WHY PORN IS MORE HARMFUL THAN EVER BEFORE
May 18, 2016
Like most large cultural shifts, nothing happened overnight, but some wheels were already turning back in 1953, the year Hugh Hefner published the first copy of Playboy.
…to maximize sales, he had to change porn’s image; instead of being thought of as something your friend’s creepy uncle might have, porn needed to look mainstream. To do that, Hefner put pornographic photos next to essays and articles written by respected authors. In Playboy, porn looked like a gentleman’s pursuit.
The next big shift happened in the 1980s, when VCRs made it possible for people to watch movies at home.  For porn users, that meant that instead of having to go to seedy movie theaters on the wrong side of town, all they had to do was go to the back room at their local movie rental place. Sure, they still had to go out to find it, but porn was suddenly a lot more accessible.
And then the Internet changed everything. 
… According to a 2004 study of Internet traffic in May of that year, porn sites were visited three times more often than Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search combined. 
And porn hasn’t stayed behind the computer screen. … Popular video games feature full nudity.  Snowboards marketed to teens are plastered with images of porn stars.  Even children’s toys have become more sexualized. 
Television shows and movies have been impacted, too, as producers and writers have upped the ante with more and more graphic content to keep the attention of audiences accustomed to porn.  Between 1998 and 2005, the number of sex scenes on American TV shows nearly doubled.  And it’s not just happening on adult programs. In a study conducted in 2004 and 2005, 70% of the 20 TV shows most often watched by teens included sexual content and nearly half showed sexual behavior. 
And the more our society becomes sexually saturated, the more porn makers pump out harder and harder material to make sure they stay on the cutting edge.  It’s all about novelty, and creating content that is increasingly more hardcore. …
The comparatively tame softcore pictures of yesteryear … now show up on mainstream media all day long, in the pornification of everything, including television, rock videos, soap operas, advertisements, and so on.”  …
As porn’s availability has risen, so have its devastating effects on its users, their relationships, and society at large.  As therapist John Woods recently wrote, pornography addiction “is no longer just a private problem. It is a public health problem.”