Where We Stand in Late 2019 with Pornography Addiction Being Recognized As a Diagnosable Condition

I haven’t shared many pornography addiction statistics in the last 6-to-8 months because it’s really been a matter of waiting for science to present more information. I asked a few months ago for people to forward new links to me if they ran into anything, and I appreciate those of you who forwarded a few along. I’ll be pulling data from these sources to share as it appears there are a lot of new 2018 and 2019 studies being released.

I’ll start with an overview of where things stand with pornography addiction from a clinical, scientific standpoint, looking at the results of a catch-all survey of the situation from a team of Spanish researchers released earlier in 2019. I’ve included the actual abstract at the end of this post, but I’m translating it into everyday English for you here:

 

  • Scientists still can’t tell the exact moment that porn use becomes a problem, affecting someone on a deeper level than just a casual user. This isn’t that surprising as science still hasn’t been able to figure out when someone goes from being a liar to a pathological liar, despite knowing that condition has been around for more than 100 years. My guess is that it’s a little different in everyone and there will never be a specific black-and-white test to determine when one has crossed the line into problem use.

 

  • The only behavioral addiction accepted by the DSM-5 (the manual of diagnoses preferred by most North American mental health providers) is gambling addiction. While the World Health Organization has adopted Sexual Impulse Disorder as a diagnosis in its ICD-11, it has still not officially recognized pornography addiction as a diagnosable condition. Based on reading I’ve done, it sounds like video game addiction may be the next behavioral addiction to be formally recognized. While most seem to feel its inclusion one day is a given, most experts seem to believe it is still going to be a while until enough data supports its inclusion in the DSM-5.

 

  • There has been recent attention paid to pornography addiction in the world pre- and post-introduction of high-speed Internet. While I understand the Internet has provided the tools to make pornography addiction more prevalent, I still need to do more reading on it to understand what the difference between the actual addiction would be before and after. I got hooked a decade before high-speed internet was made available, but used that exclusively in my last decade of addiction. Aside from the startling ease by which to access copious amounts and exotic varieties and genres of pornography, I don’t know what the difference is. A new designation (POPU) appears to be a favorite among researchers, standing for “Problematic Use of Online Pornography). Yeah, the letters seem to be in the wrong order to me, too.

 

  • POPU may have adverse effects on young people’s sexual development. It seems like a given, but even up until a few years ago, there were many studies doubting this. Science often has to prove the obvious again and again until the vast majority agree it’s the best conclusion based on the provable data. It’s a slow process, but getting pornography addiction officially recognized is getting there.

 

The actual abstract from the survey overview:

“In the last few years, there has been a wave of articles related to behavioral addictions; some of them have a focus on online pornography addiction. However, despite all efforts, we are still unable to profile when engaging in this behavior becomes pathological. Common problems include: sample bias, the search for diagnostic instrumentals, opposing approximations to the matter, and the fact that this entity may be encompassed inside a greater pathology (i.e., sex addiction) that may present itself with very diverse symptomatology. Behavioral addictions form a largely unexplored field of study, and usually exhibit a problematic consumption model: loss of control, impairment, and risky use. Hypersexual disorder fits this model and may be composed of several sexual behaviors, like problematic use of online pornography (POPU). Online pornography use is on the rise, with a potential for addiction considering the “triple A” influence (accessibility, affordability, anonymity). This problematic use might have adverse effects in sexual development and sexual functioning, especially among the young population. We aim to gather existing knowledge on problematic online pornography use as a pathological entity. Here we try to summarize what we know about this entity and outline some areas worthy of further research.”

 

The 2018 Pornhub Statistics Should Scare the Hell Out of Everybody

Normally, I do a monthly “Your Alarming Porn Statistics for the Month” entry, but I worry those sometimes get buried and I don’t want this to go unnoticed as Pornhub, the most visited pornography site in the world, often appearing in the Top 10 of all websites for traffic in the world has released its 2018 statistics. They give a chilling testimony to just how fast pornography is growing.

First, let me say that while I don’t like what Pornhub does, they do have one of the most excellent analytics teams in the world when it comes to producing data sets. The statistician in me is glad they do such a good job illustrating the problem we have in front of us.

