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When pornography use rises to the level of addiction, “40 percent of sex addicts will lose their spouse, 58 percent will suffer severe financial loss and a third will lose their jobs,” said Mr. Fagan, who directs the Center for Family and Religion at the Family Research Council.

Research on pornography is being compiled by the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., as part of its “Social Costs of Pornography” project. At a December conference sponsored by Witherspoon, IPS and the Social Trends Institute, 10 experts presented evidence about pornography’s encroachment into American culture and its impact on love, sex and relationships.

For instance, aggression and violence is the rule — not the exception — in pornography, said Ana J. Bridges, a psychology professor at the University of Arkansas who studies how pornography affects romantic partners.

Mrs. Bridges and Robert Wosnitzer did a content-analysis of 50 best-selling adult videos a few years ago. They found that in 304 sex scenes, nearly 90 percent contained verbal and/or physical aggression (e.g., name-calling, degrading comments, kicking, slapping, gagging, choking, pushing, biting or brandishing a weapon).

Most aggressive acts were performed by men on women, Mrs. Bridges said. Even more disturbing, the women’s responses were abnormal — despite the abuse, few women flinched, protested or even indicated they were in pain; instead, the most common reactions were “pleasure or neutrality,” she said.

The adult-video analysis also looked for normal activities of lovers, such as kissing, caressing, verbal compliments, hugs or laughter. Less than 10 percent of videos contained any such act.

These are not “sustainable, happy relationships,” said Mrs. Bridges, who discussed the video analysis at a 2007 anti-pornography conference.

Instead, the porn videos are teaching aggression, “that slapping your girlfriend during the process of having sex is something she will enjoy,” she said.

The solution? How about “restore to pornography its bad name,” as Louisiana State University political science professor James R. Stoner Jr., told the Witherspoon conference.

I agree. Let’s start with college campuses.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at