Effects of Technology on Sexual Behavior and In[macy

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Effects of Technology on Sexual Behavior and In[macy
Effects of Technology on Sexual Behavior and In6macy Catherine Cooney, MS, LPC, CSAT www.catherinecooneytherapist.com [email protected] Oregon Counselors Association Annual Conference October 5, 2014 What’s new? Time it took for New Communica6on Technologies to enter 50 million U.S. Homes Radio 38 years Television 13 years Internet 4 years Social Networking 16 months Smartphone apps 9 months Weiss, R. and Schneider, J.P., Closer Together, Further Apart. Gentle Path Press; 2014. Reducing Barriers —  Bridging geographical distance for family/friends. —  Ability to geolocate family members, track kids, offer support or assistance when not in proximity. —  Communication across generations. —  Those with physical limitations can continue to work, learn, interact with others without leaving home. —  Exposure to other cultures and human rights issues.
The Internet as a Safety Net —  Support for LGBTQ and marginalized others. —  Sex education. —  Normalize non-­‐traditional sexual proclivities, decrease shame, safe place to explore interests. E-­‐Da6ng and Rela6onships —  11% of Americans, and 38% of those currently “single or looking,” have used an online dating site or mobile dating app. —  5% of Americans who are currently married or in a long-­‐term partnership met their partner somewhere online. Among those who have been together for ten years or less, 11% met online. —  53% of internet users agree with the statement that “online dating allows people to find a better match for themselves because they can get to know a lot more people Pew Research Center Digital Na6ves vs. Immigrants —  Born after 1980, Digital Natives: —  grew up actively using and engaging with computers and the internet. —  typically unquestioningly appreciate and value the role digital technology has played in their lives. —  More open to various forms of communication. —  Born before 1980, Digital Immigrants: —  have mixed views about how modern communications technology has impacted their lives. —  Value face-­‐to-­‐face, or at least telephone contact. Prensky, Marc, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”, On the Horizon, Sept/Oct 2001. Digital Na6ves and Digital Immigrants can also differ significantly in the ways they: —  View personal privacy —  Experience entertainment —  Socially engage, including making friends, flirting, romancing and having sex —  Are used to multi-­‐tasking and distracted activity —  Tend to view communication as communication, no matter the format Weiss, R. and Schneider, J.P., Closer Together, Further Apart. Gentle Path Press; 2014. I don’t look at it as “geOng on the Internet.” The Internet is a part of life. It’s a lifestyle. —An undergraduate student —  Undergraduate respondents spend an average of 19.6 hours per week actively doing online activities for work, school, or recreation. —  85.2% use Social Networking Sites (primarily Facebook) —  Text messaging (used by 83.6%) —  Instant messaging (IM) (used by 73.8%) Salaway, G., The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, Vol. 8, 2008. Smartphone Users —  Half of the US population uses smartphones. —  Check into Facebook an average of 14 times a day. —  79% keep it with them for 22 hours of their day. —  80% check phone within 15 minutes of waking up. International Data Corporation Social Networking Sites —  Facebook users had slightly lower levels of “social loneliness”—the sense of not feeling bonded with friends—but “significantly higher levels of family loneliness”—the sense of not feeling bonded with family. —  Tendency for neurotic and lonely individuals to spend greater amounts of time on Facebook per day than non-­‐lonely individuals. —  Neurotics are more likely to prefer to use the wall, while extroverts tend to use chat features in addition to the wall. Stephen Marche . Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? The Atlantic in May 2012 Scanning your friends’ status updates and updating the world on your own activities via your wall, or what Burke calls “passive consumption” and “broadcasting”—
