affecting the individuals who use porn, those connected to users, and American society at large.

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