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Secrets of a
Formerly Miserable Wife AuthorDiane
England, Ph.D. has the credentials you expect, plus she has
empathy and speaks from the heart because she has
been there, too.
You Read this Testimony Given to U. S.
Senators about the Toxicity of Pornography?"
following testimony was given at a Science,
Technology, and Space Hearing on Thursday, November
18, 2004 byDr.
Anne Layden, Co-Director,
Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, Center for Cognitive
University of Pennsylvania. This information in the public domain
should interest you if your partner has a sexual addiction that
includes an addiction to pornography.
Senators, for allowing me to speak to you today.
nature, is an equal opportunity toxin. It damages the viewer, the
and the spouses and the children of the viewers and the performers. It
mis-education about sex and relationships. It is more toxic the more
consume, the “harder” the variety you consume, and
the younger and more
vulnerable the consumer.
The damage is
both in the area of beliefs and behaviors. The belief damage may
Pornography Distortion, Permission-Giving Beliefs, and the attitudes
constitutes a healthy sexual and emotional relationship. The behavioral
includes psychologically unhealthy behaviors, socially inappropriate
and illegal behaviors.
Let me give some
Pornography Distortion is a set of beliefs based in pornographic
to the viewer while they are aroused and reinforced by the orgasm. An
of Pornography Distortion would include beliefs such as “Sex
is not about
intimacy, procreation, or marriage. Sex is about predatory
casual recreation, body parts, violence, feces, strangers, children,
using women as entertainment.” All of these are messages
regularly sent by
a set of beliefs that imply that my behavior is normal, acceptable,
and/or doesn’t hurt anyone—so I have permission to
continue to behave in the
way that I am. In all types of violence and addiction,
Beliefs are involved. Examples would include: “All men go to
“Women like sex mixed with violence,” and
“Children enjoy sex with adults”.
These particular Permission-Giving Beliefs are also common in
and Permission-Giving Beliefs increase the problem of mis-education
sexuality and relationships. For example, the myth that women are
aroused by engaging in behaviors that are actually sexually pleasuring
is a particularly narcissistic invention of the pornography industry.
of all these
distorted beliefs are varied. For the viewer, pornography increases the
likelihood of sexual addiction, and they respond in ways similar to
addicts. Sexual addicts develop tolerance and will need more and harder
of pornographic material. They have escalating compulsive sexual
becoming more out of control. They also experience withdrawal symptoms
stop the use of the sexual material.
The executive who
goes to his office and logs on to the Internet porn sites at
and logs off at is out of control and
risks a great
deal. Research indicates that 70% of the hits on Internet sex sites
between 9-5 on business computers. Research also indicates, and my
experience supports this, that 40% of sex addicts will lose their
will suffer sever financial losses, and 27-40% will lose their job or
profession. Those whose marriages don’t end may find
dissatisfied with their spouse’s appearance and sexual
behavior. This may
result in the man increasingly acting out sexually. This then leads to
increase in sexually transmitted diseases.
indicates that even non-sex addicts will show brain reactions on PET
while viewing pornography. These brain reactions are similar to cocaine
looking at images of people taking cocaine. This tells us this material
potent, addictive, and is permanently implanted in the brain.
Those who use
been shown to be more likely to engage in illegal behavior as well.
indicates, and my clinical experience supports these findings, that
use pornography are more likely to go to prostitutes and engage in
violence, stranger rape, date rape, and incest. These behaviors should
not be surprising
since pornographic videos containing all of these themes are readily
The permission-giving beliefs of these pornographic videos, reinforced
orgasm, say that all these behaviors are normal, acceptable, common,
I have also seen
in my clinical experience that pornography damages the sexual
the viewers. Pornography viewers tend to have problems with premature
ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Having spent so much time in
sexual experiences with paper, celluloid and cyberspace, they seem to
difficult to have sex with a real human being. Pornography is raising
expectation and demand for types and amounts of sexual experiences,
the same time it is reducing their ability to experience sex.
viewers are not the only
ones affected by pornography. The performers are damaged as
performers were often damaged before they entered the industry. No
six-year-old growing up in a healthy home environment says,
“I hope I grow up
to be a porn star, stripper, or prostitute”. Those who now
work in the porn
industry were often little girls who got into their beds each night,
themselves into a fetal position, and each night he came in and pealed
open. They work in the porn industry with its physical invasion and
invasion because it feels like home.
they are in
the industry, these women have high rates of substance abuse (typically
and cocaine), depression, borderline personality disorder (which is a
particularly serious disorder), and dissociative identity
formerly called multiple personality disorder. The experience I find
common among the performers is that they have to be drunk, high, or
in order to go to work.
environment is particularly toxic. One study on strippers indicated
likely to be punched, slapped, grabbed, called cunt and whore, and to
followed home or stalked. Not surprisingly, these women often work with
bodyguards. This live form of pornography causes violence, and the
receiving these Permission-Giving Beliefs become carriers of these
to their homes, onto their jobs, into the street, and onto the school
There, these men encounter women and children who do not have
The terrible work
life of the
pornography performer is often followed by an equally terrible home
women have an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease including
domestic violence, and most have about a 25 % chance of having a
lasts as long as 3 years.
The viewers and
of pornography are the most direct victims. However, the children and
partners are also damaged by this industry. My clinical experience
that the spouses of porn viewers are often depressed, and are more
have eating disorders, body image disorders, and low self-esteem. These
can’t function in the fake sexual world in which their
husbands live. The wives
may try to please their spouses by engaging in sexual behaviors that
degrading. A wife may think she can increase the sexual energy in their
relationship, and thereby satisfy her husband, if she views the
with him. My clinical experience is that these wives often get a
boost in sexual activity. But soon, she notices that when her husband
sex with her, he is turning around to watch the porn on the TV screen.
realizes that he isn’t having sex with her at all;
he’s masturbating inside her
body while he’s having sex with the woman on the screen.
Some wives will
plastic surgery—especially breast implants. Research
indicates that women who
get breast implants are four times as likely to commit suicide as other
The children also
As pornography becomes normalized, it is left around the house.
exposed to it while they have tender minds that are just developing
conceptualizations of sex. Normalizing abnormal sex increase the
that they will engage in these behaviors. This increases the likelihood
early sexual experience and, with it, increased risk of pregnancy and
often think that all relationships are sexual. They think that sex is
of their personalities, and it is the way in which you raise your
This may be one reason we see sexual addiction running in families. The
distorted beliefs are not only reinforced, but they’re
modeled as well. In one
report in Australia,
children who became sexual predators before the age of 12, had all
pornographic material on the Internet. A large number also believed
only use of the Internet was for pornographic material.
Children who have
fathers complain that when he looks at them it feels
“creepy”. The parental
gaze has now become the “porn gaze”. The child of
the porn user finds that
everything is now about sex.
There are no studies and no
data that indicate any benefits from pornography use. If there were
pornography users, pornography performers, their spouses, and their
would show the most benefit. Just the opposite is true, however. Our
awash in pornography, and so the data is in. If pornography made us
would be healthy by now.
how-to and self-help relationship advice and information for women
narcissism, addictions and abuse should be considered educational or
inspirational—a guide or directory to things to consider and
inform questions to
ask a professional you contact for sound advice. It is not a substitute
marriage counseling, individual therapy, or legal advice. Women coping
domestic violence such as emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and/or sexual
where no physical abuse is present—are encouraged to seek
professional help for
treatment of depression, anxiety, self esteem, and other likely
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