Young men driving the decline in sex

History of Porn

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Internet pornography grew out of the older off-line world of print, DVDs and videos. Our colleague Gabe Deem in the USA put together this brief history of pornography and how it has affected both individual users and whole societies.

In 2005: YouTube launched. Big game changer…

2006: PornTube sites changed to “Tube” sites making porn now instantly available and offering an unlimited amount of novelty. PornHub and many of the other big name sites launched early 2007.

2007: launch of the iPhone. Meant teens/kids who had a smartphone now had access to their own never ending, instantly available, library of porn in their pocket, 24/7. 

2008: Threads on forums all over the world began popping up with guys complaining of porn-induced erectile dysfunction. These guys were dependent on porn to function. They began experimenting with giving up porn, a term they called “rebooting”. Envision the brain going back to factory settings before it had been programmed with porn that “rewired it.”

2011Yourbrainonporn.com launches. This website explains the neuroscience around porn use and cites recovery stories, documented by the thousands, where young people are recovering from addiction and sexual dysfunction by removing porn use from their lives. Shortly after yourbrainonporn.com launched, porn addiction recovery forums were started and eventually filled with hundreds of thousands of members.

…all now have thousands of members.

2014: Neuroscience starts coming out from Cambridge University and the Max Plank Institute in Germany. Brain scan studies that supported the concept of porn addiction, finding addiction-related brain changes similar to substance addictions, such as desensitization as a possible driver of escalation to more extreme material. Check out this link to highlights of study with quotes and access to many full studies. And here is a link to the Cambridge University study that found evidence for sensitization.

There are now dozens of neuroscience-based studies supporting the concept of porn addiction. 

2016 – April: TIME Magazine cover story on Young guys giving up porn for health reasons: Porn and the Threat to Virility

2016: Utah passes the first bill declaring porn a public health issue.

2016-Present: at least 11 states in the USA have passed a health bill on porn:

  • Arkansas – House Resolution Passed (2017)
  • Florida – House Resolution Passed (2018)
  • Idaho – House Concurring Resolution Passed (2018)
  • Kansas – House Resolution Passed (2017)
  • Kentucky – Senate Resolution Passed (2018)
  • Louisiana – House Resolution Passed (2017)
  • Pennsylvania – House Resolution Passed (2018)
  • South Dakota – Senate Concurring Resolution Passed (2017)
  • Tennessee – Senate Joint Resolution Passed (2017)
  • Utah – Senate Concurring Resolution Passed (2016)
  • Virginia – House Resolution Passed (2017). *Unofficial due to Virginia rules on resolutions

2018: The World Health Organization’s new ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases) contains a diagnosis suitable for what lay people would call “porn addiction.” Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD):

2019: Washington Post article from the end of March that showed graphs of the decline in sex among young people. Scroll down to the graph that shows a HUGE spike in young men aged 18-29 who live lives without partnered sex. They have doubled in number since 2008.

Gabe ends with a personal note. He offers the presentation where he gets a li’l choked up talking about all the guys who are contemplating suicide because they feel screwed up from too much porn.

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