The Questioning Pornography Podcast seeks to promote thoughtful and critical conversation on porn's effects on individuals and society, relying upon scientific research, empirical data, and anecdotal evidence.
Will age verification really work? Skeptic questions John Carr
John Carr, OBE, is a globally recognized expert on child safety; he is working towards implementing age verification legislation in the UK aimed at protecting children from exposure to online pornography. My friend Alexander is skeptical that age verification for pornography websites can really be effective. In this episode, Alexander raises his concerns and tough questions and John Carr responds. Questions discussed include: With millions of porn websites currently existing and hundreds more popping up every day, how can governments hope to monitor all these sites for compliance? Is it a valid argument to say that since age verification works for online gambling sites, it can work for porn sites? What would have the biggest impact: requiring porn websites to age verify users, or requiring search engines to age-gate pornographic content? If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
January 30, 2022
Research Highlight: A Review of Longitudinal Research on Pornography's Impact on Adolescents
Within the field of pornography research, longitudinal data is arguably the most robust evidence one can get for causation. The paper highlighted in today's episode is a review of various longitudinal studies which examine the impact pornography consumption has on adolescents. Paper Highlighted: Longitudinal associations between the use of sexually explicit material and adolescents' attitudes and behaviors: A narrative review of studies by Goran Koletic For further research on pornography's impact on adolescents see this webpage For a more thorough discussion of causation vs. correlation in pornography research and the advantages of longitudinal studies, I recommend you listen to this episode. If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
January 18, 2022
Dr. Mateusz Gola on the Neuroscience of Porn Addiction
I was so grateful to chat with Dr. Mateusz Gola, leading expert on the neuroscience of problematic pornography use. I was able to ask some burning questions, correct my previous misunderstandings of the research, and have some laughs! To read Dr. Gola's studies or to seek treatment, visit drgola.online If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
December 11, 2021
Christopher Bueker: Addiction Counselor & Author of "Break Free of Chains"
Christopher Bueker discusses how parents can help their children recover from pornography addiction, authoritative vs. authoritarian parenting, signs that a child is addicted to pornography, what makes an individual susceptible to addiction, and more. Further Resources: Christopher's new book Break Free of Chains: How to Help Your Child Recover from Pornography Addiction If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
November 20, 2021
Research Highlight: A Meta-Analysis on Porn & Sexual/Relationship Satisfaction
What does the overall body of research have to say on how porn affects sexual and relationship satisfaction? What about body satisfaction and self-esteem? Are the answers to these questions different for men and women? This meta-analysis explores these questions! Study highlighted: Pornography Consumption and Satisfaction: a Meta-Analysis Other studies mentioned: Studies linking porn to lower sexual/relationship satisfaction for women Studies linking porn to lower body satisfaction and self-esteem Study showing female porn consumers watch more violent content than men
November 06, 2021
Mary Sharpe: Pornography, People with Autism, and "Rough Sex Gone Wrong"
Mary Sharpe, the CEO of the Reward Foundation, speaks to the effect of pornography on people with autism, increasing consumption of child sexual abuse material (aka. child pornography), and increasing rates of sexual strangulation and "rough sex gone wrong". Sources for further learning: Mary Sharpe & Darryl Mead's new paper: Problematic Pornography Use: Legal and Health Policy Considerations The Reward Foundation Website If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
October 23, 2021
Research Highlight: How does porn impact female consumers?
