Pornography: The Other Pandemic

At this time of national emergency due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus, everyone’s lives have been affected. People’s jobs are being labeled as “essential” or “non-essential,” and their lives are torn between the need to work and the need to care for their health and the health of loved ones. This Coronavirus pandemic is painful for everyone. At the time of this writing (March 26, 2020) there have been 83,144 cases of Coronavirus in the U.S. with 1,201deaths (1.44% of the cases) and 1,864 recovered (2.24% of the cases). 

But there is another pandemic that is occurring. It has been occurring for years longer than the Coronavirus, and it affects a large swath of the population of the United States. The pandemic of porn addiction/compulsive usage also has a history of destruction in its wake – no, typically not in the form of deaths, but it does destroy marriages and lives. Over 70% of men aged 18-24 years old will visit a pornographic website at least once a month. The largest group of online porn users are men between the ages of 35 and 49 years old. But lest you think this is a “male-only” problem, fully one-third of all internet porn users are women. 

It is true that not every person who views pornography is addicted or has a compulsive problem with porn and sex. But the estimate of those with “problematic pornography” usage is between 5-8% of the entire population of our nation. In raw numbers that means that in our country (based on estimates of 372.2 million people in the U.S.) between 18,610,000 to 29,776,000 likely have a compulsive pornography problem/addiction problem in their lives. That means that between 18.6 million to almost 29.8 million people around us are fighting a pornography compulsion/addiction battle and need help with recovery from this pandemic disease of porn. 

Keep in mind that those 18.6 to 29.8 million people have wives, husbands, partners, children, and other relatives that are affected by their pornographic usage. Porn hurts not only the consumer, but also their family members and loved ones. Between 86-90% of partners of porn addicts say that it adversely affects their relationship. As many as 56% of divorce proceedings cited an “obsessive interest” in pornographic sites as a factor. The porn addicts are affected in ways that range from emotional disconnect from their family member to co-occurring diagnoses of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and porn-induced erectile disorder. Their loved ones are living with these issues vicariously, in addition to their own trauma.

Here at LifeSTAR of the Central Valley, we are greatly concerned about the Coronavirus Pandemic and are pursuing telehealth options for treatment as the world adapts to this crisis. But we also recognize that we have been in the battle for over 10 years fighting the Pornography Pandemic that exists in our country and have helped hundreds of cases recovery from this “other pandemic.” We hope to be able to help you or your loved one in need.

By: Kyle N. Weir, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Director

LifeSTAR of the Central Valley helps individuals, partners, and families to heal from the effects of pornography and sexual addiction. Complete our Self-Evaluation today to discover if LifeSTAR is right for you.

This entry was posted in Addiction, Anti-Porn Movement, Partner of Sexual Addict, Recovery, Sexual Addiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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