You are on page 1of 8

Briggs1

MiriamBriggs
Mrs.Burr,Instructor
English1010,Section8
15April2016
Analyzing:TheEffectsofMediaPornography
onSocialDevelopmentandBrainFunction
Inrecentdecades,therehasbeenanexplosionoftechnology.Phones,tablets,andother
mobiledeviceshavemadeinformationrapidlyavailableatmerefingertips.Dr.Owensetal
foundwhileresearchingthelargeprevalenceofinternetinateenslife,theaverageAmerican
teenhas3.5mobiledevicesshowingthatmuchofinternetactivityandmediaisunmonitored
andportable(qtd.inOwensetal.).Thisextremeaccessabilitybetakenadvantageof,particularly
byadolescents.Theadvancedtechnologycanbeandisoftenusedforpositive,butthereare
extreme
negativeeffectsifnotmonitored.Unmonitoredmediatimecanleadtoaccidental

introductionstoexplicitmaterial,likepornography.Materiallikethiscreatesanaddictivelust,
causingmanytofallvictimtoaddictivebehaviorsimilartosomeofthestrongestphysically
consumabledrugs.Whenteensarecaughtupinsuchaddictions,itcannegativelyaffecttheir
attitudes,sexualbehavior,selfconcept,socialdevelopment,bodyimage,andbrain(Owens).
Mediaisdefiningteenagersviewsonrelationships,sex,andloveintroducingthemto
sexualrelationshipsearlier.87%ofAmericanyouthaged1217yearsusetheInternet,and51%
usitdaily(para.inMessinaandIwasaki161).Dr.BrendaRussellandShaneW.Krausduring
researchfoundthat42%ofadolescentsfromages1017wereexposedtopornographyonthe
internetwithinayear.66%ofthoseexposureswerenotwanted,while38%ofmaleinternet


Briggs2

usersages1617deliberatelyvisitedanexplicitwebsitein2007(para.inKrausandRussell
163).
Pornographyhasdetrimentalandpermanenteffectsonadolescentsconcerningtheir
socialcapabilitiesandthewaytheirbrainfunctionsafterintentionallyviewingsexuallyexplicit
materialastheirbrainisdevelopingduringthoseyearsofpuberty,buttherearemethodsif
carriedoutproperlythatcanbepreventativeifsupportedbyrelationships.
Pornographyisaninstantgratifyingcopingcure,similartogamblinganddrinking.Itis
anescapeintoadifferentworldtogetawayfromstressandunpleasantfeelings.Addictsbegin
totrusttheaddictivemoodchangecausedbytheiraddictiontoanobjectoreventbecauseits
consistentandpredictable(Nakken12).People,ontheotherhand,areconstantlychanging.Its
whatmakesushumanandreal,undoubtedlyunpredictable.Addictsusuallyresorttotheir
variousaddictionstoproduceapleasurable,positivemoodchange(Nakken17)toreplacean
areaoflackingorloss.Whenaddictedtomanipulatingobjects,addictswillinteractwithpeople
inthiswaytreatingthemfirstassexobjectstobemanipulatedwith,andsecondasactual
people.Thosewhoareaddictstopornographygetcaughtupintheirfeelingssothattheylose
theirsenseofselfdiscipline.Selfishhabitsaddictsdevelophinderandevenpushawayhealthy
relationships,relationshipsthatcouldhavebeenasourceofstrengthtothemintheirdiretimes.
Thisfurtherlowersselfesteemcreatingdepressionandotherlastingandbrickwall
consequences.
InFactorsAssociatedWithInternetAddictionAmongAdolescents,LawrenceLam
andassociatesconductedanexperimenttofindthecomponentstointernetaddiction.Lametal.
foundthatteenagemalesare50%morelikelytobeaddictedtotheinternetthanfemales.They


