Chap 10

Barlow & Durand’s
Abnormal Psychology: 

FUTURE TRENDS ACTIVITY

Chapter 10:

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Internet Pornography – A Disorder in the Making?

At suburban Riverdale Public School in New Jersey, a visitor recently posed a question to an eighth-grade class: “Have you seen internet pornography?” All 42 students raised their hands. According to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 70 percent of the nation's 15-to 17-year-olds have looked at internet pornography, much of it graphically hardcore. Most college students will likely have similarly viewed internet pornography, some quite deliberately and regularly. Some of your students may even feel that they cannot stop doing so. The terms “cyber-compulsive” and “cybersex compulsivity” have been used to describe this tendency and refer to a person who cannot control their use of online pornography. The availability of internet pornography raises a host of issues related to sexuality and mental health. Some individuals, for instance, appear to obsessively and compulsively seek out cybersex, thus raising issues as to whether such behavior constitutes a disorder (e.g., Internet Addiction Disorder – Pornography Type). How viewing pornography affects development of healthy sexuality remains unclear. Some see it as potentially harmful. The range of possible topics for discussion here is large. 

You will likely have a range of opinions about whether viewing pornography on the internet can be viewed as a psychological disorder. The links below are some good starting points.

http://allpsych.com/journal/internetaddiction.html
http://www.studentbmj.com/back_issues/1099/editorials/351.html
http://www.rpi.edu/~anderk4/research.html
http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p980852.html

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