August 26, 2015

Why Do People Cheat? The Link Between AshleyMadison and Pornography

Pornography and AshleyMadison are linked in more ways than you might suppose.

As many of us now know, AshleyMadison is a website designed to help people cheat on their significant other without getting caught. Recently, a hacking group leaked the personal data of more than 30 million AshleyMadison users, exposing predominantly married men who have been using the website to have affairs. Those who have been exposed range from top Department of Justice officials to affiliates of pro-family organizations; individuals who, on the surface, would not appear to be likely to have an affair.

Due to these recent events, many individuals are asking: what causes someone to cheat?

While there are many influences that can contribute to a person having an affair, pornography use is a typical, consistent, factor in extramarital affairs.

Pornography has been shown to make its users less satisfied with their existing partner. A 2013 study Pornography is causing a public health crisis-2published in the journal of Social, Psychological and Personality Science has found that people in committed relationships who view pornographic materials are more likely to cheat on their partners than those who don’t. Porn offers users the fantasy of no-strings-attached sexual gratification with multiple extremely attractive partners. Those erotic images, the study found, re-wire the users’ brains to assume that there are a multitude of attractive and willing sexual partners available outside their current relationships. According to researcher Patrick Fagan, PhD, a psychologist and former Deputy Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary, pornography use is correlated with an increase in infidelity of more than 300%.

This link between pornography and cheating is not news to AshleyMadison. AshleyMadison has frequently advertised on porn websites, so that stimulated individuals who are looking for the next best thing are encouraged to sign up for the service.

For many viewers of pornography, their need for new sexual excitement does not stop at the screen. Research has shown that porn users develop the need for increased stimuli in order to get the same “high,” similar to drug users. Eventually, many are driven to “act out” what they’ve been watching, and because yesterday’s hardcore, extreme, pornography is mainstream today, this often means that wives or girlfriends are unwilling to perform certain degrading or painful sexual acts which are popular in porn. The porn user then must find someone else to fulfill these desires; whether it be a prostituted person, a human trafficking victim, or an affair on AshleyMadison.

The bottom line is that porn harms relationships, and it has been doing so for years. In a 2004 testimony before the U.S. Senate, Dr. Jill Manning shared her research, which found that 56 percent of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.

Pornography is causing a public health crisis in America by not only contributing to sex trafficking, child abuse, and lifelong addictions, but also by stripping many individuals of the ability to have lasting meaningful relationships. In a pornified culture, where men are trained to view women as disposable means to pleasure, and women are bred to accept their role as sexual objects, AshleyMadison is an inevitable product.

To take a stand against the porn industry, and organizations facilitating sexual exploitation, visit: http://pornharmsaction.com

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Haley Halverson

Director of Communications

Haley Halverson joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as Director of Communications in May of 2015. Haley cares deeply about human rights and the issue of sexual exploitation, particularly regarding those exploited in the sex industry. In her role, Haley acts as a spokesperson for NCOSE and oversees strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing. She is also the host of the “Sexploitation?” podcast, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) where she double majored in Politics and interdisciplinary religious studies, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internship experiences in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Post, BBC News, Fox News, the Washington Post, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, the Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

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