Does porn actually damage the brain? Might sound far-fetched, but there is some very interesting research on this topic that might convince you that it does. This week, I plan to post each day on a different topic related to my new book, Sex & God at Yale. Chapter 2, entitled "The Great Porn Debate," details a rip-roaring Oxford-style porn debate starring porn performer Ron Jeremy, which was held in New Haven during my junior year.
Just this morning, a current Yale student sent me this fascinating TEDx video, featuring a talk by physiologist Gary Wilson, host of www.yourbrainonporn.com. According to the video description, Wilson's research "arose in response to a growing demand for solid scientific information by heavy Internet erotica users experiencing perplexing, unexpected effects: escalation to more extreme material, concentration difficulties, sexual performance problems, radical changes in sexual tastes, social anxiety, irritability, inability to stop, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms."
The video lasts about 15 min, but you can catch the main drift by watching only the first 5. Do so and I promise you'll learn something:
Fascinating stuff, huh? Especially considering how extreme and how universal porn has become among youth in the internet age. It has shaped an entire generation already.
So what do you think? Is porn harmless, or is it poison for the brain?