Since the dawn of the internet, pornography has effectively become ubiquitous, pervasive, and increasingly normalised. Study findings show remarkable similarities in how the brain reacts to pornography, and other known addictive substances, and indicate that consuming pornography is comparable to consuming other known addictive substances. Moreover, two of the biggest risk factors for addiction are the substance’s availability and its easy accessibility, particularly in the case of younger persons. To date, pornography addiction has been conceptualised as a behavioural addiction. However, (...) the body of research data on pornography addiction does not provide conclusive support for behavioural addiction. The aim of this thesis is to put forward the idea that pornography can, and should, be conceptualised as an addictive substance, and, that when pornography is consumed, an addictive substance is consumed. In order to support this claim, there are many factors that must be addressed. I first clarify what pornography entails by exploring how it is conceptualised, what pornography ‘does’, and what it means to be a pornography consumer. Secondly, I examine the conceptualisations of substances, substance consumption and addiction, respectively, as well as the subsequent difference between substance and behavioural addiction. Thirdly, I give an inclusive overview of pornography addiction by not only examining the most recent perspectives of researchers, but also of pornography consumers. I conclude by suggesting how we should go about conceptualising pornography addiction, and then propose how the set of diagnostic criteria for pornography use disorder should be formulated for a future iteration of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I argue that, given the abundance of academic research on substance addiction, compared to the scarcity of research on behavioural addiction, conceptualising pornography as an addictive substance is more likely to create a sense of urgency for the future research of pornography addiction than would be the case if it is considered a potential behavioural addiction. Furthermore, I argue that the classification of pornography as an addictive substance, and the inclusion of pornography use disorder in a future iteration of the DSM, will raise awareness of the potential adverse effects of pornography consumption and, therefore, the harmful consequences of pornography use disorder. (shrink)
The Palgrave Handbook of Sexual Ethics is a comprehensive collection of recent research on the ethics of sexual behavior, representing a wide range of perspectives. It addresses a number of traditional subjects in the area, including questions about pre-marital, extra-marital, non-heterosexual, and non-procreative sex, and about the nature and significance of sexual consent, sexual desire, and sexual activity, as well as a variety of more recent topics, including sexual racism, sexual ableism, sex robots, and the #metoo response to sexual harassment. (...) Each chapter defends a substantive thesis about the topic it addresses and the handbook as a whole thereby provides a strong foundation for future research in this important and growing field of inquiry. (shrink)
Some philosophical accounts imply that masturbation is inferior sexual activity. Against this, Soble argues that masturbation is central. Relying on the physical-anatomical indistinguishability of sexual act-types, he derives a Zeno-style paradox about sexual activity: either all sexual activity (even ordinary coitus) is masturbatory or none of it is (not even solitary masturbation). Soble argues for the first horn of the dilemma, thus ensuring that solitary masturbation is a member of the continuum of sexual activities. Going beyond anatomy, Soble also argues (...) that the central psychological features of paired sexual activity are normally exhibited also by solitary masturbation, which further establishes that solitary masturbation is on the continuum of sexual activity. Altogether, Soble's arguments support a "unary" model of sexuality, compelling us to take seriously the genuine sexual nature of solitary masturbation, a result that is important for the philosophy of sex, the scientific study of sexuality, and the politics of human sexuality. (shrink)
ABSTRACT‘Rape by deception’ occurs when the victim ‘consents’ to sexual penetration as a result of certain sorts of deception by the perpetrator. The legal and philosophical literature on rape by deception has almost exclusively concentrated on cases wherein victims are brought to ‘consent’ to sexual intercourse by deception. Broadening our focus to consider sexual penetration in other contexts reveals a puzzle: if penetration in the context of sexual intercourse premised on deception is rape, is sexual penetration in the context of (...) masturbation as a result of deception rape? (shrink)
“Masturbation and the Problem of Irrational and Immoral Sexual Activity” by Michael Tooley -/- Tooley argues that aside from sex that aims at reproduction, most human sexual activity is both irrational and immoral, since it is dangerous, and equal or greater pleasure can be achieved by sex that is, truly, completely safe. Tooley then asks what must be done to arrive at a rational approach to human sexuality, and here he argues that it must be shown, first, that so-called ‘safe (...) sex’ is anything but. Second, the ‘no safe sex’ army needs to be challenged to say what is unsafe about masturbation, either mutual or do-it-yourself. Finally, irrational views of sexuality are frequently derived from the teachings of the so-called ‘great religions’, especially Judaism and Christianity, and the irrationality of those approaches to sex needs to be clearly demonstrated. (shrink)
This paper connects celibacy to autonomy, which is derived from economic, emotional, and sexual self-determination. Although society attempts to control and define women's sexuality, the celibate woman who masturbates can retrieve her sexuality without the massive social rearrangements which are necessary for economic and emotional liberation. Because masturbation is accessible and singular, sexual autonomy is available to a woman who chooses celibacy, regardless of the other exigencies in her life, as illustrated in the example here from popular literature.