Briggs3

alsofoundthatinternetaddictionsstreammainlyfromtheparticipanthavingstressful
experiences.Excessiveinternetinvolvementisawaytocopewiththeweightthevictimsfeel.
Thesurveyquestionnairesgivento1,618teenagersbetweenagesshowedthatcertainfactorsalso
makecasesmorepronetobeaddictedtotheinternet.Theseincludebeingmale,drinking,
dissatisfactionwithfamily,andexperienceofrecentstressfulevent(Lametal.553).Ifyouth
aregettingontheinternettodistractthemselvesfromrealitytocope,beingexposedto
pornographycanintroduceawaytorelievethatstressevenmoreso.
InAddictiveThinking,Dr.AbrahamTwerskidiscussestheeffectofbeingaddictedto
anobjectoraction,drinkingspecifically,hasonrelationshipsandbehavior.Hefindsthis
includesdistortionofthought,inabilitytoreason,andsolutionstosuchproblems.Thoseaddicted
tochemicalfluidstendtohaveangeranddepressionissues.Theproblemscanbeginbefore
naturallyandtheuseofalcoholorothersubstancesareusedtocope,orlowselfesteemand
depressionfollowstheaddiction.Beingchemicallydependantchangesthewayparticipantsare
abletomakedecisionsthatarehealthy.Twerskidescribesthisasdiseaseofthewill(Twerski
107).Becomingaddictedoftenstreamsfrombeingdistressedand/ordiscomforted.Inorderto
recoverfromsuch,thevictimmusthaveachangeinbothattitudeandbehavior.Evenbeforethat
itisbestthattheydetoxandseparatethemselvesfromtheiraddiction.
Aresearchstudypublishedin
TheBritishJournalofDevelopmentalPsychology
,
demonstratesAndrewJ.O.WhitehouseintroducingPaviosdualcodingtheory,atheory
proposingthatpicturesaremorememorablethanwords.Thisiscalledthepicturesuperiority
effect.Theeffectcanbehelpfulifoneis,forexample,attemptingtomemorizewordsand
definitions,butwhenitcomestopornography,thepicturesuperiorityeffectisdetrimental.


Briggs4

Thereasoningbehindthistheoryisthatwhenoneseesapicture,theyautomatically
verbalizethelabel,thuscreatingadoublecodingintheirbrain:apathforviewingtheimageand
apathforverbalization(parain.Whitehouseetal.767).Whitehouseexpoundedonthistheory
andconductedanexperimentbywhichhegatheredstudentsfromgradestwothroughelevenand
testedtheirabilitytorecallimagesynonymsincomparisontowords.Byexaminingtheresultof
hisexperiment,itisdiscovered,asshowninFig.1,thattheabilitytoevokeanimageintoword
increaseswithheightenedage,displayingthepicturesuperiorityeffect.

Fig.1.Thenumberofpicturescomparedtowordsrecollectedduringexperimentineachage
group.(Whitehouseetal.770)


Briggs5

Overcomingpornograhyaddictionisextremelydifficult,butpossible.Ifthevictimis
willingtochangehislifestyle,hecanovercomehisaddiction,becausehisaddictionhasbecome
hislifestyle.Twerskiexplainsthatrecoveryrequiresachangeinattitudeandbehavior,which
meansachangeinthewaytheaddictedpersonthinksandhasthoughtformostofhisorherlife.
Itmeansovercomingaddictivethinking(Twerski107).Abstinencewiththeaddictivesubstance
orobjectwillhelp,buttherealchallengeistheovercomingthebrain.Becomingaddicted
changesthewaythebodyandbrainseespeopleandobjects.Withpornography,explicitpictures
areeasytorememberandsimpletorecall,whichiswhyonepicturethatcantakethemtothe
highstateofintakabledrugsisincrediblyaddicting.Thismakesrecoveryevenharder.Twerski
alsoexplainsthecharacteristicsofaddictivethinkingarethetoolstheaddictusesbothin
erectingthedefensivewallandinmaintainingit.Withpropertreatment,theviciouscircleis
interruptedand,asmisperceptionsarecorrectedinrecovery,theentirewallcaneventuallybe
eliminated(Twerski89).Bythiswefindthattheaddictmusthaveawilltointerruptthewallof
addiction.Oncethecycleisinterruptedbyaformofrecovery,thewallofaddictioncanbe
demolishedonlyifconsistenteffortforrecoveryismadeuntilcompletelyeliminated.
Relationshipsoffamilymembers,friends,andcoworkersarealsoextremelyimportantinan
addictslifewhengoingthroughrecovery,especiallyafterpushingmanyrelationshipsasidefor
theseeminglymoreimportantaddiction.
CraigNakken,anauthor,trainer,lecturer,andfamilytherapistspecializedinthetreatmentof
addiction,explainstheimportancebutdifficultyofmaintaininghealthyrelationships:
Addictsarenotadeptatestablishinghealthyrelationships.Theyareaccustomedtousing
andabusingthefragilityofrelationships.Mutualrespecthastobeexpressedinboth


