How Online Electronic Pornography is Harming Society

Electronic pornography refers to pornographic content that is digitally created and distributed. With the rise of the internet and digital media, access to pornography has become increasingly widespread. While pornography has existed for centuries in various forms, its electronic dissemination raises new issues given how easy it has become to produce and consume such material.

Some key concerns surrounding electronic pornography include its potential impact on mental health, relationships, self-esteem, and problematic usage or addiction. There are also ethical considerations regarding the production and distribution of pornographic content, as well as its influence on children and adolescents. However, perspectives differ greatly on the severity of pornography’s harms or benefits for individuals and society.

This content will provide an overview of electronic pornography, from its history to current debates around its usage and regulation. Key topics will include research on how pornography affects consumers and society, problematic usage, ethical issues, and strategies for combating any negative impacts. The goal is to provide a balanced, well-rounded look at this complex issue.


Electronic pornography has become increasingly prevalent and accessible over the past few decades. According to [statistics], over [x%] of internet traffic is related to pornography. Studies show that pornography usage has steadily risen over the years as the internet has become more widespread. In the early 2000s, an estimated [x%] of men reported viewing pornography at least once per month. By [year], that number rose to [x%].

Usage is highest among young adults ages 18-24, with [x%] of men and [x%] of women in this age group actively viewing porn. Usage declines steadily with age. Teenagers also report high rates of exposure and access to pornography online, although exact numbers are difficult to obtain.

While men have historically been more frequent consumers of porn, women’s usage has also increased over time. Some studies estimate the gender gap is closing, with [x%] of women acknowledging viewing pornography in [year]. Overall, pornography remains widely consumed by large percentages of the population.

Impact on Relationships

Pornography usage can negatively impact intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and connection in romantic relationships. Studies have found an association between frequent pornography viewing and decreased sexual and relationship satisfaction among couples.

One reason for this is that pornography promotes unrealistic expectations about sex, attraction, and relationships. The imagery and behaviors in porn are often exaggerated or staged for maximum arousal, which can skew perceptions about what real intimacy looks like. This can lead to disappointment when the fantasy differs from the reality.

Pornography usage has also been linked to less commitment and lower levels of trust between partners. The use of pornography is sometimes perceived as a form of infidelity, creating feelings of betrayal even if no physical affair has occurred. Partners may feel insecure, resentful, or inadequate when comparing themselves to the unrealistic depictions in porn.

Some research indicates that pornography can become a replacement for healthy sexual encounters between partners. When one person becomes accustomed to pornography as their primary source of sexual gratification, they may withdraw emotionally or lose interest in physical intimacy. This emotional and sexual distancing can gradually damage the relationship.

Ultimately, pornography sets up expectations that no real human can fulfill perfectly at all times. Partners need to communicate openly and set reasonable standards for their sex lives. Moderation and consent are key principles for balancing pornography with a healthy, committed relationship built on understanding and compassion.

Impact on Mental Health

Research has found associations between pornography use and mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Frequent pornography use may lead to or worsen feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

Some studies have shown that pornography use is linked to increased rates of depression and anxiety. One reason may be that pornography sets up unrealistic expectations about sex and relationships, leading to disappointment. Pornography also depicts intimacy devoid of emotional connection, which can contribute to feelings of isolation.

Excessive pornography use is often done in secret and can become compulsive, taking time away from real interpersonal relationships. This avoidance of intimacy likely exacerbates loneliness. Pornography provides only fleeting escapism rather than meaningful connection. Overreliance on pornography as a coping mechanism can inhibit developing broader social relationships and networks.

Impact on Self-Esteem

Viewing pornography can have a detrimental impact on self-esteem and body image, especially for younger viewers. Pornography often depicts unrealistic standards of beauty and sexual performance that viewers may internalize as expectations for themselves and partners.

Pornography frequently shows enhanced, idealized, and altered bodies that promote impossible standards of attractiveness. Comparing oneself to these exaggerated depictions can diminish self-confidence and satisfaction with one’s own body. Both men and women report feeling shame about not measuring up to what they see in pornography.

Additionally, pornographic videos often depict sexual encounters in unrealistic ways, with enhanced stamina, positions, vocalizations, and reactions. Viewers may feel pressure to live up to these exaggerated portrayals, undermining their confidence in their own sexual abilities. This is especially concerning for adolescents just beginning to explore their sexuality.

Exposure to pornography can foster feelings of sexual inadequacy, setting up unrealistic benchmarks that diminish self-worth. Developing a negative self-image from comparing oneself to idealized media portrayals is a growing mental health concern. More education is needed to help viewers understand that pornography depicts fantasy, not reality.


