- Pornography addiction is a guy thing
- Girls are not interested in visual porn
All human beings are hardwired with sexual desire, so both sexes can struggle with porn as well. Like other addictions, these struggles know no boundaries between chromosomes. We are all hardwired with the 3 “F’s” – Fight -Flee – Fornicate to insure our survival and the survival of the species. Therefore, all humans can become addicted to porn regardless of being male or female.
This addiction, while creating the same types of brain changes in both men and women (which are far worse with younger age exposure and addiction), may create an additional struggle for women. They feel like they are alone in this…” everyone knows guys look at pornography, but I’m a woman and can’t stop, something must be wrong with me.”
Thankfully, there are many well qualified studies out there that show, at least from a brain chemical and neuroscience level, the brains of both men and women respond the same to sexual stimulus. Basically, from a scientific standpoint, we get aroused the same way in our brain, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that women struggle too!
The Max Planck Institute has done some amazing work understanding the similarities in our brains as relates to pornography consumption and therefore, we need to understand as humans this is an issue anyone can struggle with. For example, did you know, a recent survey found that 1 in 3 women watch porn at least once a week?
The Institute also surmises that this number( and porn addiction is porn addiction regardless of the number gap between men and women), maybe more influenced by societal influences rather than anything happening in the brain.
For example, Professor Noori, from the Max Plank Institute, believes that it may have more to do with social factors, not biological ones:
“Female sexuality has quite a lot of stigma around it… Maybe the main reason is that for the woman there are secondary inhibitory effects that keep them away from expressing what they really feel… At least at this moment, our study indicates that men and women are not that much different.”
Could it be that women are not as comfortable with reporting their pornography usage as men, or is it the societal norms that keep them away from usage altogether?
We may never know, but we do know:
-pornography usage among women is increasing
-the effects and consequences are no different for men or women
-exposure is happening at earlier ages and increasing the risk of addiction
-women may feel more hesitant to get help, because “they shouldn’t have this problem”
The Bottom Line
Porn is a human issue, Male – Female, Young – Old….no one is immune.
The internet and technology (cellphones, tablets, laptops) has made pornography
Anonymous – Affordable (mostly free) – Accessible. We shouldn’t be surprised that data tells us that most every child will have seen hardcore violent pornography before the age of 18…every child, boy and girl.
So, what can be done?
First, everyone needs to realize that pornography usage is an addictive activity.
We need to stop looking at pornography addiction as a moral failing.
We must remember, even with our failings, we are the beloved son or daughter of a loving and merciful God.
Healing is possible!
Here at Integrity Restored, we recommend:
- An increase in the spiritual life and spiritual direction, including frequent reception of the sacraments
- Finding a qualified therapist or counselor who is open to the spiritual component
- Accountability, 12 step groups like SA, Celebrate Recovery or parish-based groups
To start your process, please visit integrityrestored.com and one of our private Facebook groups – Integrity Restored(men) or Integrity Restored(women) to share and hear from others battling the same struggle as you. Also, please visit https://www.catholicpsychotherapy.org/directory to look for a local therapist near you.