Bad News for Cyberporn: Internet Sex Linked to Depression, Anxiety

By Nina Bai | November 4, 2008 3:34 pm

internet sexThink your real-life relationships are unsatisfying? Well, consider this before you look for love and companionship in the extra-human realm. A study last month by Australian researchers found that men who have cyber sex had “alarmingly high” rates of depression, stress and anxiety.

The study surveyed 1,325 men from the U.S. and Australia who spent an average of 12 hours a week engaged in Internet sex activities, including porn, online chats, and Web cams. The men were then evaluated for mental health. More than a quarter (27 percent) were moderately to severely depressed, 30 percent had high levels of anxiety, and 35 percent were moderately to severely stressed. The most avid cybersex users were also the most severely depressed.

The researchers caution, to the relief of many, that the correlation doesn’t mean porn causes depression, or that sad people flock to porn. Although, for those in the latter group, previous research has indicated that simulated sex doesn’t cause the same release of stress-relieving, love-inducing brain chemicals as the real thing.

Still, try telling that to Tacihi Takashita, a Japanese man who’s fallen in love with a cartoon character. Now he’s campaigning for the legal right to marry the fictional character. “I am no longer interested in three dimensions. I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world,” he wrote in an online (of course) petition that has already gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Related Content:
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DISCOVER: Emotions and the Brain: Love

Image: flickr / [rom]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Sex & Mating, Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: internet, robots, sex
  • Pingback: meet my google reader « mo in rho()

  • http://www.myinternetdoorman.com doorman

    Internet porn is a terrible escape from the reality of life. Not only can it be addictive but the scars one can incur can last a lifetime.

    As co-founder of My Internet Doorman, a company dedicated to educating parents and teens about the True Dangers of Internet Porn, I have heard many first hand accounts of adults who have lost their jobs, their spouses, and their self respect because of this porn parasite. These risks obviously would be a huge source of stress and anxiety, clearing data, wondering when you will be found out! Several clients have compared porn to cocaine, in that they will risk anything to get a fix; this clearly indicates a loss of control.

    It is important to filter the internet and avoid exposure to inappropriate material. The average age of exposure is only 11 years old… and in most cases occurs while doing homework! Kids and adults are forced to navigate their way around a minefield of porn traps such as kidpicks, a misspelled porn portal that catches kids and parents looking for http://www.kidspicks.com. The fact that traditional filters are not doing the job, should be a clue as to how difficult it is to hit this moving target (hundreds of new porn sites per day).

    Seeing that educating parents and teens was only half the job; we developed the first fully managed internet filter service. This service has been greatly welcomed and has proven to be a powerful assistance in protecting oneself and one’s family from inappropriate material on the web—and for some, a crucial step in breaking a porn addiction. An encouraging trend we are witnessing is that a growing number of adults want to block porn for themselves. They are finding that our fully managed filter service is exactly what they were looking for.

    Mr. M – My Internet Doorman

    To the point of:
    With respect to pornography addiction, an individual probably maintains some degree of control over the addiction.

    As co-founder of My Internet Doorman, a company dedicated to educating parents and teens about the True Dangers of Internet Porn, I have personally spoken to many adults who have lost their jobs, their spouses, and their self respect because of this porn parasite. Several clients have compared porn to cocaine, in that they will risk anything to get a fix; this seems to indicate a loss of control.

    It is important to filter the internet and avoid exposure to inappropriate material. The average age of exposure is only 11 years old… and in most cases occurs while doing homework! Kids and adults are forced to navigate their way around a minefield of porn traps such as kidpicks.com– a misspelled porn portal that catches kids and parents looking for http://www.kidspicks.com. The fact that traditional filters don’t do the job, should be a clue as to how difficult it is to hit this moving target (hundreds of new porn sites per day).
    Seeing that educating parents and teens was only half the job; we then launched the first fully managed internet filter service. This service provides the necessary assistance in protecting oneself and ones family from inappropriate material on the web and for some it has been the first step in breaking the porn addiction. This growing trend of adults who want to block porn for themselves is encouraging.

    Mr. M – My Internet Doorman My Internet Doorman

  • http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog Luke

    I had a deeply rooted porn addiction. Not too long ago I was interviewed on Dr. Kevin Skinner’s radio program, “Pornography As I See It.”

    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2008/11/12/breaking-free-of-porn-addiction/

  • Mani Elankom

    I have a close male relative, who is addicted to porn, cyber chatting young girls, dating sites, often he picks girls for offline sexual escapades. He is married, this has ruined his marriage, he has no social life and to some degree his work is afffected. I have tried telling him to seek help, but he stubbornely refuses, pretending he has no problem as I see it. He is in his sixties, I have seen him oggling young girls whenever he gets a chance, how do I get him to seek help, probably he is depressed too. In my mind I see him as a dirty old man.

  • Gwenny

    It’s not like the Internet porn CAUSES this though. That is what I’m seeing people say here. There were problems like this before the Internet. Broken people are broken people. And I am highly offended by the post by the person who is clearly spamming for his questionable product. I don’t NEED some stupid piece of crap software to tell me what is safe to read. I was on the Internet before the WWW and never have had any problem. In almost 20 years I have only accidentally visited a porn site one time. I have 2 adult children who share my home and they don’t bother with it either. They have been on the Internet, mostly unsupervised, since they were 11 and 9 respectively.

    What I’m seeing here is that the REAL problem is folks who like this stuff being afraid of being judged . .being afraid of other’s opinions. The depression comes from shame not from enjoying porn. I suspect if watching football became socially unacceptable, men who watched it would be depressed as well.

  • Bea

    Gwenny, it’s true indeed that people who watch porn can be afraid of being judged and feel ashamed of their habit, certainly contributing to depression. But also, there can be many other facets that depress many an occasional porn viewer (and especially the porn addict) – for example, the loss of control that he/she may feel…which is a very distressing, discouraging and frustrating feeling.
    Looks like it’s very much a chicken and egg situation – what came first, the porn habit or the depression?
    It should be noted that people who are struggling with depression (or other mental health challenges like anxiety) have an increased vulnerability to addictions. But also, exposure to pornography may rouse certain emotions in people – for example, people may feel sadness after viewing porn; they made feel disturbed about the objectification and explicit, sexually “concentrated” depictions.
    I think one thing is for sure – porn addiction is about far, far more than just needing a masturbatory aid.

    Also, what about women? This study involved only men…but what about women who engage in Internet sex activities? This is a very neglected, under-researched group. Probably because society still takes a view that women should be “prim and proper”, that porn is only something men watch / porn addictions only afflict men.

  • http://www.uncensoredmaterial.com celebfan

    There is obviously a lot more to know about this.

  • http://www.uncensoredmaterial.com wannaknow

    There is obviously a lot more to know about this.

  • http://www.feedtherightwolf.org/ How to Stop Porn Addiction

    I am glad that scientist are finally coming around to prove that many of porn addicts (including myself) experienced first hand. Porn addiction kills you , literally.

  • Steel

    Internet porn is a double-edged sword. It’s unhealthy when overused, but it’s also very educational. There are many things about the female anatomy and the female sexual response that I would never have understood without porn, and I don’t mean the mainstream slam-bang stuff. I mean the more natural amateur stuff.

  • Rodrigoyy

    I.P. Its somehow a relieve method that simulates the pic of other drugs.It’s satisfying at the moment, but eventually will bring guilt to the mind, and a higher dose will be needed. 

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