Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002 at the age of 14, has spoken out against pornography, saying that it played a role in her abuse.
In a recent interview for the anti-porn group Fight the New Drug, Smart said “pornography made my living hell worse.” Smart said porn motivated her captor to rape her even more frequently than he already did throughout her nine-month captivity. The video raises issues about porn addiction and its effect on behavior and the brain.
However, recent research shows that the brain does not respond to porn in patterns consistent with addiction. But some, like the group that interviewed Smart, claim that it’s a dangerous “drug.”
So how harmful is porn? And what, if anything, should be done about porn addiction?
Clay Olsen, Co-Founder & CEO of Fight the New Drug, an anti-pornography group
Nicole Prause, neuroscientist who has studied porn addiction; she’s the founder of Liberos LLC, an independent research institute