correlates to feelings of disconnectedness. Moira Burke, Human-­‐Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon FoMO —  The fear of missing out refers to the need to stay continually connected to what others are doing. —  Is associated with lower need satisfaction, mood and life satisfaction. —  Linked to higher levels of social media engagement. —  Has been experienced by nearly ¾ of young adults. JWT (2011). Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). JWTIntelligence. www.jwtintelligence.com Sex6ng —  Sext -­‐ – a sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photo or video. —  9% of adult cell owners have sent a sext of themselves to someone else, up from 6% of cell owners who said this in 2012. —  20% of cell owners have received a sext of someone else they know on their phone, up from 15% who said this in 2012. —  3% of cell owners have forwarded a sext to someone else – unchanged. —  Smartphone owners are significantly more likely than other cell phone owners to sext. —  Married and partnered adults are just as likely as singles to say that they have sent a sext. Pew Research Internet Project Feb 11, 2014 Disinhibi6on Effect It's well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn't ordinarily say or do in the face-­‐to-­‐face world. They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly. The disinhibition effect is a double-­‐edged sword. —  Reveal secret emotions, fears, wishes. —  Show unusual acts of kindness and generosity. —  Cyberbullying Suler, J. (2004). CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 321-­‐326 Camming -­‐Using a webcam to feed or stream images in real time to or through a computer to computer network. —  Has contributed to the erosion of the pornographic movie business due to amateur use by cammers who stream images of themselves for a “tips.” —  A handful of the top sites getting 30 million visitors a month. —  Estimates of annual revenue from camming at more than $1 billion. from Compete.com Hook Up Sites/Apps —  Hooking up for casual or anonymous sex. Most popular with college students and young professionals who don’t have time (or desire) for a serious relationship. —  Adult Friend Finder —  Grindr —  Pink Cupid —  Ashley Madison —  Skout —  Tinder —  Craiglist Sexnology —  Haptic technology —  Kissy Messenger (video ) —  Teledildonics Rela6onship Apps —  Kahnoodle —  Love Maps —  Been Together Virtual Reality An artificial environment created by computer software that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. Virtual reality can recreate sensory experiences, including virtual taste sight, smell, sound, touch, etc. ERP: Ero6c Role Playing —  Component of many online roleplaying games: —  World of Warcraft, Goldshire —  Second Life, SexGen —  With the incredible recent advances in digital technology, the line between fantasy and reality has become somewhat blurry. —  Without fear of societal scrutiny, people can act out even their most violent, misogynistic or humiliating fantasies. Cybercelibacy —  Cybercelibate -­‐-­‐ those of us who shut out not only friendship, but even romance and physical intimacy, in favor of the rush that comes with online connection and gaming thrills. Defining In6macy A connection that exists between two people as a result of perceived trust, security, concern, care, and mutually shared goals, beliefs, and/or values. Intimacy evolves out of a willingness to let our partner really know us, to exchange unfiltered honest feelings and thoughts, while tolerating our very human fear of being judged, criticized and abandoned.* *JP Schneider, et al, Sex, Lies and Forgiveness: Couples speak on healing from Sexual Addiction. 2004 In6macy in the Tech Realm “These days, insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy, we look to technology for ways to be in relationships and protect ourselves from them at the same time.” —  Turkle, Sherry . Alone Together, 2011 Posi6ve Impacts on In6macy —  Fully 27% of online adults who are married or in committed relationships say that the internet has had an impact on their relationships; and a majority of them say that impact has been positive. —  9% have resolved an argument with their partner online or by text message that they were having difficulty resolving in person. —  Parents were also likely to describe feeling closer to their partner due to technology. Princeton Survey Research Associates International: Pew Research Internet Project; February 20, 2014 Na6ves vs. Immigrants —  Technology plays a more prominent role in the committed relationships of young adults. —  41% of 18-­‐to-­‐29-­‐year-­‐olds reported feeling closer to their partners because of online or text message conversations vs —  21% of married or partnered adults have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message Princeton Survey Research Associates International: Pew Research Internet Project; February 20, 2014 Nega6ve Impacts on In6macy —  25% of cell owners in serious relationships say the phone distracts their spouse or partner when they are alone together. —  8% of couples who use the internet have had an argument with their spouse or partner about the amount of time one of them was spending online. —  42% of 18-­‐29 year olds with cell phones in serious relationships say their partner has been distracted by their mobile phone while they were together. Princeton Survey Research Associates International: Pew Research Internet Project; February 20, 2014 Distrac6on Effect —  When discussing an important matter, subjects who had a discussion with a phone in the vicinity felt it impacted negatively on the conversation. The mere presence of a phone meant the person they were talking to might be distracted and caused the conversation to feel less intimate. —  Cell phones/mobile devices may serve as a reminder of the wider network to which we could connect, inhibiting our ability to connect with the people right in front of us. Przybylski, Andrew and Weinstein, Netta, Can you connect with me now? How thepresence of mobilecommunicationtechnology influencesface-­‐to-­‐
