Online Porn and Erectile Dysfunction
People promoting such an argument found some hard ground to fight from after a British National Health Service psychosexual therapist, Dr. Angela Gregory, told BBC that she has seen more male patients suffering from erectile dysfunction even though their general practitioners could find nothing wrong with them. She said:
“What I’ve seen over the last 16 years, particularly the last five years, is an increase in the amount of younger men being referred. Our experience is that historically men that were referred to our clinic with problems with erectile dysfunction were older men whose issues were related to diabetes, MS, cardiovascular disease. These younger men do not have organic disease—they’ve already been tested by their GP, and everything is fine.”
But it was her next comment that seemed to justify the argument against online porn. “So one of the first assessment questions I’d always ask now is about pornography and masturbatory habit because that can be the cause of their issues about maintaining an erection with a partner.”
There’s only one little problem about Gregory’s claim, which was then blown out of proportion and taken out of context to justify the anti-porn argument: There’s no proof.
Jumping to Conclusions
When Gregory reported the correlation between online porn popularity and more young patients coming to her erectile dysfunction, she was by no means trying to diagnose a generation’s sexual frustration nor condemn internet porn. Unfortunately for her, her words have since been regurgitated and used to vindicate the moral crusaders who blame porn for all of today’s sexual promiscuity and, naturally, all crimes and societal woes assumed to be related to it.
A May 2016 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health surveyed nearly 2,400 British men and women (ages 16-21) about sex habits and sexual function problems, and its findings paint a very different picture than the alleged epidemic that anti-porn crusaders depict.
In fact, among the sexually active young men surveyed, only 3% reported experiencing erectile dysfunction, a figure which makes Dr. Gregory’s claim rather coincidental and, while no less important for those who are affected by it, rather trivial in terms of the overall fight against internet porn.
While addiction to internet porn or withdrawal to an entirely virtual life both certainly pose their own threats and problems, perhaps those warring against online porn should focus their concern, if you can call it that, elsewhere, such as on the men, women, and children endangered by sex trafficking, or on the adolescents dealing with myriad other sex-related problems that have nothing to do with their proclivity for online porn.
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