Jordan Peterson Explains The Dangerous Effects Of Porn (The Roommates)

A short, meaty exchange you do not want to miss.

Jordan Peterson recently sat down for an interview with “The Roommates,” where he was asked, among other things, about his view on pornography. The interviewer notes his own observation that many guys who use porn heavily lose interest in natural women. As a prescription, Peterson cites “deprivation” from pornography–i.e. stop watching–as a means to re-sensitize oneself to natural women and undo some of the damage done by pornography.

Peterson comments on another effect of watching pornography that I elaborated on here: a decreased interest in going out and meeting real women. Pornography is an outlet. It kills libido, and when libido dies, a kind of motivation inevitably denies with it. Without motivation to go out and meet others, people miss out on opportunities for growth and adventure.

Peterson also alludes to some research that showed that when pornography was introduced to a community, sexual crimes committed by men against women declined. That, as he admits, is a uni-dimensional analysis. What about all the other damaging, perverse effects that pornography–especially the kind that might substitute for actual crimes–might have on a society? And what about the long-term? It is quite possible that pornography could serve as a substitute for certain criminal acts, in the short term, but eventually create a greater need to act them out, in the long term (what a catastrophe that would be).

Check out the clip below! I transcribed the first five minutes, which is the part about porn. I listened to the rest of the interview about the necessity of telling the truth. That, I would add, is well worth the listen. I may publish a transcript of it at a later date.

So, don’t substitute the false for the real. And don’t underestimate the utility of deprivation. What do we need to drive us forward to have the adventure of our life? Well, some deprivation. That’s for sure. That heightens desire and drive. And maybe you need that. You’re afraid to approach a woman. Well, you remove part of your drive with pornography, and so now you don’t have that sexual urge to overcome that anxiety, and so you stay tended for your entire life. Maybe not, but maybe.

Jordan Peterson

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Transcript:

Peterson (Intro): You know, cause it’s super satiation. And it’s a non-trivial technological problem, you know. It’s now possible for a young man to look at more beautiful nude woman in one day than any man has ever seen, prior to 10 years ago, 20 years ago—that any man in history had ever seen. That’s not nothing. That’s something. And to think that doesn’t do anything to you. It’s like—no, that likely does something to you.

Interviewer: What would you say are things men need to be focusing in on then if they’re trying to select a woman for a long-term marriage partner?

Peterson: Well, you want someone honest. That’s really, really important. Someone who will do her best to tell you the truth. My wife swore she’d do that before we got married, and she has, probably better than I have. And so, that’s a rock, man, at the bottom of things, you know? And, you can’t underplay the role of sexual attraction, and that’s a mysterious thing, and so that’s crucial, as far as I’m concerned.

Interviewer: I have a question about that, Dr. Peterson. You mentioned pornography, and we do countless pieces of content to be able to help young man overcome that issue, and provide a ton of resources to support them What I notice that happens sometimes because of years of watching pornography, the man’s sexual attraction becomes warped. And so, how can a man whose sexual attraction to women been warped to extreme ends due to so much consumption of pornography, how can that man go back to being attracted to more natural looking woman [like the ones he is likely to encounter in real life?]. . .

Peterson: Deprivation is helpful. I think it’s reasonable to assume that there’s a novelty edge in pornography, like there is in so many quasi-addictive phenomenon. And so, it has to become—because novelty is a sexual [kick?]—it has to stay novel. And that means, over time, it’s going to become more extreme, so that’s not good. Well, so how do you re-sensitize yourself, in some sense? Well, you stop. And then, hopefully you recover. And then you deprive yourself of that outlet, let’s say.

You might say, “Well, is that absolutely necessary? Maybe there’s nothing wrong with pornography?” I don’t know man. Have you ever really met a guy whose proud of that. It makes them feel like, “I’m the guy, man. I’m watching pornography and getting off.” What a man! I don’t think anyone feels that. Maybe I’m wrong. To me, that’s an indication that yeah, we know, it’s pretty cheap. It’s cheap. It’s easy.

I say that knowing that I believe the research evidence shows that if you introduce pornography into community, rates of sexual crime committed by men on women decline, so there is, perhaps some utility in the outlet. But, you know that’s a uni-dimensional analysis. It doesn’t take into account all the other effects of pornography, including the ones you described. I think that those are real. It makes sense that they’re real, ‘cause it’s super satiation.

It’s a non-trivial technological problem. It’s now possible for a young man to look at more beautiful nude women in one day than any man has ever seen, you know, prior to 10 years ago, 20 years ago—that any made in history had ever seen. That’s not nothing. That’s something. And to think that doesn’t do anything to you, it’s like, “No—that likely does something to you.”

So, don’t substitute the false for the real. And don’t underestimate the utility of deprivation. What do we need to drive us forward to have the adventure of our life? Well, some deprivation. That’s for sure. That heightens desire and drive. And maybe you need that. You’re afraid to approach a woman. Well, you remove part of your drive with pornography, and so now you don’t have that sexual urge to overcome that anxiety, and so you stay tended for your entire life. Maybe not, but maybe. . .

[Later in interview] Pornography’s a problem. It’s a big problem. It’s a real curse, that pornography, in my opinion, because it’s an easy out. We don’t know what the consequences of that are—We’re starting to understand some of them.

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