faceconversation quality. Journal of Social andPersonal Relationships; 1–10; University of Essex, UK Email as Avoidance —  Human understanding is a function of communication. —  We use email to avoid conflict and to avoid feeling uncomfortable. To overcome shyness, inferiority complexes, doubts, apprehensions, and all manner of other psychological and emotional problems. —  We have convinced ourselves that this is all more advanced, more expedient, more productive. —  Overuse of email creates emotional distance. —  Message is "I don't actually want to talk to you.” Breaking up is hard to do —  One in six Americans with recent dating experience have broken up with someone — or had someone break up with them — by text message, email, or sending a message online. Altered connec6vity —  We rely on technology to provide relief, relaxation, self-­‐soothing, excitement, and even connection (albeit limited) that we could be getting from live people. —  A 2010 AARP survey found that 35 percent of adults older than 45 were chronically lonely, as opposed to 20 percent of a similar group only a decade earlier. —  Roughly 20 percent of Americans—about 60 million people—are unhappy with their lives because of loneliness. Pornography —  12% of today’s websites are pornographic. —  25% of search engine requests are porn-­‐related. —  35% of all downloads are of sexualized imagery.* —  (Internet porn stats webpage) Rob Weiss, The Impact of Digital Technology on Sexual Addiction. January 20th, 2014 online Dispu6ng Common Thinking —  Pornography has not been found to contribute to increased sexual assault behavior and “may actually provide a catharsis to alleviate sexual aggression”* —  688 young Danish adults (men = 316; women = 372), found that respondents construed the viewing of hardcore pornography as beneficial to their sex lives, their attitudes towards sex, their perceptions and attitudes towards members of the opposite sex, toward life in general, and over all. ** *Ferguson, C. J., & Hartley, R. D. (2009). 14. Aggression and Violent Behavior ,
14(5),323−329 ** Hald, G.and Malamuth, N. Pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women: revisiting the relationship in nonexperimental studies. Aggress Behav. 2010 Jan-­‐Feb;36(1) Some Pros of Porn for Women —  Demedicalization of women’s sexuality: —  Historically, a woman who had any sexual desires or who was sexually dissatisfied because of her partner’s inability to perform sexually would have likely been diagnosed as a “nymphomaniac” or some other type of sexual deviant. —  Many women confuse their sexual frustrations and fantasies as signs of sexual deviance. Pornography may show a woman that her sexual desires are not indicative of illness, but are instead normal or common. Orlowski, Jeanne. Beyond Gratification: The Benefits of Pornography and the Demedicalization of Female Sexuality. The Modern American 8, no. 2 (2012). —  “Erotica, as well as couples' own masturbatory fantasies, can be useful tools for helping them develop as adults. Fantasy is part of a healthy sex life, and porn adds to the repository of sexy scenarios in our heads. It can also inspire couples to experiment more in the bedroom.” Schnarch, D. Resurrecting Sex: Solving Sexual Problems and Revolutionizing Your Relationship —  Fantasizing about sex is often a good step in recharging desire. Many women (particularly those in long-­‐term relationships) are not having spontaneous sexual thoughts or fantasies, but may be receptive to sex if mentally or physically stimulated. —  The sharing of fantasies with a partner can improve relationship communication about what a woman finds arousing and may help a couple revive an otherwise limited sexual script or repertoire. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP Porn and LGBTQ Folks —  For sexual and gender minorities, who often risked their safety, and sometimes their health, seeking out sexual experience in bars, bathhouses, etc., pornography has been a way to discover and explore sexual expression in a safe, easily accessible, non-­‐shaming environment. —  Gay male porn is beneficial for the normalization of gay sex in our society. Use in Sex Therapy —  Three primary types of SEM used in sex therapy : —  Sexually explicit educational materials -­‐ 92.6% —  Erotica – 81.1% —  Pornography 29.5% Ratcliffe, G. Cole, The use of sexually explicit material in sex therapy. KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, 2011. Hormone Replacement Therapy —  Rutgers University sex researcher Helen Fisher advises men, instead of taking testosterone, to "go on the Internet and look at porn" as a kind of hormone-­‐
