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Peter (2015), violence and rape were fairly uncommon themes in the sample of more frequently viewed pornography. Other articles in this review confirm negative effects of pornography use on the individual. Both Harkness, et. al, (2015) and Braithwaite, et. al (2015) report that increased viewing of pornography is associated with more risky sexual behavior such as higher
Running head: PORNOGRAPHY AND HEALTHY SEXUALITY10number of casual sexual partners and a higher likelihood of engaging in oral, vaginal, or anal sexupon “hooking up”. Other effects of the individual focus in more closely on gender-specific effects. Men’s porn use can result in a range of psychological consequences from poor self- and body-image (Tylka, 2015) to decreased pleasure in intimate activities with partners (Sun, et. al, 2016), whereas the consequences of men’s porn use for women include dissatisfaction with the relationship and higher levels of psychological stress (Szymanski, et. al, 2016). The effects of porn use on committed relationships. Balswick & Balswick (2008) acknowledge that frequent porn use is associated with increased marital distress, decreased intimacy and satisfaction in the sexual relationship, increased risk for infidelity, and higher likelihood to devalue marriage and child-rearing. These results are not inconsistent with the result found in Perry’s (2016) study, which showed men’s porn usage was associated with decreased sexual satisfaction for both partners. He did find, however, that women’s porn usage actually either positively impacted the sexual relationship or had no effect at all (2016). One thought Perry (2016) pointed out was that marital dissatisfaction can be a cause of increased pornuse, which causes a cyclical decrease in marital satisfaction. This is consistent with Balswick & Balswick’s (2008) report that couple who consider themselves “happily married” (p. 281) were 61% less likely to report viewing pornography. Therapeutic ApplicationEasy access to pornography through the channels of the internet has greatly increased the utilization of explicit material over the past 40 years (Price et. al, 2016). In Christian households alone, 47% reported that pornography use was a major problem in their home (Clinton & Hawkins, 2009). With all the information about the negative associations pornography use has in
Running head: PORNOGRAPHY AND HEALTHY SEXUALITY11personal conduct and relationships, it is essential that therapists be able to assist clients with developing a healthy definition and expression of their sexuality. Counselors can help their clients understand the impact that frequent use of pornography has on their views of women, intimate relationships, self-esteem, body-image, and increased propensity for taking sexual risks. Counselors can also help clients find possible underlying reasons for seeking out sexual gratification through the use of pornography. For instances, times of stress, greater fatigue, periods of depression, boredom, or feelings of loneliness can all be triggering factors that contribute to more frequent use of pornographic material (Clinton & Hawkins, 2009).