The number of female porn consumers is on the rise, and it's important to understand any gender differences that might exist when it comes to pornography's impact on consumers. In this research highlight episode, I cover a study which looks at how pornography impacts female consumers in the domains of body dissatisfaction, attitudes towards sexual violence, sexist attitudes, and sexual behaviours. Study highlighted: Internet Pornography Use Among Collegiate Women: Gender Attitudes, Body Monitoring, and Sexual Behavior - Megan K. Maas, Shannamar Dewey, 2018 (sagepub.com) If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
October 09, 2021
Dr John Foubert on Pornography & Sexual Violence
In this episode I speak with Dr. John Foubert, leading expert on the intersection between Pornography & Sexual Violence. I was grateful for the opportunity to ask him some of the trickier questions on this issue that I've been wrestling with for a while. We discuss such questions as: Can pornography actually decrease rape rates, by providing a mechanism for the release of sexual tension? Is there really a difference between using people in pornography as tools/commodities to serve our own sexual pleasure vs. using people as tools/commodities to serve our own purposes in other types of commercial exchanges? Are there nuances to acknowledge when it comes to what types of acts in pornography should be considered "violent"? Why do different studies assessing the rates of violence in pornography get such different results? If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes. If you wish to read Dr. John Foubert's book How Pornography Harms, you can purchase a copy here. He also has a new book coming out soon is addressed to parents, so keep your eye out for that one as well! Studies referenced during our conversation: Goodson, A, Franklin, C.A., & Bouffard, L.A. (2020). Male peer support and sexual assault: the relation between high-Profile, high school sports participation and sexually predatory behavior. Journal of Sexual Aggression, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2020.1733111 De Heer, B.A., Prior, S., & Hoegh, G. (2020). Pornography, Masculinity, and Sexual Aggression on College Campuses. Violence Against Women https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520906186 Rodriguez, C.G. & Fernandez-Gonzalez, L (2019). Is pornography consumption associated with intimate partner violence? The moderating role of attitudes toward women and violence. Behavioral Psychology, 27(3), 431-454. Hughes, A., Brewer, G. & Khan, R. (2020). Sexual coercion by women: The influence of pornography and narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder traits. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49, 885–894. Bridges, A.J. (2019). Pornography and sexual assault. In W.T. O’Donohue & P.A. Schewe (Eds.), Handbook of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention. Springer. Foubert, J.D. & Bridges, A. J. (2017). What is the attraction? Understanding gender differences in reasons for viewing pornography in relationship to bystander intervention. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32 (20), 3071-3089.
October 09, 2021
Research Highlight: The Pornography "Rebooting" Experience
This 2021 study conducts a qualitative analysis of abstinence journals kept by members of Reboot Nation, a recovery forum for problematic porn use. It explores the various negative effects members attributed to their porn use, which consequently motivated them to try to quit porn, and what the experience of trying to quit was like. Study highlighted: The Pornography "Rebooting" Experience: A Qualitative Analysis of Abstinence Journals on an Online Pornography Abstinence Forum - PubMed (nih.gov) Gabe Deem's videos on: The Flatline The Chaser Effect If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
September 25, 2021
Murray Perkins: Can Age Verification help kids who stumble on porn outside of commercial pornography sites?
A few weeks ago, I had a dear friend express to me how grateful he was for the Canadian government's efforts towards Age Verification for online pornography, as he himself had a very traumatic childhood experience of pornography popping up while he was on a gaming platform. With a sinking feeling, I realized that the current approach of barring underage access to commercial pornography sites actually wouldn't have protected my friend from that traumatic experience, as he was exposed on a gaming platform, not a commercial porn site. I suddenly thought back to the countless other stories I've heard of children first being exposed through social media sites, gaming platforms, youtube, etc - rather than porn sites. And I wondered: Can Age Verification be used to help prevent this kind of exposure? So I brought the question to my favourite Age Verification expert, Murray Perkins, and out comes this episode! If you have not yet listened to my initial episode on Age Verification with Mr. Perkins and Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, I recommend you do so first, as it will give you more context on the issue. If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me continue producing episodes.
August 28, 2021
Research Highlight: Porn Consumption & Extramarital Sex Attitudes
In this episode I highlight a longitudinal study which finds that pornography consumption can lead to more positive attitudes towards extramarital sex (ie. being married and thinking it's okay to have sex with someone other than your spouse). This longitudinal study explicitly tests whether the causal direction runs from porn consumption --> the attitudes or from the attitudes --> porn consumption, and finds strong evidence for the former. If you have not already listened to these past 2 research highlight episodes, I highly recommend you do so first, as they will provide you with important background knowledge for understanding this study: 1) Dr. Paul Wright on Overcontrolling for 3rd Variables 2) Dr. Paul Wright on Selective Exposure vs. Sexual Socialization If you enjoy the Questioning Pornography podcast, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me cover the costs of producing these episodes.
August 21, 2021
Alexander: How Quitting Porn Improved my Relationships and View of Women
I'm delighted to share this conversation with my friend Alexander, the person who caused this podcast to come into existence. Alexander speaks to how pornography affected his mentality towards women and relationships, and how he noticed radical and "beautiful" improvements since quitting pornography and masturbation. If you enjoy the Questioning Pornography podcast, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me cover the costs of producing these episodes.