replacement therapy. "[Porn] drives up dopamine levels, which drives up your testosterone. Porn a force for Equality? —  The level of pornography consumption was predictive of increased support for same-­‐sex marriage over time. —  Pornography adopts an individualistic, non-­‐judgmental stance on all kinds of nontraditional sexual behaviors, and same-­‐sex marriage attitudes are strongly linked to attitudes about same-­‐sex sex Wright, Paul, Porn: A force for equality? Study says exposure to pornography boosts support for same-­‐sex marriage Seattle Gay News, Friday, February 8, 2013 -­‐ Volume 41 Issue 6 Indiana University Assistant Professor, Today’s Porn —  Today's porn is a product whose power to please as well as to harm is intricately related to it's unprecedented delivery system, which is: non-­‐stop novelty-­‐rich on-­‐demand and exposes the user to sex in infinite variations and extremes. Wendy Maltz, via listserve discussion Triple-­‐A Engine* — : accessibility, affordability, and anonymity. — Differences between compulsive and non-­‐
compulsive users are diminished because of the Triple A engine.** —  *Al Cooper, 1998 —  **Cooper, Delmonico and Burg (2000) University of Sydney Study —  43% of those surveyed started to view porn between the ages of 11 and 13 —  47% spend between 30 minutes and three hours a day watching porn —  More than half of porn users surveyed were married or in de-­‐facto relationships —  2000 MSNBC study reported that: —  70 percent of pornography users were secretive about their viewing —  8 to 15% developed compulsive sexual behaviors that affected their lives —  The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the British Nielsen NetRatings identified pornography use as a major contributor to divorce and relationship difficulties. —  Approx. 20% of par6cipants said that they preferred the excitement of watching porn to being sexually in6mate with their partner. —  14% had formed a rela6onship with other online users. —  30% acknowledged that their work performance suffered due to excessive viewing. —  Approx. 18% were preoccupied with fantasizing when they were not online. Sitharthan, Gomathi and Sitharthan, Raj http://sydney.edu.au , May 2012 Aggression in Porn —  Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88.2% contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-­‐calling. —  Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression. Aggression and sexual behavior in best-­‐selling pornography videos: a content analysis update. Bridges AJ, et al, Violence Against Women. 2010 Oct;16(10) Porn’s Effect on Male Body Image and Rela6onship Anxiety/Avoidance For college men, amount of porn consumed positively linked to: —  Dissatisfaction with muscularity and body fat. —  Romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance. Tylka, Tracy L, No Harm in Looking, Right? Men’s Pornography Consumption, Body Image, and Well-­‐Being. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Feb 10 , 2014 Porn’s effects on Female Partners —  Ladies (college students) who reported their partners looked at porn more frequently were not only less happy with their relationships, they also had less self-­‐
esteem and were less satisfied with their sex lives. —  When some women discovered pornographic material on their partner's computer, it made them "feel like they were not good enough, like they could not measure up." Stewart, Destin , University of Florida, published online May 6 Journal Sex Roles —  Women's sex lives were also damaged if their partners preferred virtual ways of arousing themselves instead of sleeping with them. —  The results showed a strong statistical link between men viewing porn and their women partners becoming unhappy. —  When women thought that their partner was a heavy porn user, or a 'porn addict,' it also had a negative impact on their self-­‐esteem and general sexual satisfaction. Stewart, Destin , University of Florida, published online May 6 Journal Sex Roles Porn-­‐induced ED —  A growing number of young, healthy Internet pornography users are complaining of delayed ejaculation, inability to be turned on by real partners, and sluggish erections. —  Internet erotica delivers endless dopamine hits. —  Years of overriding the natural limits of libido with intense stimulation desensitize the user's response to the neurochemical Dopamine. www.yourbrainonporn.com 11/14/2011 Pornography Addic6on —  First brain-­‐scan study on porn users: German study which found 3 significant addic6on-­‐related brain changes that correlated with the amount of porn consumed. —  1) Higher hours per week/more years of porn viewing correlated with a reduction in grey matter in sections of the reward circuitry (striatum) involved in motivation and decision-­‐
