In your post, construct clear and concise arguments using evidence-based psychological concepts and theories to create a brief scenario or example of a situation in which your chosen addiction provides both positive and negative potential outcomes for a subject.
My scenario involves a man who has become “addicted” to porn to the point that he watches it on his phone several times a day and on the computer when his significant other is away. He also frequently encourages her to perform porn-level sex acts on a semi-constant basis, leaving her feeling pressured, stressed, and lacking in bed creating a rift and sexual withdrawal on her part. This causes him to stray to other woman and becomes seen as an overall addiction to not only porn but also sex itself with anyone in or out of relationships. Looking at this, you may think there is nothing positive about it. However, if this man was to seek counseling after acknowledging his transgressions and regretting them, he may go on to enjoy a healthy sex-life with a monogamous partner OR discover that he is better suited to a swinger-lifestyle and find a mate who is also into this lifestyle.
Studies show that porn addictions can lead to overall decreased sexual satisfaction and decreased libido over time which explains his increased pressure on his partner (Hall, 2018). Although the term addiction is being challenged in upcoming diagnostic codes, it is still likely to be considered an addiction because of the biopsychosocial aspect of the neurological pathways being rewired to create dependency (Hall, 2018).
Positive aspects here include an opportunity to examine his true motivations for porn. Studies suggesting that partners feel insecure or betrayed when porn watching behavior is kept secret from them so it would stand to reason that there is a potential for a healthy amount of porn and openness with certain partners. Some couples use porn together as part of a healthy sexual relationship acknowledging its limitations and limiting use to appropriate times. In fact, feelings of depression or anxiety were found to be more closely related to one’s perception of whether they were “addicted” to porn or using it in a healthy way (Grubbs, et. al., 2015). Another study found that contrary to popular belief, some porn viewing from males not seeking treatment for issues actually increased sexual responsiveness rather than contributing to sexual dysfunction (Prause & Pfaus, 2015). This would explain why some couples report increased sexual desire and satisfaction from viewing porn in healthy sexual relationships.
Evaluate and comment on the reliability and generalizability of the specific articles and research findings you have chosen to support your arguments.
All of the articles acknowledge that there is an ongoing discussion and debate regarding what constitutes “addiction” as it applies to sexual behaviors such as viewing online porn. Arguments include time spent watching, other environmental and social factors, and effect on personal relationships. Because of the conflicting results in various studies, they should not be completely generalized.
Explain how the APA’s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct might be used to guide your decisions as a psychology professional if you were assigned to consult with the subject in the situation you have created.
In this situation, the Ethical Principals would apply in several ways. Sexual topics may be uncomfortable to discuss with the opposite sex and bias may exist on the part of the therapist. This is where an open mind is needed and the ability to determine if the client-therapist relationship is appropriate in this case. Confidentiality is also of great importance.
Grubbs, J. B., Stauner, N., Exline, J. J., Pargament, K. I., & Lindberg, M. J. (2015). Perceived addiction to Internet pornography and psychological distress: Examining relationships concurrently and over time. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(4), 1056–1067. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1037/adb0000114
Hall, P. (2018). PORN STOLE MY SEX LIFE: Paula Hall explores the increasingly common problem of porn addiction among men. Therapy Today, 29(9), 20–23. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=132769071&site=eds-live&scope=siteLinks to an external site.
Prause, N., & Pfaus, J. (2015). Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction. Sexual Medicine, Vol 3, Iss 2, Pp 90-98 (2015), (2), 90. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1002/sm2.58
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