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|Clinician's Digest - Page 6|
Writing in the May 16, 2009, British Medical Journal, psychology ethics researcher Kenneth Pope and psychiatrist Thomas Gutheil, president of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, call for the APA to change its current ethics code by returning to the standard established at Nuremberg—that individuals can't escape personal ethical responsibility merely by following laws or regulations. Other critics want a full accounting from the APA explaining its ties to military intelligence and how those ties influenced its ethical decision-making process. As psychologist Stephen Soldz, a board member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, says, "The APA needs a genuine, moral, ethical rethinking about what it stands for."
The Lure of Porn
Between 2000 and 2005, the revenue generated by Internet pornography (IP) jumped from between $8 to $10 billion a year worldwide to $57 billion. In the United States, IP revenue in 2006 exceeded that of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined. Now a survey of 99 marriage and family therapists by therapists Michelle Ayres and Shelley Haddock, reported in January's Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, finds that about three-quarters of them had clients who brought up the subject within the past year.
The burgeoning revenue figures and increasing mention of IP in couples therapy point only to the frequency with which people view pornography online, not to its addictive power. Nevertheless, psychologist Wendy Maltz, author of The Porn Trap, claims that IP is completely different from earlier kinds of pornography; its psychological and biological effects are more akin to addiction and to an actual affair than to a diversionary recreation. "Orgasms release oxytocin, the attachment hormone," says Maltz, and, unlike with print pornography, the interactive qualities of IP and its multisensory connections give the user a more intense experience and immediate sense of personal connection. While the object of sexual fantasy may not be real, it can be close enough to usurp the relationship with one's real partner. "Users' emotional allegiance shifts; they'll lie to their partner and do whatever it takes to maintain their access to porn," she says. "I've worked with sexuality and counseling for 35 years, and I've never seen anything like this."