making. Reduced grey matter in this reward-­‐related region means fewer nerve connections. Fewer nerve connections here translates into sluggish reward activity, or a numbed pleasure response, often called desensitization. Brain Structure and Func.onal Connec.vity Associated With Pornography Consump.on: The Brain on Porn JAMA Psychiatry (May, 2014) German Study cont’d —  2) The nerve connections between the reward circuit and prefrontal cortex worsened with increased porn watching. "Dysfunction of this circuitry has been related to inappropriate behavioral choices, such as drug seeking, regardless of the potential negative outcome." In short, this is evidence of an association between porn use and impaired impulse control. German Study cont’d —  3. The more porn used, the less reward activation when sexual images were flashed on the screen. A possible explanation is that heavy users eventually need more stimulation to fire up their reward circuitry. Said the researchers, "This is in line with the hypothesis that intense exposure to pornographic stimuli results in a downregulation of the natural neural response to sexual stimuli.” (Tolerance) In6macy Disorder —  One other major finding was that 60% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections/
arousal with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn. * —  Porn use can take an emotional toll on relationships because men who use it are 'neurologically bonding' not with their partners, but with the porn. (Dr Jim Pfaus, Canada's Concordia University) *Cambridge University: Brain scans find porn addiction (2014) Gender Differences in Porn Addic6on —  Women are now also using it as a quick way to have sex without emotional investment, just as men traditionally have. "For women, just as for men, the internet is able to satisfy that need in rather a raw, crude sense, quickly and easily.” —  There is little difference in the way the genders become hooked. The main contrast between male and female porn addicts is how much more guilty women feel. "Porn addiction is seen as a man's problem – and therefore not acceptable for women.” —  Psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy From the Mouths of Babes —  Eight out of ten 18-­‐year-­‐olds think it’s too easy to accidentally view explicit images while surfing the internet, while two thirds of young women and almost half of young men agree that “it would be easier growing up if pornography was less easy to access for young people.” —  45% of young men believe that porn helps people to learn about sex, only 29% of young women say the same. —  21% of young men believe porn leads to unrealistic attitudes about sex, compared with 40% of young women. IPPR Institute for Public Policy Research Assessing problem internet use —  Compulsive —  Secretive —  Coercion —  Consequences —  Time loss —  Poor boundaries —  Effects to self-­‐esteem —  Isolation Assessment Tools —  Internet Sex Screening Test www.sexhelp.com —  Internet Addiction Test www.netaddiction.com —  Complete sexual history (e.g., Offline and Online Sex History. Edwards, W, et al: Cybersex Unplugged, 2011) Ten Criteria of Problema6c Online Sexual Behavior — 
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Preoccupation with sex on the Internet. Frequently engaging in sex on the Internet more often or for longer periods of time than intended. Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on, or stop engaging in sex on the Internet Restlessness or irritability when attempting to limit or stop engaging in sex on the Internet. Ten Criteria of Problema6c Online Sexual Behavior — 
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Using sex on the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or relieving feelings such as helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression. Returning to sex on the Internet day after day in search of a more intense or higher-­‐risk sexual experience. Lying to family members, therapists, or others to conceal involvement with sex on the Internet. Ten Criteria of Problema6c Online Sexual Behavior — 
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Committing illegal sexual acts online (ex: sending or downloading child pornography). Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of online sexual behavior. Incurring significant financial consequences as a result of engaging in online sexual behavior. Catherine Cooney, MS, LPC, CSAT www.catherinecooneytherapist.com [email protected] Oregon Counselors Association Annual Conference October 5, 2014 

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