Here are just a handful of highlights from their 2018 numbers:

  • Pornhub’s visitors in 2018 went up more than 5 billion from 2017 to 33.5 billion people. That means 92 million people are visiting daily and Pornhub expects that number to exceed 100 million visitors per day by early 2019.
  • Pornhub saw 4.79 million new videos uploaded in 2018, or over 1 million hours of new content. If you watched for 24 hours a day without duplicating a single video, it would still take you over 114 years to view just the new content. In a single minute, over two hours of new content is being added to the site.
  • The top seven countries remained exactly the same in user rank, with United States, United Kingdom and India ranking in the Top 3, respectively. Interestingly enough, these are the three countries, in that order, that visit my website.
  • Of the top 20 countries that utilize Pornhub, only one saw a decrease in duration, South Africa. The United States was up four seconds to 10 minutes and 37 seconds. The Philippines leads the list with 13 minutes and 50 seconds. Throughout the world, the average was up by 14 seconds. In the United States, Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama were the states that used the site the longest. Kansas, Nebraska, Washington DC and Utah were the shortest.
  • Women now make up 29% of Pornhub’s viewership worldwide. That’s an increase of 3 percentage points over last year, or about 12% more overall. The Philippines has the most female viewers, at 38%, while the US number is 28%.
  • The average Pornhub user is 35.5 years old. Only 22% of users are older than 45. Viewers 18-to-24 are actually down 3% from 2017 and now represent 26% of the total viewership. Conversely, viewers 25-to-34 are up by 3% to 35%. This means that 61% of all traffic on the world’s busiest porn site is under 34 years old. It’s unknown if children who view are not tabulated or lumped into the 18-to-24 age group.
  • Considering its young users, it’s not hard to understand that 71.6% of users access Pornhub with their telephone. That number is up by 8% in 2018. Less than 20% used a traditional desktop or laptop computer, down 18% from 2017. Porn is mobile.

I’m going to stop here, but their statistics go on and on and on. I don’t think it really matters who the most popular porn star was this year or what the most popular browser to utilize porn on people’s tablets might be.

I’m not going to give my analysis on every statistic, other than to state these numbers should scare the hell out of people. Young people use the internet. Young people use their phones and young people are reporting higher rates of PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction) and pornography addiction than ever before.

This starts with the porn. No, not every viewer is going to end up critical, much like not everybody who tastes a beer or places a bet on a game ends up an addict. The difference is that the populace as a whole is still greatly uneducated about pornography addiction. I truly believe it’s one thing to start smoking cigarettes, knowing what the potential health risks are to viewing pornography, which the vast majority of people still believe (while morally questionable) is relatively harmless.

As always, if you have a pornography addiction, seek help. Here are a few RESOURCES where you can begin.

Your Alarming Porn Statistic for November

So, in 2017, a couple researchers named Perry & Davis conducted a study to determine the effects of pornography on a relationship, specifically if there was any correlation between those who look at porn and if they maintained the relationship.

The findings were astounding, but not surprising. Check out this graph, which originally ran in Psychology Today (and also has more about the study.)

porn_use_2006_2012

Now, there can be a lot of interpretation of why the numbers are what they have discovered, and Perry & Davis do go into hypothesizing, but I’ll save that for the experts. There is no denying a correlation between a person’s use of pornography and the greater likelihood they are going to end the relationship.

Your Alarming Porn Statistics for October

There is terrific article in the new issue of Time online that you should read HERE. It might be in the real magazine, but I’ll never know. They are not pornography statistics per se, but in a roundabout way, I think they very much are.

The article focuses on several studies that have found people are having sex less than ever before. Now, I’m not going to moralize on if you should wait, if you should use a condom, what technically is or isn’t sex or any of that stuff. That’s not what these statistics are about for me.

According to a survey they site:

“…the fraction of people getting it on at least once a week fell from 45% in 2000 to 36% in 2016. One study of the GSS data showed that more than twice as many millennials were sexually inactive in their early 20s than the prior generation was. And the sharpest drop was the most recent, in the years 2014 to 2016.”

They go to further state:

“In 2016, 4% fewer condoms were sold than the year before, and they fell a further 3% in 2017. Teen sex, which is monitored by the Centers for Disease Control… And the fertility rate—the frequency at which babies are added to the population—is at a level not seen since the Great Depression.”

That means more people’s grandparents were getting it on than they are! Finally:

“Nearly 20% of 18- to 29-year-olds reported having no sex at all in 2016, an almost 50% rise over those who were celibate in 2000.”

They do make a passing mention of pornography as a potential cause for this, but I think if anybody looked at the way pornography numbers are going up from academic studies or surveys (or the excellent ones PornHub provides), there is a direct correlation between the drop in these numbers above and porn use numbers, especially in younger people.

Is it good that younger people are either waiting to or not having sex? Most people would say yes. Is it better than them getting lost in a world of porn and addicted to images on a screen? I don’t think so.

 

Your Alarming Pornography Statistics for September

I’ve learned a lot about how everything we ever do on a computer is recorded. Everything. It’s in your hard drive, even if you think you’ve erased it and if you’re using one of those “here and gone” apps like Snapchat…there’s no such thing as here and gone.

But it’s not like many people are even making it difficult for authorities to track them on their computers because they’re using wide-open public networks to look at pornography. In a July 2018 study by Neowin, 15,000 people across the world were asked about their porn watching habits. One in six had used a public network to watch pornography.

