Porn: Disturbing married life & mental power of men

As a visual representation of sexuality, emphasizing the sensuous aspects of a non-sexual subject, porn is a rising ailment in modern society a greater threat to the family system than most other vices in the current day age. Not only does it have disastrous consequences on an individual’s marriage, but it also negatively impacts the mental and physical health of those that indulge in it.

To begin with, it distorts an individual’s perception of reality and concept of conjugal relationships, before leading to an alteration in sexual attitudes and behaviors. Apart from threatening one’s marriage, it also leads to detachment from one’s children. Recently, however, social and clinical psychologists have looked into the psychological and social effects porn has on the well-being of a person, and are beginning to map out the negativities that it brings.

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In the case of married men, porn leads to heightened dissatisfaction in conjugal relations making them emotionally detached from their wives often resulting in infidelity and/or divorce. In cases, where wives make peace with their husband’s interest(s) in porn, a loss of interest remains which further deteriorates with time.

Another problem faced by married men is desensitization. Regular access to pornographic material leads to boredom in their personal relationships as they start to develop a higher tolerance for “abnormal sexuality” such as sexual abuse and/or aggression, and sexual promiscuity. This, in turn, makes men inclined towards porn that views women as bare commodities or “sexual objects” with no emotions.

Although, men have complained they initially felt a sense of shame and underconfidence, even sexual uncertainty, choosing to continue avenues of porn exploration takes them towards “unadulterated enjoyment” where the end result is always sexual gratification. From the point of view of society, this path always leads to a rise in crime rate and a decrease in values.

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It is vital to understand that porn-like sexual activity is addictive for the human body as it helps to release important brain chemicals including Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Oxytocin, Vasopressin, Endorphins, and Serotonin, respectively. These chemicals are responsible for emotion and learning, alertness, and focus, they lay down “long-term memories” for the cells, create a “high” of pleasure, and create a sense of calm and relaxation in the individual.

Nonetheless, apart from mental duress, where physical health is concerned, permissiveness often leads to an increase in the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Licensed psychologist, Janet Brito, believes porn is essentially neither good nor bad, “However, if it’s causing emotional distress for you or your relationship, interfering with your daily functioning, then it is a good idea to examine your relationship to porn and what function it serves for you.”

According to statistics, two-thirds of high-school students across the United States become engaged in sexual activities by Grade 12 of which approximately seventy percent of female and fifty-five percent of male students have claimed that they would have liked to have waited.
Whereas according to a 2013 study on the matter, researchers found that approximately 71% of men and 56% of women think watching porn is acceptable in certain circumstances.

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Likewise, a 2015 survey showed that 76% of women viewed porn as non-problematic for their relationships while also establishing that women tend to feel less happy and suffer from low self-esteem when their partner indulges in porn.

Focusing on its connection with depression, Relationship Therapist Tom Murray says, “Porn itself doesn’t cause anything. Porn is porn. And there is no psychiatric diagnosis called porn depression”. However, Murray argues that other aspects must be taken into consideration to understand the exact connection such as the interpersonal, emotional, and cultural aspects alongside personal satisfaction. Thereby, establishing that men, or sometimes even women, turn to porn when depressed and/or unsatisfied with their lives, in general. 

In a 2015 report by The Express Tribune, Pakistan topped the list of porn-searching countries earning the title “Pornistan”. The report continued that of the available data “six of the top eight porn-searching countries are Muslim states” including Pakistan.

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As Journalist and Writer Orge Castellano said, “The porn that is being produced and sold to us is full of ideas and beliefs that are completely distorted, and that are in fact, opposite of what real sex, love, and relationships are like. Loving-healthy relationships are built on respect, equality, honesty. But in porn, this is quite the contrary, there, love and sex are based on domination, control, disrespect, and violence”. 

According to Dr. Valerie Voon of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, people with “compulsive sexual behavior” show different patterns of brain activity in comparison to those who don’t watch porn or engage in such activities. “Although I wouldn’t yet call it an addiction, it certainly is a compulsive sexual behaviour, and there is no question that for some people excessive and compulsive use has led to difficulties in relationships, lost jobs due to watching porn at work and even suicide attempts,” Voon says.

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