In the past 10 years, researchers have studied women and their porn use. A recent study concluded that one out of every three people who go to a counselor for porn addiction is a woman. In 2000, that number was one woman for every 600 men.
Here is a recent article chronicling some of those changes.
I have seen the number of women addicted to porn increase dramatically in my counseling practice. And, as is the case with Christian men, Christian women may be more susceptible to porn problems than the general population. What is happening in women to bring about this change in porn usage?
I think there are five contributing factors.
1. The Internet means that women do not have to travel to the most dangerous parts of town to purchase a magazine or video. They do not even have to leave home.
2. Porn sites are also the number one place for women to go on chat lines. Being more social than men, women are drawn back time and again to easy and safe hookups.
3. Since women have the potential for many more orgasms than men, they tend to view Internet porn for longer periods of time than men. This creates a much more embedded addiction spiral in the brain.
4. Though this is changing, women still have more free time at home alone than men do. Since the majority of porn viewing by women is during the week and men view it on the weekend, we have to conclude that it has something to do with the days each are at home.
5. Women are prone to retreat from relationships when hurt or betrayed. Internet porn makes for a very easy escape. In addition, women tend to act out victimization; porn gives them a chance to view others who are victimized. Women are now in the majority when it comes to viewing violent smbd porn.
As with alcohol or drug dependence, it is not the frequency or amount of porn a person uses that determines their dependency but the reason. If porn is utilized for the purposes of tittilation leading to acting out (i.e. masturbation or mutual sex), then dependency is less likely. If one views porn to meet an emotional need such as loneliness, pain, guilt, fear or depression, then dependency is likely.
Next article, we will address both men and women in the basics of how to overcome porn dependency.