Norton by Symantec, the computer virus giant, went even deeper after it also found the one-in-six statistic through their surveys. They actually found where people were watching:

  • Hotel/Airbnb (40 percent)
  • Café/Restaurant (30 percent)
  • Work (29 percent)
  • Airport (25 percent)
  • On the street (24 percent)
  • Train/bus station (18 percent)
  • Public restroom/toilet (16 percent)

To give that a little perspective, if 1-in-6 people are looking at porn on a public network and 1-in-4 of those people are in an airport, that means that statistically, one out of every 24 people in an airport has accessed porn there. It doesn’t mean they’re doing it now, but just sit and watch the hundreds and thousands pass you by. Four out of every hundred accessed porn in that building. More did it at a restaurant or at their job, just slightly less did it in a public restroom…but that’s still one out of every 38.

How is this OK?

Think porn isn’t everywhere? Think again.

 

Your Alarming Porn Statistics for August

I’ve given quite a few presentations based on the concept of “The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About” in the last several months. Most have been to small civic organizations or private healthcare companies, although there have been a few libraries as well. I’m hoping with the fall coming that I’ll be invited to a few colleges.

One area where I put out a ton of feelers but got very little back was the church world. I knew statistics were a little higher than the secular world, but I just attributed that to guilt in self-reporting on most surveys.

The Barna Group, one of the better statistical companies when it comes to pornography and pornography addiction released these church-specific stats not too long ago. It makes me realize that I may not be kept out of churches because of the subject matter, I may be kept out because so many people have an issue.

With things like the Pennsylvania sexual abuse priest scandal just erupting, it seems like churches should be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the sexual behavior of their flock. Here are just a few statistics:

  • 68% of all church going men view porn regularly
  • 33% of church going females 18-to-24 view porn regularly
  • 76% of male 18- to 24-year-old church goers actively seek out porn regularly
  • 50-to-55% of pastors admit to viewing pornography online
  • Only 9% of church goers in the US and 7% of pastors in the US say they have a program at their church to help those struggling with pornography

 

If your church or organization would like a non-graphic, educational program about pornography addiction (causes, symptoms and ways to deal with it) please CONTACT and let me know.

Your Alarming Porn Statistics For July

I’ve mentioned before that one of the amazing ironies of the world of pornography addiction statistics is that the No. 1 porn site in the world, PornHub, actually releases the best statistics of any organization in the world. If you want to know the people’s tastes, duration of use, change from the previous year, etc., this is one smut peddler that deserves a PhD in statistics.

While different tracking sites will share somewhat different stories, It’s safe to say that PornHub is the 5th or 6th most popular site in the United States and around the 13th or 14th most popular site in the world.

If you’re into statistics, I urge you to find a link through a search engine so you don’t end up in parts of the site you’d rather not visit. Some of the statistics have graphic terms, but I believe even those terms can reveal a lot, although I won’t use them here.

You can see some stats meant to freak you out in the picture at the bottom, but these are some of my takeaways from their 2017 statistics:

  • It was a very big year for women throughout the world utilizing pornography on the Internet. Women were 26% of PornHub’s users and in the 20 countries that used the site the most, the percentage of change in female visits was down in only one, Russia. In India, it was up a whopping 129%! Other notable countries where the numbers went up were the USA (10%), UK (15%), Philippines (32%), Japan (56%), Canada (19%) and Spain (19%).
  • The age of somebody using the site follows general Internet usage with 61% under 34 years old. The 55-and-older group makes up 11% with the rest in between. Most countries generally follow the overall trend, but the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium all show a higher rate of older users while India, The Philippines and South Africa show a higher percentage of young users.
  • Only 24% of PornHub users are accessing the site on a desktop or laptop computer. A whopping 67% are using their smartphones (spread equal between Android and Apple platforms). In India, it’s 86% with smartphones, leading the pack. The remaining 9% worldwide are on tablets.
  • What hurts PornHub’s American viewership numbers? Sports and awards shows. The site saw a 24% decreases in traffic during the Super Bowl between New England and Atlanta, 7% decrease during the Daytona 500, 6% decrease in average traffic during the NBA Finals Game 5 and the American Music Awards, respectively, and a 5% drop during the Academy Awards. The three weekly shows that put a noticeable dent into traffic in America are The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.
  • Which single event in 2017 caused the biggest dip in traffic for a one-hour period? The solar eclipse that took place in August. While all 50 states were down, those in the path took the biggest hits, including Wyoming (down 54%), Nebraska (42%), Idaho (40%) and Oregon (39%).
  • Forty-two states have the same most popular search term, lesbian.
  • People from states in the Deep South (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana) stayed on the longest while states in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Idaho, Washington) had the shortest sessions. The average time spent on the site was 10 minutes, 33 seconds.

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