One of the challenging things about life during the pandemic, aside from everything, has been trying to explain to people that the statistics I’ve been citing for a while, most from studies between 2015-2018, were likely outdated. I think this is especially true with the youngest generation, but what about older men? I believe when we finally have a chance to see what COVID meant to their viewing habits, we’ll gasp.
That said, thankfully there were still plenty of people studying pornography’s effect on people and pornography addiction in 2020. There were a lot of findings released that simply flew under the radar. CNN and FOX News may be different, but neither touched the porn epidemic while the other one was going on. But that’s OK, that’s why you have me.
I’m hoping to bring you the latest details of studies, surveys and conclusions reached by the scientific community. If pornography addiction is ever going to be classified as an addiction by that community, they have to study it. I have no problem with that. Thankfully, while the world argues about vaccine safety, we still have people studying and learning. Maybe the next generation won’t be in the weeds.
Speaking of Generations of Older Men
I’ve written on this site before that there is no stereotypical addict. I have met people of all genders, intelligence, religion, age and just about every other socio-economic demographic you can think of out there. I find people often seem to doubt it’s as prevalent with women and older people as I state. However, the results of a new study confirm that porn addiction is a growing problem in the older male community.
A study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, authored by four scientists: Anna Ševčíková, Lukas Blinka, Kateřina Škařupová, and David Vašek is especially enlightening. They recognized that Internet porn addiction studying was almost exclusively limited to younger age groups and were curious about older men and their relationship with online pornography.
Methodology of the Study
The researchers studied 158 men between the ages of 50 and 77 and wanted to examine the connection between online sex addiction, and life situations that come with being older, such as changes in work/retirement, the absence of a partner and general boredom. Thankfully the research took place before the pandemic or that boredom score would probably be off the charts.
The reality is, the Internet has been around for a while now. When I got on it in 1994, most still weren’t there. I was the first person I knew with an e-mail address. It was an AOL one and I still have it collecting dust. Web browsers weren’t a thing for another two or three years at that point, which was when everybody started migrating. The guys who were 50 at the time of this study could have been only 25 when they went online. Of course, back then, it took 5 minutes to download a single picture.
The researchers found that “online sex addiction” was affected by a man’s occupational status, boredom and level of involvement in other sexual activities online. However, relationship status and sex life offline had nothing to do with addictive behavior in this age group.
The conclusions was that older age does not protect against the development of online sex addiction. Those with deficiencies in the variable that leaned toward addiction also had higher rates of succumbing… obviously.
A Couple of Excerpts
I found these direct quotes to be among the most interesting in the study:
- “Occupational changes, including chronic unemployment, may be demanding in various ways: individuals have to deal with limited financial resources, with a decline of social contact, and with other lifestyle changes, such as the newly emerged spare time, which may affect their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.”
- “The transition into work inactivity due to unemployment or retirement represents a stressful process that requires the reorganization of everyday life, which has the potential to trigger a problematic pattern of Internet use.”
- “Besides occupational status, our study identified Internet use because of boredom as one of the strongest predictors of online sex addiction. Previous research suggested that boredom is an important risk factor for a whole array of addictive behaviors, ranging from substance use to behavioral addictions, including sex addiction.“
A Note to the Older Men
Needless to say, anybody who feels that online sex or porn addiction is only a young man’s game is wrong. I can vouch for the fact when I was in rehab, 12-step groups and other group therapy situations there were many men over the 50-year-old threshold. Hell, I’m only five years away from the study’s demographic at this point. Addiction rates of men over 50 are not about to drop anytime soon as my generation enters the demo.
If you’re one of these older men who fears they have an issue, but fears reaching out for help even more, drop me a message at email@example.com and we can talk about it. Nobody, 24, 44, 64, or 84 should have to suffer with this in silence. Let me help you out with my coaching. No shaming. No judging. Just help.
Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash
6 thoughts on “Yes, Older Men, You Can Still Develop a Pornography Addiction”
A big ol’ yes to that Josh. My addiction didn’t kick in to a destructive level until I was in my late 50s and I was 62 when I was convicted of offences linked to my porn habit.
I always told the younger guys in rehab how lucky they were that they were getting this taken care of in their early-to-mid 20s, but I need to realize I was lucky to take care of it in my late 30s.
Josh, I finally broke free from porn at age 50. These days I “talk” with lots of men on Facebook. Many of them are over 50 and still struggle with pornography. For most of them this is not something new. But getting older certainly does not ‘cure” this illness. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. Thank God there is HOPE for a new life.
Well said, Hugh. There are some people out there who believe porn addiction started when “high speed” internet became widely available. It must be nice to be that ignorant.