back to article Study reveals high price of smut addiction

Habitual viewers of smut often mess up their lives, according to preliminary analysis of a new study conducted by University of Sydney academics, who believe the problem is caused in part by the ubiquitous availability of online video nasties that viewers can watch anywhere, with many devices. Dr Gomathi Sitharthan from the …

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Paris Hilton

looking for a good time ? call ...

"85% of those surveyed were male". So how do I get in contact with the other 15% ?

Paris for the obvious reason.

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Re: looking for a good time ? call ...

Try dating women in real-life.

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Flame

Re: looking for a good time ? call ...

3D pig disgusting!

Seriously, it is unfair to present readers with such stories as they are encased in their offices with servers aflame at a Friday afternoon.

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Re: looking for a good time ? call ...

I wonder how many of the other 15% are really women?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: looking for a good time ? call ...

Everybody knows girls don't know how to use the internets. All girls online are really guys...

/joking

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Anonymous Coward

Re: looking for a good time ? call ...

"Try dating women in real-life."

Like that is going to succeed.

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Coat

dot point 2:

•30 percent acknowledged that their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing;

dot point 5:

•30 percent acknowledged that their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing;

aHA!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Beat me to it.

Beat me to it.

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lost their jobs or been in trouble with the law as a result of their addiction.

That's hardly the fault of the porn.

It's like saying that women earn less than men and black men are more likely to be arrested - and that's their fault for being female or black

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Anonymous Coward

Re: lost their jobs or been in trouble with the law as a result of their addiction.

No, it would be like saying a percentage of habitual dope smokers have been in trouble with the law or lost their job as a result of their addiction.

Not the fault of the dope per se, but it's the element without which the result would not have happened.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: lost their jobs or been in trouble with the law as a result of their addiction.

Dope isn't addictive (unless you abuse the word addiction, as in "porn addiction"). We'd get a lot further with these debates if the distinction between habit and addiction was maintained.

The difference with dope is that it's illegal, so you can get in trouble with the law just by using it. Porn is not generally illegal, hence the connection to troubles with the law is necessarily more indirect.

Although, watching porn at work or smoking dope at work are equally likely to get you fired. I wouldn't know; being self-employed I can do both.

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Cause and effect?

The idea that smut addiction is learned is an interesting one, but I wonder how many of the 'consequences' being attributed here are really due to excessive smut watching, or if excessive porn surfing is possibly another symptom...

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Boffin

Re: Cause and effect?

Absolutely. As a snap judgement from little information, I'd say the root cause is probably poor impulse control, which is never good for personal or professional life development.

GJC

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Re: Cause and effect?

It's a chicken and egg problem. We know from biological studies that the endorphins released during sex are some of the most powerful and addictive that the human body encounters (just because they are natural doesn't make them safe). If that cycle is couple with an OCB personality, the results follow logically. Maybe the OCB would express itself differently if it hadn't encountered the sex endorphin cycle, but the sex endorphin cycle would certainly define that instantiation of the issue. Maybe it can be got at and resolved through other psychological methods, but I don't see that removing the sex component helps resolve the issue for the OCB patient.

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Meh

Re: Cause and effect?

Excessive anything is bad. Why be surprised that excessive porn users have problems, when we are not surprised excessive drinkers get drunk more often, and are prone to alcoholism, or excessive eaters are quite likely to be obese.

People use ?.

Some people over use ?.

Ban/control ?.

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Megaphone

Re: Cause and effect?

Once again, they're confusing correlation with causality. Dr Sitharthan says.”We are finding that people do understand that their excessive porn viewing is impacting on their lives and they want to change," so she clearly believes that porn causes bad things. But isn't it just as possible that people that have other problems, such as depression, unhappy relationships, or trouble at work, will turn to something like porn, drugs, alcohol, sports, reality TV, etc., to make themselves feel better?

