FACT SHEET: How Porn Affects Military Personnel

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FACT SHEET: How Porn Affects Military Personnel

Studies show that military personnel are not only more than 3 times as likely to struggle with compulsive sexual behaviors, but they are also more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

In this article we will explore why pornography may be uniquely affecting military men and their families. Watch or read below: 

 

What do statistics tell us about Compulsive Sexual Behavior among military men? 

Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) can be any frequent sexual, paraphilic (fetishism, sadism), or normaphilic (sexual fantasies, masturbation) thoughts or actions that feel out of one’s control or are identified by others in their life as problematic. 

Studies have found that the prevalence of CSB among male military veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or surrounding areas was 9-17% or 3x higher than the general U.S. estimate.1 (By contrast, CSB has a prevalence of around 3-6% in the general U.S. population.1,2)

One factor is a correlation between PTSD and compulsive sexual behavior. PTSD severity and childhood sexual trauma are both found associated with higher odds of having CSB. In these studies, CSB was suggested to be an avoidance behavior to help cope with discomfort and stress related to re-experiencing trauma. In other words, military men struggling with PTSD or other sever trauma are be more likely to engage in CSBs while coping with those traumas. 

Furthermore, sexually intrusive behavior (ranging from inappropriate commentary to rape) is often observed after traumatic brain injuries, which service members are 91% more likely to experience than others.3,4 

Both pornography addiction and PTSD are shown to cause the prefrontal cortex and grey matter of the brain to atrophy. When the two happen together, the negative effects are compounded resulting in further impulsive decision making, mental fog, and loss of emotional control. 

How pornography can affect marriages and families: 

You may be familiar with statistics stating that the divorce rate for military is significantly higher, but why is this? It is well known that military life puts many strains on family life, including coping with, difficult hours, frequent moves, deployments, and PTSD symptoms for starters. However, another possible cause of higher divorce rates could be increased compulsive sexual behavior and pornography use.

Pornography is a massive factor in divorce rates. In fact, porn is cited in at least 60% of divorce cases with some studies suggesting it is a factor in 70% or more. Although the reasons for this vary according to religious and moral viewpoints, the evidence is clear: pornography has a negative impact on marriage and family life. 

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the divorce rate for military is highest during and after deployments, when pornography use also spikes. 

This is likely due to the fact that conflict resolution, patience, empathy, and emotional intimacy are all significantly decreased with the use of pornography and masturbation. Porn is also known to increase aggressive, domineering, and abusive behaviors which damage relationships. 

Erectile Dysfunction Risk Among Military Men

The prevalence of erectile dysfunction for military personnel (33%) also appears significantly higher than erectile dysfunction in non-service members of similar age (2.3%).5,6 Pornography and masturbation use is associated with higher risk of erectile dysfunction so with higher use among military men, it is unsurprising to also see higher rates. 

So, What Do You Think?

Does porn and compulsive sexual behavior contribute to the higher divorce rate among military personnel? And could it be the reason for higher erectile dysfunction? 

In my opinion, these studies should raise alarm for anyone serious about their health and relationships. I have personally see the effects of porn in the homes of military families, and hope this article gives you reason to consider recovery. 

But what do you think?

 

Sources:  

1. Smith PH, Potenza MN, Mazure CM, McKee SA, Park CL, Hoff RA. Compulsive sexual behavior among male military veterans: prevalence and associated clinical factors. J Behav Addict. 2014;3(4):214-222. doi:10.1556/JBA.3.2014.4.2 

2. de Alarcón R, de la Iglesia JI, Casado NM, Montejo AL. Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don't-A Systematic Review. J Clin Med. 2019;8(1):91. 

3. Bezeau SC, Bogod NM, Mateer CA. Sexually intrusive behaviour following brain injury: approaches to assessment and rehabilitation [published correction appears in Brain Inj. 2004 May;18(5):517]. Brain Inj. 2004;18(3):299-313. 

4. Agimi Y, Regasa LE, Stout KC. Incidence of Traumatic Brain Injury in the U.S. Military, 2010-2014. Mil Med. 2019;184(5-6):e233-e241. 

5. Wilcox SL, Redmond S, Hassan AM. Sexual functioning in military personnel: preliminary estimates and predictors. J Sex Med. 2014;11(10):2537-2545. 

6. Braun M, Wassmer G, Klotz T, Reifenrath B, Mathers M, Engelmann U. Epidemiology of erectile dysfunction: results of the 'Cologne Male Survey'. Int J Impot Res. 2000;12(6):305-311. 


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