From Sean's Gospel Topical Guide
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  • Handbook 2, 21.4.9
"The Church opposes pornography in any form. Indulgence in pornography damages individual lives, families, and society. Such indulgence drives away the Spirit of the Lord. Church members should avoid all forms of pornographic material and oppose its production, dissemination, and use."
  • Gordon B. Hinckley, "An Unending Conflict, a Victory Assured", Ensign, June 2007, subheading: "The Pattern of Conflict"
"No son or daughter of our heavenly father can afford to partake of ... pornography."
  • Dan Gray, "Talking to Youth about Pornography", Ensign, July 2007, pp. 48-51
Thoughts on why we need to talk to our youth about pornography and what we need to tell them.
An official church website dealing with the subject of pornography.
Apparently women who use porn regularly for masturbation have a tendency to incorporate elements from porn into their intimate encounters with partners.


There's an interesting question here about how personality affects the way people cope with the negative effects of porn use. (Particularly) There seems to be two distinct modes that I have seen described in men.

In one case, the men keep their interpersonal relationships separate from their porn use. In this case, the men tend to pull away from their wife and mentally put their wives on a pedestal. They do not want to bring porn into the bedroom and often have notably decreased interest in intimacy with their spouse. The may describe their wife as being too pure and even if their wife offers to do things that he has been interested in seeing in porn, he will be disgusted by the suggestion. This becomes a story he tells himself that justifies his inability to perform sexually with his spouse.

In the other case, the man may cope with his dependence on porn, by incorporating it into his bedroom routine. Men who have gone this route will want to have porn playing while they are having sex. They may have a tendency to lose their erections during sex and need to use porn to be able to regain that erection. They will have an increased interest in bringing behavior portrayed in pornography into practical use in the bedroom.

It has been interesting to me to wonder about how pornography use might affect women, as their ability to perform in the bedroom does not require anything quite as fundamental as an erection. Lubes can easily be used to address issues of dryness. "Does pornography use affect heterosexual women's intimate experiences with a partner?" makes it clear that women who use pornography to facilitate masturbation, do have similar issues as men, trying to become aroused and stay aroused, and that they can employ a tactic of incorporating pornography into their bedroom routine, in order to combat these negative effects. The study also found that women experienced increased feelings of insecurity when they thought about pornography during sex. This is somewhat reminiscent of an effect described in "Who Is Distracted by a Girl Wearing Skintight Leggings?" (cited more fully on the Modesty page) where women were found to have significantly decreased scholastic performance when dressed in revealing clothing due to a self-consciousness that it induced in them.

While some women, as has been shown, cope by incorporating pornographic scripts into their intimacy with sexual partners, I would expect that others adopt a strategy of pulling away from their partner, in a way similar to some men. I have not come across documented evidence of this, which is curious, and it would be interesting to find out if this behavior really does, in fact, exist, with women.

The two distinct modes of coping with the negative effects of pornography strike me as having their roots in personality types. I would expect the pulling-away strategy to be most likely adopted by introverts, who have a tendency to segment their interpersonal interactions, and sometimes even become a different person for each friend-group. As Questioners are the most introverted, then I would expect this element to be exhibited most by that personality type. On the other hand, the tendency to idolize one's partner strikes me as a very Upholder personality type. Perhaps there are actually two distinct behaviors here that often mix. Regardless, the overall stereotype is something I would expect to find in the Upholder/Questioner quadrant of the 4 tendencies version of the 4-type personality model.

With that foundation, this provides me with at least two well defined models that I might expect to capture the way people cope with the negative effects of pornography; a dipole model, and a quadrapole model. In the Dipole model, it is expected that the opposite strategy is most common with the opposite personality type (ie. People with personalities in the Obliger/Rebel quadrant would be more likely to use a strategy of incorporation). In the quadrapole model the opposite personality would be expected to exhibit the same pulling-away strategy, and the in-between quadrants would be expected to adopt the incorporation strategy. I see arguments for both models, and, of course, the truth may be neither. Examples of other phenomena that follow a dipole model to some significant degree would be religiosity, creativity, intelligence, and social compatibility. The quadrupole model is a model that has some significant representation in behaviors associated with personality disorders. (Dishonesty and dissociation appear to be focused on opposite poles, but produce similar behaviors, creating a significant quadruapole factor for these maladaptive behaviors.) Another pattern that I have noticed in other phenomena is a strong linear component when rotating around the personality type axis with a discontinuity. If that were to be the actual pattern, I would not expect to find a new discontinuity, but I would expect the porn-coping strategy to be tied to some other phenomena for which a discontinuity is noted. (ie. agreeableness, or cooperativeness, which, oddly enough, are not the same thing. Though the maximums occur in the same personality region, they increase in opposite directions around the axis of personality space and present two distinct discontinuities; the discontinuity for agreeableness/disagreeableness being the better understood) My observations/studies, however, do not suggest this model to me. I mention it merely for completeness.