Is it the porn causing the destructive behaviors, or the other way around? Maybe instead of judging porn users, these doctors should consider porn usage a possible indicator of a real problem and leave the moral judgements out of it.

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Still missing the vital statistic.

Numbers are nice, but everyone already knew there were some people taking porn-viewing to excess. That's true of anything - if you looked a bit, you should be able to find a few hundred people who ruined their lives by excessive television, gaming or religion. This study only looked at the extreme cases. What we really need is some idea of how many people who view porn fall into that category, as opposed to just enjoying it a couple of times a week and otherwise getting on with their lives.

I know a great many people who like porn, and yet somehow none of them have been fired or ran into legal trouble because of it.

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Statistics...

not read the original study, but nothing in here to suggest causation or a correllation. i.e. watching porn causing a crap life or crap life makes them watch porn?

Also - 20% would rather watch porn than be at it with a woman - so 80% would rather have the real thing but presumably aren't getting it?

Also - a lifestyle involving 'extreme' or 'excessive' porn causes trouble? Is that like saying the majority of people into armed robbery said that it ruined their lives, leading to legal trouble, job loss and social exclusion?

Inquiring minds...

Steve

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Addiction to something can cause problems in other areas of your life, eh?

In other ground breaking news a bear is seen taking a shit in the woods and it is believed the Pope may be catholic.

and this article is in the science section?

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Anonymous Coward

All together now

The internet is for porn

The internet is for porn,

All these guys unzip their flies

For porn, porn, porn!

Seriously, what other use does it have?

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Anonymous Coward

Other Uses

Other uses ... well, right now, we're using it to talk about porn!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Other Uses

But how many are doing it one handed?

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From the article:

"surveyed 800 habitual online smut viewers and found “excessive users had severe social and relationship problems and had often lost their jobs or been in trouble with the law as a result of their addiction."

This is questionable science. In the first place how were the subjects selected? I find it hard to believe that a truly representative sample population could be obtained since I wouldn't expect that many smut viewers without problems would volunteer to be studied.

Second the conclusion apparently being drawn is that excessive viewing of smut results in severe social, relationship, and employment problems. It is just as likely that having such severe problems resulted in the excessive smut viewing as a distraction from reality.

This kind of bogus science shouldn't be taken as gospel. Sometimes scientists have personal axes to grind just like laymen.

===KGH

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Joke

Sometimes scientists have personal axes to grind

I think you might have just invented a new euphemism.

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Headmaster

“excessive users had severe social and relationship problems"

That sounds a little circular - how did they define excessive in the first place, if not by a definition such as this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sometimes scientists have personal axes to grind

So where are the graphs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sometimes scientists have personal axes to grind

it'll just be a bell(end) type curve.... i'll get my coat....

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Go

Need help

"88 percent of respondents said they are willing to seek professional help to treat smut addicition, but would prefer to do it online"

....so that they can watch more porn.

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Joke

Re: Need help

"88 percent of respondents said they are willing to seek professional help to treat smut addicition, but would prefer to do it online;"

Well obviously they prefer to do it online, that was exactly the problem, wasn't it?

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Gimp

Re: Need help

After reading that bullet point, I could just hear the 88% looking like the icon and saying "Yes Mistress".

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Paris Hilton

A wise man once said...

If you deleted all of the porn from the internet, there would only be one page left, and it would be called "Bring back the porn"...

(Cant rememebr who said that!)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Lots of good points here about methodology and sampling. That's why I made sure to point out these are *preliminary* results.

I'm not sure I can bring myself to do an *ahem* deeper interview.

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Pint

you should take a selection of 'pornaholics', on a night out to a strip bar with hookers for the after party and document the results... wonder if they would 'man up' or wimp out?

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Anonymous Coward

@Joeman

How is going to a prostitute "manning up"? I personally use porn, but I also have a girlfriend, I would consider going to a prostitute a personal failing.

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Coat

Re: @Joeman

"I would consider going to a prostitute a personal failing."

