Megan Peterson, Editor in Chief

Pornography isn’t anyone’s idea of an exciting dinner table discussion.  With the

new statistics and research however, it must be addressed.  We high schoolers are the

technology generation.  Our unlimited access to the World Wide Web is the exact reason we

should educate ourselves about certain dangers like pornography.

According to—a reputable internet safety and filtering research

site—93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to porn before the age of 18.  Often

exposure is accidental—a misspelled URL, an unexpected pop-up, or a thoughtless Google

search.  Regardless of the source, we, the party affected, must be aware of its danger and


More frequently than ever, pornography is referred to as a ‘drug.’ Although one

comes in little white powder and the other from a littler white computer, research proves

that pornography and drugs such as cocaine affect the brain in similar ways.  According to—a non-profit organization dedicated to educating about the harm of

porn—porn and cocaine cause chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin to be released in the

users brain using a “reward pathway.” Like cocaine, once a porn user becomes accustomed

to a certain dosage or brand, they require more of the drug to get the same reaction.

Ceasing to view the new drug, the user will experience withdrawal symptoms, due to the

absence of excess “reward” chemicals, thus making pornography addictive.

Addiction to any substance creates a dependence.  More than just a mental need to

be fulfilled, addiction affects behavior.  Addicted users tend to isolate themselves from

loved ones—unwilling to share their problems.  With no support system and no close

relationships, addiction can lead to depression, loneliness, and anxiety.

While the neurological effects are concerning, the overall consequences can be

devastating.  The popular “Porn Kills Love” campaign started by the Fight the New Drug

Foundation illustrates this.  In their “Porn Kills Love” article they said, “real love isn’t any more

like what happens in porn than the average Marlboro smoker is like a 6’ 9” cowboy.” The

viewing of porn further objectifies women and men, creating the delusion that a person is

exclusively just a sum of body parts. A porn addiction can be fatal to healthy relationships and

destructive to families. In Dawn M. Szymanski’s and Destin N. Stewart-Richardson’s research

study titled “Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Correlates of Pornography Use on Young

Adult Heterosexual Men in Romantic Relationships said, “Findings revealed that both frequency

of pornography use and problematic pornography use were related to greater gender role conflict,

more avoidant and anxious attachment styles, poorer relationship quality, and less sexual


However, a porn addiction isn’t necessarily the end of the line.  Awareness is

increasing and so are resources. Just like any other addiction, overcoming it requires

outside help and lots of resolve, but it is possible. has a variety of

options to help pornography viewers.  The negative effects of pornography should not be

something we shy away from discussing.  It affects us students, and we need to address the