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This Study Shows Feeling Shame Fuels Hypersexual Behavior While Feeling Guilt Fuels Modify

There’s a huge amount of research on the harmful effects of pornography, and it’s important that this information is accessible to the public. Weekly, we emphasize a research study that will sheds light on the expanding field of academic resources that will showcase porn’s causes harm to. These studies include a wide range of topics, through the sociological implications associated with pornography to the nerve effects of porn-consumption.

The full study could be accessed here.

The Functions of Shame plus Guilt in Hypersexual Behavior

Writers: Randy Gilliland, Mikle South, Bruce N. Carpenter

Published: March 2011

Peer-Reviewed Journal: Sex-related Addiction & Compulsivity, 18: 12–29, 2011


The purpose of this study was to examine the particular prevalence of each shame and sense of guilt in hypersexual individuals, to examine the associations between the intensity of these emotions and the degree of hypersexuality, and to compare models of the achievable separate causal functions for shame plus guilt in the repair of hypersexuality

Although conceptualizations of shame and guilt are varied and often overlapping, most recent explications have sought to distinguish them. For this paper, we have adopted the particular definitions proposed simply by Tangney and colleagues (e. g., Tangney & Dearing, 2002a). Under this viewpoint, both shame plus guilt are seen as self-conscious emotions involved with negative self-evaluation. The between the two is the fact that, during a shame encounter, the entire self is definitely negatively evaluated, while during a guilt experience the specific behavior which usually brought on those emotions receives the negative evaluation.

Guilt states “this behavior is bad” while shame says “I am a negative person. ”

Shame has a strong optimistic relationship with externalization, e. g., blaming others or situations for your own behavior (Tangney, 1990). Thus, addicting behavior generally (O’Connor, Berry, Inaba, & Weiss, 1994) and hypersexual behavior specifically (Reid, Carpenter, Spackman, & Willes, 2008) may be driven in part by individuals who are susceptible to experiencing intense emotions of shame plus who use maladaptive behaviors to take the blame off on their own and place it somewhere else. These individuals may be self-medicating to treat the psychological pain of shame and their externalization may be keeping them ignorant of the possible consequences of their behavior Alternatively, individuals experiencing guilt still internalize the blame but isolate it to their behavior and its effect on others, which inspires them to change the guilt-inducing behavior (Amodio, Devine, & Harmon-Jones, 2007). We, therefore , hypothesize that guilt may have a negative relationship along with measures of hypersexuality because the experience of sense of guilt tends to motivate an individual to change behavior that is viewed as harmful.


Persons searching for treatment for addictive pornography use (n = 177) documented shame, guilt, hypersexuality, and motivations to improve through anonymous, internet surveys.


Comes from this sample of people receiving therapy meant for pornography show that shame and sense of guilt have different results on hypersexual conduct patterns.

Shame has a significant, positive predictive relationship with hypersexual behavior, while guilt has a significant, beneficial predictive relationship both with Motivation to improve and self-reported Change behaviors. Conversely, Sense of guilt had a reliable negative predictive relationship along with hypersexuality while shame had a reliable, negative predictive relationship along with motivation to change and self-reported change actions.

Clearly, these exploratory findings don’t establish a causal link in between shame and pornography use, but they are consistent with theories that will hypersexual behavior may be engaged as a maladaptive substitute or deviation of existing pity rather than seeing shame only as the consequence of such behavior. This might lead to a vicious circle of behavior and consequence that feeds itself over and over again

Even though this is the first time these associations appear in research specifically on hypersexuality, similar findings come in previous research amongst other populations affected by compulsive and addicting behaviors more usually. These studies found positive relationships between shame and undesirable behavior and undesirable or negligible relationships between guilt and unwanted behavior (Dearing, Stuewig & Tangney, 2005; Sanftner, Barlow, Marschall & Tangney, 1995). These findings provide further assistance for a clinically important distinction between the constructs of shame plus guilt, at least in addiction-related populations.

They will suggest that shame, specifically, may be a critical problem for treatment with patients who struggle with hypersexuality. For example , practitioners may be able to teach their own client(s) the difference between shame and guilt and assess how their client responds when tempted by or after engaging in hypersexual behavior. Counselors can educate their clients to recognize shame reactions and offer methods to reduce feelings associated with shame.

Adams plus Robinson (2001) offer five main suggestions to therapists as a means of reducing pity:

First, the origin of the pity within the client and exactly how it interacts using their behavior needs to be realized.

Second, the therapist has to clearly identify right after between shame and guilt with the customer.

3rd, the defenses used to avoid the painful feelings of shame need to be addressed.

Fourth, as treatment moves forward, utilize shame reduction techniques (develop a restorative relationship, educate the customer on the effects of shame, help clients recognize the magnitude of their behavior and previous unsuccessful strategies to modify, face the feelings behind the shame [inadequacy, worthlessness], and handle the guilt).

Finally, change the negative core beliefs that are the foundation of shame (Adams & Robinson, 2001).

Although many of the participants in this small sample endorsed some type of spiritual affiliation, this partnership did not appear to influence the levels of hypersexuality, shame, guilt, or motivation to change. Furthermore, those endorsing spiritual affiliation appeared equally interested in diminishing their own level of pornography intake and frequency associated with masturbation compared to those who reported no current religious affiliation.

The full study can be accessed here.

Truth About Porn

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