What if you're a pimp?

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Anonymous Coward

forgot what I was going to say

my smut just finished downloading, back later

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Anonymous Coward

I know of two people who lost their jobs because they were downloading huge amounts of porn via an Internet connection at work. It turned out that one of them had lost his previous job for the same reason. In both cases, they were downloading so much that their systems featured in the top 10 Internet users - next to email, web and ftp servers. Both were employed in technical roles, so would have been aware of the concepts of firewalls and service monitoring.

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Anonymous Coward

two people who lost their jobs

Techies who couldn't hide suspect activities from their employers? So they were fired for being morons then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: two people who lost their jobs

"...they were fired for being morons then?"

Well, that's what I thought. I had even tried to warn the second one by moving a few of his pictures to his desktop and deleting the rest of his porn collection on his work-issued desktop but to no avail - I guess the porn addiction overrides all common sense.

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Not learned behaviour - evolved.

Hasn't all of mankind's advancement been based around sharing pictures of naked ladies more easily and throwing bigger rocks further? (cave paintings etc.)

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FAIL

Ok, hands up... who clicked the link hoping for a bigger version of the thumbnail ?

o/

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Both my hands are currently occupied, but yes.

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Anonymous Coward

Then how are you typing?

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You just had to ask..

Pass the mind bleach please.

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FAIL

Danger of small numbers

The problem with studies like this, is just how tiny a number they represent - not only that, how are the subjects chosen in the first place?

Surely the act of signing up for a study would, in many cases, imply the subject is possibly in some sort of financial trouble, or is troubled within themselves?

Do they apply via adverts in papers? Are they just the type of people who are frequently used in different scientific studies for cash? Are they people that have already been in trouble for viewing smut?

The figure of 800 habitual viewers is given - how did they get chosen? - offered free smut for contributing? (smirk)

See where I'm going with this - unless you can do a totally random selection and guarantee those contributing are telling the truth and also get a *significant* volume of data, the results are tainted from the start.

This can be said of the vast majority of studies of a subjective nature.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Danger of small numbers

“Surely the act of signing up for a study would, in many cases, imply the subject is possibly in some sort of financial trouble, or is troubled within themselves?”

Nope, no such thing of all. There are many ways that people are recruited for these types of academic research and they don’t get paid.

From what I’ve read, the results – or rather the preliminary results, which are being discussed here – were obtained from an online survey. This is a very common method.

“See where I'm going with this - unless you can do a totally random selection and guarantee those contributing are telling the truth and also get a *significant* volume of data, the results are tainted from the start.”

Not really, this news article has been culled from a press release from a university about the preliminary findings from a research project. We’re just getting the juicy bits, which will ensure media coverage.

There will be a published paper in due course, which will state how the participants were chosen and the method of obtaining the information – it’s also very common for the writers to comment about the margin of error and about factors that may affect the actual findings. It’s when you’ve read that, that you’re in a position to really scrutinise the project.

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Re: Danger of small numbers

It would suck to be a subject in your lab then. Participants in most studies are compensated either through direct payments or course credit for uni students.

Also, no real study uses online respondants/participants. You just can't do science like that. I hope that's not what you're doing.

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I wonder if we are going to see more and more studies like this over the next year or so, with a miss-mash of information (to confuse), which then results in a government official quoting these reports as a way to argue about blocking web sites or white listing porn?

That is the government way after all!

But I hope not! I like porn! It keeps me from going ape-like mental when I see women (being single and all)....

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@ blofse

In this particular case, the study is being done by a university in Australia... a country noted for its rigid online censorship. If that was the motive, it's rather shutting the stable door...

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Re: @ blofse

If there is rigid online censorship in Australia I have yet to come up against it. The reality is that there have been persistent failed attempts at online censorship. Failed, because no one supports them except a few unrepresentative lobby groups which unfortunately have the main political parties running scared.

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