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Excessive Pornography Linked to Sexual Aggression: Experts


Behind many violent sex crimes, there may be excessive pornography consumption, health experts said on Thursday emphasising that certain types of pornographic content may influence aggression and sexual crime.

According to experts, watching pornography can result in thinking that this is a way of life, which distorts the perception of reality.

“Excessive pornography can create disinhibition, desensitisation and can also result into thinking that this is a way of life, which distorts the perception of reality,” Sameer Parikh, Director – Head of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences Department, Fortis Healthcare, New Delhi, told IANS.

“It can also bring in a lot of aggressive arousals, which does impact the way an individual looks at sexuality,” Parikh added.

The expert said that if this viewing happens at a younger age, where there is a lot of vulnerability to forming beliefs, attitudes and behaviour, there is even more response.

According to Nand Kumar, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi, sexual violence is related to certain types of pornography that may influence aggression and sexual crime, depending upon the content of the pornography.

“Aggressive pornography materials are more likely to precipitate sexual violence and crime. The personality of the person along with duration and frequency of the exposure to pornographic contretemps also colours the sexual violence related to pornography,” Kumar told IANS.

A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Communication showed that consuming pornography increases the likelihood of physical and verbal sexual aggression.

The study highlighted that the associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor.

“Yes, there is some evidence that suggests there is a correlation between the various acts of transgression, molestation, violence and viewing related to pornography,” said Parikh.

“To say that all crimes are related to pornography is not a right way to put it. There are a lot of other factors, but like I said, there is some correlation of pornography as well,” he added.

The experts mentioned that the time frame where an individual indulges in pornography impacts the day-to-day function, sleep, work, academic and social life. And, to treat pornography addiction, one must look into self-correction, behaviour correction including digital detox, involving yourself in different things, taking the help of an expert as well.

On being asked if banning pornographic content can be useful for many, Parikh said, if porn is banned, individuals will find one way or the other to navigate it through loopholes.

“We can rather use media literacy that empowers young people to know the right choice. Make them understand the difference between fake and real. Enable them to understand the importance of their safety, creating more awareness,” Parikh said.

“If we talk about sex education, various components can be incorporated in educating the masses on how pornography can affect an individual’s sexual behaviour,” Parikh noted.



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