Briggs6

wordsandactions:wemustactinrespectfulwaystowardothersifwewanttotransform
ourselvesintorespectablepeople.Inthisway,wehelpeachothergetwhatweneedand
wantoutoflife.Mostimportant,wesupportothersinourrelationshipsbykeepingthem
safefromourowninsecuritiesandnegativebehavior.Inhealthyrelationships,individual
differencesareseenasassets,notliabilities.Eachpersonsstrengthsarerespectedand
soughtoutwhenneeded.Inhealthyrelationships,thereisnoattempttoreshapetheother
person.Weacceptothersastheyare.(97)
Relationshipsforanapersonovercomingaddictionslifeiscrucial.Theshamefeltbythe
addictishardenoughtogothroughbyhim/herself.Afterpushingawayrelationshipsbecauseof
oftheaddictionconstantlytakingpriority,healthyandrespectfulrelationshipscanchangea
person.Apersonisrealandhumanandrequiresinteraction,unlikeanaddiction.Thatisalarge
lifestylechangeforanypornographyaddict.
Inconclusion,pornographynegativelyaffectsadolescentsrelationshipswithpeopleand
thewaytheythink.Victimsturntowardpornographywhenunderstressfulsituationsand/or
lackinginsomecriticalareaintheirlife.Pornographyisacopingmechanism,similartomany
addictivedrugs.Throughthevictim'sselfishhabitsduetoaddictivethinking,theyunknowingly
hinderandevendestroyrelationships.Theybegintonotbeabletomakedecisionswiselyand
theaddictionchangesthewaytheaddictcanmakehealthydecisions.Inordertoovercomethe
walltheyhavebuiltthemselves,theyfirstmustfindadesiretochange.Theythenmustdevelop
healthyrelationshipsandchangetheirwayofaddictivethinkingthroughattitudeandbehavior
changes.


Briggs7

WorksCited
Kraus,ShaneW.,andBrendaRussell."EarlySexualExperiences:TheRoleofInternetAccess
andSexuallyExplicitMaterial."Cyberpsychology&Behavior11.2(2008):162168.
BusinessSourcePremier.Web.22Mar.2016.
Lam,LawrenceT.,etal."FactorsAssociatedwithInternetAddictionAmongAdolescents."
Cyberpsychology&Behavior12.5(2009):551555.BusinessSourcePremier.Web.22
Mar.2016.
Messina,EmilyS.,andYoshitakaIwasaki."InternetUseandSelfInjuriousBehaviorsAmong
AdolescentsandYoungAdults:AnInterdisciplinaryLiteratureReviewAndImplications
ForHealthProfessionals."Cyberpsychology,Behavior&SocialNetworking14.3
(2011):
161168.BusinessSourcePremier.Web.22Mar.2016.
Nakken,Craig.
TheAddictivePersonality
.CenterCity,Minnesota:Hazelden,1996.Print.
Owens,EricW.Behun,RichardJ.Manning,JillC.Reid,RoryC."TheImpactofInternet
PornographyonAdolescents:AReviewoftheResearch."SexualAddiction&


Briggs8

Compulsivity19.1/2(2012):99
122.PsychologyandBehavioralSciencesCollection.
Web.22Mar.2016.
Reid,RoryC.,DesireeS.Li,RandyGilliland,JudithA.Stein,TimothyFong."Reliability,
Validity,andPsychometricDevelopmentofthePornographyConsumptionInventory
inaSampleofHypersexualMen."JournalOfSex&MaritalTherapy37.5(2011):
359385.PsychologyandBehavioralSciencesCollection.Web.22Mar.2016.
Twerski,AbrahamJ.
AddictiveThinking
.CenterCity,Minnesota:Hazelden,1997.Print.
Whitehouse,AndrewJ.O.Maybery,MurrayT.Durkin,Kevin."TheDevelopmentofthe
PictureSuperiorityEffect."BritishJournalOfDevelopmentalPsychology24.4(2006):
767773.PsychologyandBehavioralSciencesCollection.Web.22Mar.2016.