Post Hoc != Propter Hoc
"Habitual viewers of smut often mess up their lives".
Or perhaps people who have messed up lives become habitual viewers of smut. Or alcoholics. Or drug abusers. Or resort to crime. Or...
The same goes for “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” the conclusion seems to be that it's the porn that caused the problem, rather than the problem being the result of other factors and which is then manifested in this "addiction".
BTW "addiction" is a nicely pejorative term, but whilst drug addicts may mug grannies for their pensions to feed their habits, I don't think I've ever heard of someone doing the same so they can buy another porn mag or download a movie...
Meanwhile, *who* were these "800 habitual online smut viewers"? How were they selected? And if there were "800 habitual online smut viewers" how does that compare with the number of those who also view online smut but do not do it "habitually" (whatever that means, how frequently do you have to do it before it becomes "habitual")?
I found a link to the original survey, but, alas, the survey was no longer available which is a shame, because I'd have loved to see what the questions were and how impartially they had been phrased.
Some other questions:
"30 percent acknowledged that their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing" and how many "habitual" smokers acknowledge that their work suffers due to them gasping for a cigarette?
"20 percent of respondents said they preferred the excitement of watching porn to being sexually intimate with their partner" and what about those geeks out there (of which there are more than a few) who haven't got a partner because aren't good in social situations and, as such, find other ways to relieve sexual tension?
"Around 14 percent had formed a relationship with other online users" which is surely a good thing (but good things don't come from "addictions" do they?)
"18 percent were preoccupied with fantasising when they were not online" and it's only "habitual smut watchers" that have this problem. After all, it's not the same as thinking about the big match you watched yesterday evening or worrying about your financial problems when you should be working or...
And finally ""Watching porn is a learned behaviour and we believe it can be unlearned” says Dr Sitharthan. Why does this sound so disturbingly like the assertion from the last century that "Homosexualiy is a learned behaviour and we believe it can be unlearned”, resulting in attempts to "cure" gays by administering electric shocks for aversion therapy or, even, giving them lobotomies?
I think these researchers had a conclusion and then did their research to prove it.