Problematic pornography usage can become an addiction for some individuals. Signs of pornography addiction include:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time viewing porn, to the point where it interferes with work, relationships, or daily life

  • Feeling unable to stop using porn, despite wanting to cut down or quit

  • Neglecting obligations in order to view more porn

  • Continuing to view porn even when it has led to negative consequences

  • Needing to view more extreme or different types of porn to get the same “high”

  • Feeling restless, irritable or discontent when attempting to cut back on porn

  • Isolation and secrecy surrounding porn usage

Studies have found that between 2% and 6% of internet users may meet criteria for problematic pornography viewing that is compulsive, impulsive, or addiction-like in nature. Problematic porn use has been associated with greater levels of psychological distress and impairment in daily functioning.

Some experts liken it to other behavioral addictions like compulsive gambling. The unlimited novelty and dopamine hit of internet porn makes it particularly habit-forming for some individuals. This can rewire the brain’s reward system and lead to craving, withdrawal and tolerance over time. However, there is still debate over whether problematic porn use constitutes a true clinical addiction.

Children and Pornography

Children and adolescents are increasingly exposed to Electronic Pornography at young ages due to the proliferation of internet-enabled devices. Studies show the average age of first exposure is as low as 8-11 years old. This early exposure can have detrimental impacts on child development.

Viewing pornography may lead to premature sexualization, where children develop an unhealthy preoccupation with sex. It can also promote unrealistic and warped attitudes about relationships, intimacy, body image, and consent. Frequent viewing may even rewire the brain’s reward circuits and lead to addiction.

Children often lack the maturity and critical thinking to put pornography in context. They may not understand it is fantasy and not reality. Pornography depicts risky behaviors and aggression as normal. This shapes their expectations for real-life sexual encounters.

Parents should be vigilant about limiting access and having open conversations about healthy sexuality. Schools also need comprehensive sex education programs to counteract messages absorbed from pornography. With guidance, children can develop healthy sexual attitudes rather than being misinformed by unrealistic pornography.

Ethical Concerns

The production and distribution of pornography raise several ethical concerns. One major issue is the abuse and exploitation of performers. Many porn actors are young, economically disadvantaged, or otherwise vulnerable. They may feel pressured into performing extreme or dangerous acts they are not comfortable with due to financial incentives or coercion. There are many documented cases of performers being deceived, assaulted, or trafficked in the industry.

Another ethical issue is lack of consent in the creation and distribution of pornographic content. Private videos and images can be shared or leaked online without the consent of those depicted. This “revenge porn” violates privacy and causes great distress. There are also many cases of child pornography and other illegal content being created and shared without consent. Overall, the pornography industry operates in an ethical gray area that allows exploitation and harm. Critics argue it promotes problematic attitudes about consent, relationships, and sex.

Combating Problematic Usage

The key to combating problematic pornography usage lies in education, limiting access, and addressing underlying issues.

Education and Awareness

Many individuals struggling with pornography are simply unaware of its impacts. Educational campaigns and counseling can help shed light on the personal and societal harms of excessive Electronic Pornography use. Open conversations are key to breaking down taboos and stigma. Schools and parents should have age-appropriate discussions about healthy relationships and setting boundaries around technology use.

Limiting Access and Exposure

While impossible to eliminate access completely, parents and individuals can take steps to limit exposure and temptation. Using internet filters, blocking certain sites, setting screen time limits, and avoiding digital devices in the bedroom are some examples. Removing pornography from easy access requires conscious effort but can reduce mindless viewing.

Addressing Root Causes

Problematic pornography use is often a symptom of deeper issues like loneliness, depression, trauma, or marital problems. Counseling to build self-esteem, social skills, stress resilience, and healthy relationships can help address these root causes. Promoting real human interaction and fulfilling activities reduces the need to use pornography as an escape. A compassionate approach is needed to help individuals heal and reconnect.


Pornography is a complex issue with many nuances. While for some it can be an occasional indulgence or entertainment, for others it can become problematic and lead to compulsive behaviors that negatively impact relationships, mental health, and self-esteem.

On one hand, some argue that pornography is a personal choice and can be a normal part of a healthy sex life. When used in moderation by consenting adults, it may not cause harm. However, the research also shows there are risks, especially with frequent and prolonged use. The content available today is more extreme, violent, and addictive than in decades past. This can shape unrealistic attitudes and expectations around relationships and sexuality.

It’s important to have open and honest conversations about pornography, its potential benefits and harms. More education and awareness is needed so people can make informed decisions. Those struggling with compulsive behaviors need access to resources and support without shame. A balanced perspective recognizes pornography’s complexities while aiming to mitigate its risks, especially for vulnerable populations like children and adolescents. With thoughtful dialogue and care for individual and societal well-being, a healthy middle ground may be found.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button