The Questioning Pornography Podcast seeks to promote thoughtful and critical conversation on porn's effects on individuals and society, relying upon scientific research, empirical data, and anecdotal evidence.
Will age verification really work? Skeptic questions John Carr
48:49John Carr, OBE, is a globally recognized expert on child safety; he is working towards implementing age verification legislation in the UK aimed at protecting children from exposure to online pornography. My friend Alexander is skeptical that age verification for pornography websites can really be effective. In this episode, Alexander raises his concerns and tough questions and John Carr responds. Questions discussed include: With millions of porn websites currently existing and hundreds more popping up every day, how can governments hope to monitor all these sites for compliance? Is it a valid argument to say that since age verification works for online gambling sites, it can work for porn sites? What would have the biggest impact: requiring porn websites to age verify users, or requiring search engines to age-gate pornographic content? If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Research Highlight: A Review of Longitudinal Research on Pornography's Impact on Adolescents
15:22Within the field of pornography research, longitudinal data is arguably the most robust evidence one can get for causation. The paper highlighted in today's episode is a review of various longitudinal studies which examine the impact pornography consumption has on adolescents. Paper Highlighted: Longitudinal associations between the use of sexually explicit material and adolescents' attitudes and behaviors: A narrative review of studies by Goran Koletic For further research on pornography's impact on adolescents see this webpage For a more thorough discussion of causation vs. correlation in pornography research and the advantages of longitudinal studies, I recommend you listen to this episode. If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
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Dr. Mateusz Gola on the Neuroscience of Porn Addiction
54:16I was so grateful to chat with Dr. Mateusz Gola, leading expert on the neuroscience of problematic pornography use. I was able to ask some burning questions, correct my previous misunderstandings of the research, and have some laughs! To read Dr. Gola's studies or to seek treatment, visit drgola.online If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Christopher Bueker: Addiction Counselor & Author of "Break Free of Chains"
36:04Christopher Bueker discusses how parents can help their children recover from pornography addiction, authoritative vs. authoritarian parenting, signs that a child is addicted to pornography, what makes an individual susceptible to addiction, and more. Further Resources: Christopher's new book Break Free of Chains: How to Help Your Child Recover from Pornography Addiction If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Research Highlight: A Meta-Analysis on Porn & Sexual/Relationship Satisfaction
15:44What does the overall body of research have to say on how porn affects sexual and relationship satisfaction? What about body satisfaction and self-esteem? Are the answers to these questions different for men and women? This meta-analysis explores these questions! Study highlighted: Pornography Consumption and Satisfaction: a Meta-Analysis Other studies mentioned: Studies linking porn to lower sexual/relationship satisfaction for women Studies linking porn to lower body satisfaction and self-esteem Study showing female porn consumers watch more violent content than men
Mary Sharpe: Pornography, People with Autism, and "Rough Sex Gone Wrong"
35:28Mary Sharpe, the CEO of the Reward Foundation, speaks to the effect of pornography on people with autism, increasing consumption of child sexual abuse material (aka. child pornography), and increasing rates of sexual strangulation and "rough sex gone wrong". Sources for further learning: Mary Sharpe & Darryl Mead's new paper: Problematic Pornography Use: Legal and Health Policy Considerations The Reward Foundation Website If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Research Highlight: How does porn impact female consumers?
16:28The number of female porn consumers is on the rise, and it's important to understand any gender differences that might exist when it comes to pornography's impact on consumers. In this research highlight episode, I cover a study which looks at how pornography impacts female consumers in the domains of body dissatisfaction, attitudes towards sexual violence, sexist attitudes, and sexual behaviours. Study highlighted: Internet Pornography Use Among Collegiate Women: Gender Attitudes, Body Monitoring, and Sexual Behavior - Megan K. Maas, Shannamar Dewey, 2018 (sagepub.com) If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Dr John Foubert on Pornography & Sexual Violence
31:45In this episode I speak with Dr. John Foubert, leading expert on the intersection between Pornography & Sexual Violence. I was grateful for the opportunity to ask him some of the trickier questions on this issue that I've been wrestling with for a while. We discuss such questions as: Can pornography actually decrease rape rates, by providing a mechanism for the release of sexual tension? Is there really a difference between using people in pornography as tools/commodities to serve our own sexual pleasure vs. using people as tools/commodities to serve our own purposes in other types of commercial exchanges? Are there nuances to acknowledge when it comes to what types of acts in pornography should be considered "violent"? Why do different studies assessing the rates of violence in pornography get such different results? If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes. If you wish to read Dr. John Foubert's book How Pornography Harms, you can purchase a copy here. He also has a new book coming out soon is addressed to parents, so keep your eye out for that one as well! Studies referenced during our conversation: Goodson, A, Franklin, C.A., & Bouffard, L.A. (2020). Male peer support and sexual assault: the relation between high-Profile, high school sports participation and sexually predatory behavior. Journal of Sexual Aggression, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2020.1733111 De Heer, B.A., Prior, S., & Hoegh, G. (2020). Pornography, Masculinity, and Sexual Aggression on College Campuses. Violence Against Women https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520906186 Rodriguez, C.G. & Fernandez-Gonzalez, L (2019). Is pornography consumption associated with intimate partner violence? The moderating role of attitudes toward women and violence. Behavioral Psychology, 27(3), 431-454. Hughes, A., Brewer, G. & Khan, R. (2020). Sexual coercion by women: The influence of pornography and narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder traits. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49, 885–894. Bridges, A.J. (2019). Pornography and sexual assault. In W.T. O’Donohue & P.A. Schewe (Eds.), Handbook of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention. Springer. Foubert, J.D. & Bridges, A. J. (2017). What is the attraction? Understanding gender differences in reasons for viewing pornography in relationship to bystander intervention. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32 (20), 3071-3089.
Research Highlight: The Pornography "Rebooting" Experience
22:06This 2021 study conducts a qualitative analysis of abstinence journals kept by members of Reboot Nation, a recovery forum for problematic porn use. It explores the various negative effects members attributed to their porn use, which consequently motivated them to try to quit porn, and what the experience of trying to quit was like. Study highlighted: The Pornography "Rebooting" Experience: A Qualitative Analysis of Abstinence Journals on an Online Pornography Abstinence Forum - PubMed (nih.gov) Gabe Deem's videos on: The Flatline The Chaser Effect If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
Murray Perkins: Can Age Verification help kids who stumble on porn outside of commercial pornography sites?
50:05A few weeks ago, I had a dear friend express to me how grateful he was for the Canadian government's efforts towards Age Verification for online pornography, as he himself had a very traumatic childhood experience of pornography popping up while he was on a gaming platform. With a sinking feeling, I realized that the current approach of barring underage access to commercial pornography sites actually wouldn't have protected my friend from that traumatic experience, as he was exposed on a gaming platform, not a commercial porn site. I suddenly thought back to the countless other stories I've heard of children first being exposed through social media sites, gaming platforms, youtube, etc - rather than porn sites. And I wondered: Can Age Verification be used to help prevent this kind of exposure? So I brought the question to my favourite Age Verification expert, Murray Perkins, and out comes this episode! If you have not yet listened to my initial episode on Age Verification with Mr. Perkins and Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, I recommend you do so first, as it will give you more context on the issue. If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.