August 14, 2021
Francesca Palazzolo: Addiction Counsellor & Author of Pornography Research
Francesca Palazzolo is the author of a study I highlighted in a previous research episode, which explores the various negative effects that problematic users of internet pornography can experience. She is also an addiction counsellor and psychotherapist who has front-lines experience working with clients who struggle with porn addiction. In our conversation, we discuss such questions as: the controversy over the word "addiction", the popular trend of citing a single study to "debunk porn addiction" and the flaws in that study, taking a holistic approach in addiction counselling, and more. Further resources/links of interest: Research Highlight Episode on Francesca's study Francesca's blog post on why the word "addiction" is so controversial Peer Reviewed Critiques of Nicole Prause's 2015 study Reboot Nation: An excellent forum for those trying to quit porn and/or their partners
August 07, 2021
"Research" Highlight: Dr. Paul Wright on Selective Exposure vs. Sexual Socialization
It's the classic question of what came first, the chicken or the egg? Do people with certain beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours gravitate towards viewing pornography, or does viewing pornography influence the development of those beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours? In this episode, I highlight a Letter by Dr. Paul Wright in which he explains what the research has to say on this topic Read Dr. Wright's Letter here If you enjoy the Questioning Pornography podcast, please consider supporting me on Patreon to help me cover the costs of producing these episodes.
July 31, 2021
Paul Lavergne: Psychotherapist Specializing in Porn & Sex Addiction
Paul Lavergne, registered psychotherapist specializing in compulsive sexual behaviours, shares his insights from working with clients who struggle with compulsive pornography use. In addition to discussing the negative impact compulsive pornography consumption has on his clients' lives, Paul speaks to the negative impact it has on their romantic partners. If any of our listeners wish to seek therapy with Paul, his information is as follows: email@example.com 705-868-8896 https://www.turningpoint4me.com/ Paul's Youtube channel If you enjoy this podcast, please consider supporting Questioning Pornography on Patreon to help me cover the cost of producing these episodes.
July 24, 2021
"Research" Highlight: Dr. Paul Wright on Overcontrolling for 3rd Variables
In this episode we highlight a Letter by Dr. Paul Wright in which he explains a tendency amongst pornography researchers to over-control for 3rd variables, and how this leads to skewed results. Letter Highlighted: Dr. Paul Wright: Overcontrol in Pornography Research If you enjoy the Questioning Pornography podcast, please consider offering support on Patreon to help me cover the cost of producing these episodes.
July 17, 2021
Dr. Darryl Mead: Understanding the Porn Industry and its Consumers
Dr. Darryl Mead, the Chair of The Reward Foundation, speaks about his research into the Pornography Industry. Questions discussed: How big is the industry? What are its consumer demographics? Its business practices and ways of making money? We also discuss possible avenues for reducing the harm caused by the pornography industry.
July 10, 2021
Research Highlight: Porn, Two forms of Dehumanization, and Sexually Aggressive Attitudes/Behaviours
This recently published study finds an association between pornography consumption, dehumanizing views of women, and sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviours. It explains two different types of dehumanization -- mechanistic and animalistic -- and how each mediate the relationship with sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviours differently. Study highlighted: Pornography Use, Two Forms of Dehumanization, and Sexual Aggression: Attitudes vs. Behaviors: Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy: Vol 0, No 0 (tandfonline.com) Further Research on Porn influencing Sexual Aggression: Studies linking porn use to sexual offending, sexual aggression, and sexual coercion – Your Brain On Porn If you enjoy this podcast, please consider supporting Questioning Pornography on Patreon to help me cover the cost of producing these episodes.
July 03, 2021
Gabe Deem: Recovered Porn Addict & Founder of Reboot Nation
This week I was so pleased to interview Gabe Deem, the founder of Reboot Nation, an online community and educational platform for porn addicts and their partners. Gabe shares his own story of suffering from severe porn-induced erectile dysfunction, and talks about how that motivated him to learn about the neuroscience behind porn's harms, and eventually educate many others on the topic. I encourage you to check out Reboot Nation's Youtube channel and website, and also consider supporting Gabe on Patreon. You may also support Questioning Pornography on Patreon if you wish to assist me in producing these episodes.
