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Seeing and Being Seen

Full Article Name: Seeing and Being Seen: The Psychodynamics of Compulsive Pornography Use Through the Lens of Winnicott`s Thought

Open Access: No


The excessive use of Internet pornography with increasingly extreme images, can cause young people to become isolated from others, alienated from reality, and psychologically harmed. In the worst cases, seen clinically, a compulsive form of voyeurism means that the young person cannot bear to be seen and becomes painfully alone with his violent masturbation fantasies. Even more questionable messages are being given to young people about illegal images of child sexual abuse, which are trailed before every pornography user, access to which is completely unrestricted. Risk-taking behaviours, such as unprotected sex, and increased anal and oral intercourse were more frequent in a sample of young men who had high use of Internet pornography. Unrestricted access to Internet pornography undermines normal development. With Internet pornography the intensity of the sexual experience (masturbation) begins to substitute for ordinary sexual relationships. In the news at the time of writing, the Icelandic government is facing strong opposition against its proposed ban on Internet pornography.


    Woods, J. (2014). Seeing and being seen: The psychodynamics of pornography through the lens of Winnicott’s thought. In The Winnicott tradition: Lines of development—evolution of theory and practice over the decades. The lines of development – evolution of theory and practice over the decades series (pp. 163-174). Karnac, London.


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