Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

‘Glee’ star Mark Salling’s suicide Demonstrates Dangers of Pornography Addiction

According to news reports, Glee star Mark Salling is dead at age 35 from apparent suicide. Salling pleaded guilty to possession of over 50,000 images of child pornography in 2017. He was awaiting his sentencing and was facing up to seven years in prison. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation released the following statement from Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

White Ribbon Against Pornography
Image/Morality in Media

“As a talented, successful, prominent young man, Mark Salling does not fit our society’s stereotypical image of someone who might be susceptible to seeking out and possessing child sexual exploitation images. However, this tragic case shows that a person does not need to belong to any particular demographic, sector of society, or income level to walk this destructive path,” said Haley Halverson.

“News reports do not make clear whether Salling’s addiction started with child pornography, or with other forms of adult pornography. While factors that lead a person to seek out child pornography may vary, research tells us that compulsive sexual behavior is characterized by novelty-seeking, habituation, and conditioning, meaning that users need more extreme content over time to achieve the same level of arousal. These are all symptoms of addiction.

“This high profile case is tragic, both for Salling’s victims—his pornography collection is actually an archive of victims of child sexual abuse—and for the actor himself, who Glee producer Tim Davis described as a ‘broken man.’ It is also an opportunity to reflect upon the destructive influence of pornography and sexual exploitation more generally, which harm both the victims, and ultimately, those perpetrating the abuse,” Halverson added.

For more information about the individual and public health harms of pornography, click here.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.


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  1. Goodwins says:

    There are new and better ways to combat porn addiction. One of them that seems to work well with less relapse is Power Over Pornography from the book of the same name. It comes highly recommended

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