June 26, 2021
Research Highlight: Exploring the Lived Experience of Problematic Porn Users
In the study we highlight this week, participants report on the various negative effects that they believe porn has had on their lives. Examples include decreased mental health, negative effects on intimacy and relationships, porn-induced erectile dysfunction, and symptoms of addiction. Study highlighted (free draft version): Exploring the Lived Experience of Problematic Users of Internet Pornography: A Qualitative Study Full data-set for the study: OSF | Responses_All_181021.pdf Further Research: Studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes – Your Brain On Porn If you enjoy this podcast, please consider supporting Questioning Pornography on Patreon so that we can continue producing these episodes.
June 19, 2021
Aaron Kennell: Porn, Healthy Relationships, & Domestic Violence
In this episode I speak with social worker Aaron Kennell on how he's seen pornography inhibit healthy relationships and influence Domestic Violence. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider supporting Questioning Pornography on Patreon so that we can continue producing these episodes.
June 12, 2021
Research Highlight: Is Porn causing Sexual Dysfunctions?
A plethora of research indicates that internet pornography use can often cause sexual dysfunctions in young men, as their sexual arousal response becomes conditioned to porn rather than to partnered sex. This episode is a brief summary of some key research papers on porn-induced sexual dysfunction. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider supporting Questioning Pornography on Patreon so that we can continue producing these episodes. Research Highlighted: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (nih.gov) Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction Among Young Men (uri.edu) Further Research: Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions and poorer sexual and relationship satisfaction – Your Brain On Porn Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions and poorer sexual and relationship satisfaction – Your Brain On Porn Recovery Forums: Reboot Nation – Road to Recovery NoFap® Porn Addiction Recovery Recommended Reading: Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction eBook: Wilson, Gary: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store
June 05, 2021
Dr. YanYan Zhou: The Cognitive Processes of how Porn influences Violence
Dr. YanYan Zhou discusses her recent dissertation: “The Mixed Effects of Sexual Explicitness and Violence Severity on Viewers’ Emotion, Memory, and Attitudes towards Sex and Violence”. She explains how people’s brains respond to viewing varying degrees of violence and sexual explicitness in pornography, and how this may mediate the influence pornography has in people developing violent attitudes or behaviours. If you enjoy these conversations, please consider supporting us on Patreon so we can continue producing episodes. Referenced Studies: 16:50 - 'A man tried to choke me during sex without warning' - BBC News
May 29, 2021
Tribute to Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson, a key leader in educating people about pornography’s harms, passed away recently on May 20th, 2021. Alexander and I decided to record a brief tribute, where we discuss Gary Wilson’s work and the impact it had on us. If you have not yet explored Gary Wilson's work, we highly recommend you do so: 1) Gary Wilson's TED Talk 2) Your Brain on Porn Website 3) Your Brain on Porn Book
May 23, 2021
Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne & Murray Perkins: Age Verification
Last episode we spoke about some of the negative effects that pornography can have on kids. In this episode, we explore one part of a potential solution to that problem: implementing Age Verification legislation for online pornography. We interview Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne and Murray Perkins, two leading experts on the issue of Age Verification. Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne recently proposed a bill in Canada which would legally require pornography websites to verify the age of all their users, therefore protecting kids from being exposed to pornographic contact. Murray Perkins served as a key consultant for Age Verification legislation in the UK. If you like the Questioning Pornography podcast, please consider supporting us on Patreon, so that we can continue producing episodes: If you wish to be kept up to date on how Senator Miville-Dechêne's bill progresses, visit this page.
May 11, 2021
What happens when Porn becomes Sex Ed for kids?
These days, porn functions as the primary source of Sex-Ed for kids. How will this influence kids’ views and expectations surrounding sex? Explore this question with us by listening to testimonies from young adults and examining findings from various scientific studies. Studies and sources referenced during this episode: 2016 UK study on kids thinking porn is realistic and wanting to try out the acts they see Katie Couric podcast with Trish 71% of men have slapped, choked, gagged or spat on their partner during sex . . . 69% of women experienced slapping, choking, gagging, or spitting during sex . . . Meta-analysis of 59 studies on correlation between pornography consumption and child-on-child sexual assault 36-month longitudinal study on correlation between violent pornography consumption and child-on-child sexual assault Nancy Greene interview Heidi Olson talk
May 04, 2021