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Read the latest porn research from the 2018 International Conference on Behavioural Addictions (ICBA). This peer-reviewed paper by The Reward Foundation has some fascinating insights about the latest research into pornography consumption and our understanding of sexuality.

In 2018 Team TRF attended a major international conference as both presenters and observers.  We have summarised the presentation of papers in this article: Pornography and sexuality research papers at the 5th International Conference on Behavioral Addictions. It is now published in the peer-reviewed journal “Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity.”

You can use this link or this one to get a copy of the published article.


The 5th International Conference on Behavioral Addictions was held in Cologne, Germany, April 23–25, 2018. It featured one of the largest concentrations of papers on pornography and sexual research presented in a single venue to date. Several key themes emerged from the conference. The theoretical basis for developing pornography and sexuality studies as components within the behavioral addiction research landscape is beginning to mature. Core components are the I-PACE theory and the development, validation, and employment in field studies of a steadily growing set of assessment tools including the Problematic Pornography Use Scale, the Brief Pornography Screener, and the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory. The field also benefitted from a keynote speech and a formal pro/con debate. The other principal debate was around the imminent release of ICD-11 by the World Health Organization and the way that Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) would be handled. There was a selection of papers looking at the debate from a variety of theoretical and practical points of view. Fieldwork from Poland suggested that well over 80% of people seeking treatment for CSBD had a problem with pornography use, rather than issues from acting out with real sexual partners.

ICBA 2019

In 2019 Team TRF hope to repeat this by producing a report on the 6th International Conference. This will take place in Yokohama, Japan, from 17 to 19 June.  The conference organisers have accepted two abstracts, both co-written by Darryl Mead and Mary Sharpe.

Abstract 1

Title: Aligning the “Manifesto for a European research network into Problematic Usage of the Internet” with the diverse needs of the professional and consumer communities affected by problematic use of pornography

How do the nine “key research priorities to advance the understanding of PUI” set out by the world’s leading behavioral addiction researchers in the Manifesto for a European research network into Problematic Usage of the Internet (Fineberg et al 2018) align with the diverse needs of the different professional and consumer communities affected by problematic use of pornography?

Put simply, does the Manifesto propose conducting research that has the potential to address the issues raised by therapists, medical practitioners, counsellors and sex educators about the mental and physical health implications of problematic pornography use? Will it address the concerns of the online pornography recovery communities and members of 12-step programmes such as Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous? Equally, will it support the sort of educational work we do in schools to help equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to avoid PUI in all its forms?

This paper will draw upon our engagement with the different consumer groups to suggest some approaches which might further improve the alignment between the Manifesto and the needs of these groups to help reduce the negative effects of PUI from pornography viewing.

Abstract 2

Title: The challenges of teaching school pupils about the research on behavioural addictions

It is vital that behavioural addiction research reaches the demographic most affected by them, namely children and adolescents. Compulsive use of internet pornography is the most difficult subject to cover. There are three main challenges to teaching this: first, teachers are reluctant to teach such a controversial subject they have not been trained to teach. This can be overcome if the lessons are about neuroplasticity, the vulnerability of the adolescent brain to supernormal stimuli and addiction. Digital detoxes, mindfulness practice and other activities can also be delivered to teach pupils about self regulation.

Second, sexual political activists have been quick to fill the limited timetable promoting lessons about consent and respect only. They ignore the research about the neuroplastic effects of regular bingeing, depleted sleep, the impacts on cognitive function and working memory from compulsive use of internet devices and the fact that half of children with compulsive sexual behavior are virgins.

Third, many parents believe they alone should teach their children about sex. Schools can help educate parents directly and via pupils to help raise awareness of the need for boundaries around internet devices. The Reward Foundation will reveal how they have met these challenges in the community.

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