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The Real Way to Know If You're Addicted to Porn

by
author image Leah Groth
Leah Groth is a writer and editor currently based in Chicago. She has covered topics such as entertainment, health & wellness for such publications and websites as xoJane, Babble, Radar, Fit Pregnancy, Mommy Nearest, Living Healthy and PopDust.
The Real Way to Know If You're Addicted to Porn
Finding out if you are addicted to porn takes less than five minutes. Photo Credit: OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images

Regardless of the stigma, porn is a pretty common habit for millions of Americans. But, like all habits, the line between casual consumption and compulsive viewing can be thin. In case you’ve wondered if you or someone you know has an addiction, Hungarian researchers have come up with a short and simple test to determine whether that pleasure-seeking hobby is problematic.

Scientists at the Beáta Bőthe of Eötvös Loránd University have devised 18 statements to be rated from one (rarely) to seven (all the time). If your score is 76 or above, you are at risk of being a porn addict, while scores under 76 are in the clear. Researchers gave the test to 772 people and 3.6 percent scored in the red zone, meaning they were likely to suffer from an addiction to pornography.

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To get an idea about how much porn is consumed in the world, the popular pornography site Pornhub got 23 billion visits in 2016, which translates to 729 people a second or 64 million a day. Video views totaled 91,980,225,000, which averages out to a whopping 2.5 videos for every person on the planet. Covenant Eyes, a website that filters pornography sites, claims that 79 percent of 18- to 30-year-old men and 76 percent of 18- to 30-year-old women watch porn at least once a month.

But is pornography all that bad? While many people claim that it can promote unrealistic ideals when it comes to body image and sexuality and contribute to sexual dysfunction, there isn’t a lot of research to determine the exact health impact. And that’s mostly because it is difficult to conduct accurate studies.

A recent editorial in The Washington Post noted that the American Psychiatric Association chose to omit “hypersexual disorder” (which included pornography) in its latest edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5) because of a lack of evidence.

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However, they did mention that many countries claim that sexual violence incidents decreased after porn was legalized. A 2008 Danish study even concluded that many young adults — both men and women — found viewing pornography to be beneficial to their sex lives.

Like many things in life, you can obviously take a harmless pornography habit to the next level. If it starts impacting your relationships, career and overall quality of life in a not-so-great way, then you may want to consider getting help.

“In most cases, viewing is not problematic and appears to have little or no negative impact on a person’s life,” the study’s researchers concluded. “However, it can become problematic and can have negative effects, such as problems in romantic relationships or losing a job.”

Read more: 9 Signs Your Relationship Is in Trouble

While the survey is meant to be a starting point for determining whether an individual has a serious problem, the authors maintain that it is only an initial assessment and more in-depth interviews would need to be conducted to officially diagnose an addiction.

The 5-Minute Porn-Addiction Test

Rate these statements, and then tally up your results.

Never = 1, Rarely = 2, Occasionally = 3, Sometimes = 4, Often = 5, Very Often = 6, All the Time = 7

I used porn to restore the tranquility of my feelings.

I felt porn caused problems in my sexual life.

I felt that I had to watch more and more porn for satisfaction.

I unsuccessfully tried to reduce the amount of porn I watch.

I became stressed when something prevented me from watching porn.

I thought about how good it would be to watch porn

Watching porn got rid of my negative feelings.

Watching porn prevented me from bringing out the best in me.

I felt that I needed more and more porn in order to satisfy my needs.

When I vowed not to watch porn anymore, I could only do it for a short period of time.

I became agitated when I was unable to watch porn.

I continually planned when to watch porn.

I released my tension by watching porn.

I neglected other leisure activities as a result of watching porn.

I gradually watched more “extreme” porn because the porn I watched before was less satisfying.

I resisted watching porn for only a little while before I relapsed.

I missed porn greatly when I didn’t watch it for a while.

What Do YOU Think?

Were you surprised by your score and do you feel the assessment was accurate? How big of a problem do you think porn addiction is in society?

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