Baylor University Counseling Center BareTruth Home Page
Counseling Center

Home Page
The Problem
The Average Joe
The Average Jane
Cultural Confusion
Hope for Recovery
Other Resources

Apple with hole (w x h, 0 KB)

Effects on Abstinence


The nature of pornography leads otherwise self-controlled individuals into a gradual cycle of temptation and failure that can too easily escalate into dangerous sexual activity. One author even described the effects of pornography as, "the crack cocaine of sexual addiction." Dr. Victor Cline of the University of Utah describes a four-step process through which pornography viewing becomes addictive and leads to sexual activity.

Four Steps to Failure

The process Dr. Cline describes begins with addiction as the person continues coming back to pornography for another rush. With time, these effects begin to escalate as the person seeks new pornographic material to replicate their previous excitement. Eventually the process of escalation leads to desensitization as the pornographic materials from magazines, movies, and the internet along with the acts they depict become legitimate to the viewer. Finally, the loss of sensitivity can lead to other behaviors and acting out the pornography in ways that would have been unheard of before the cycle of pornography addiction began. Through this process, morals are compromised and will eventually falter.

In Summary

The summary of a 1986 Surgeon General's workshop summarized some of the effects of pornography on monogamy as well. The demonstrated effects included increased premarital and extramarital activity along with a decreased sense of the value of marriage. A study published in April 2006 demonstrated a link between sex-filled media in general and the sexual choices of young people. In fact, it demonstrated a higher level of sexual activity among students who had been exposed to sex-filled media more often. The sexual content of media we choose can break down our defenses and promote dangerous sexual choices. Pornography can affect your actions.

This site is funded by a grant from McCAP
Copyright © Baylor® University. All rights reserved. Legal Disclosures.
Baylor University  Waco, Texas 76798  1-800-229-5678