Porn Usage Linked to Smaller Size in Men

 

shutterstock_135898808I’m talking about BRAIN size — sickos!

In my editor’s post today at The College Fix, I write about a new study examining the relationship between pornography and the brain.

To sum things up, researchers discovered that the more porn men said they watched, the smaller their brains were. Also, men who watched more porn showed less activity in the “reward center” of the brain when they were shown pornographic images during the tests.

The scientists involved made clear that their study could not determine whether there was a causal relationship between pornography viewing and brain size/function. In other words, they don’t know if porn makes the brain smaller and less responsive to sexual imagery, or if people with smaller, less responsive brains simply view more porn. (Read the full article here.)

Thanks to extraordinary advances in neuroscience and neurological imaging, we are now able to examine and measure the inner workings of the brain like never before. But with this latest study, we are just confirming what common sense tells us already — that porn, like many addictive things, has a gradual desensitizing effect. Thus, the “reward center” of the brain grows duller for those who report viewing more porn.

The more surprising and fascinating finding in this study is the relationship between porn viewing habits and brain size. Brain size is one factor (among many) that correlates with intelligence (in some cases).

This is one of those great correlation vs. causation puzzles. And the researchers in this study make clear that they do not know whether the relationship between porn use and smaller brain size is causal or not.

If we wanted to have some fun, we could forget the nuances of the study and simply decide this by raucous Ricochet-style debate: Does porn make men dumber? Or do dumb men simply view more porn?

But here’s an even more interesting and probably more important question: Do you believe that porn’s effects on the “reward center” of the brain make it more difficult to enjoy sex in real life?

In the foreword to Sex & God at Yale, Chris Buckley refers to porn as “an industrial-strength stimulant” for the brain. I think he kind of nailed it with that description.

The Internet was the perfect vehicle for the triumph of sexual liberation. But something happened along the way — porn somehow became less sexy even as it grew to be ubiquitous in our culture. Even violent sex has lost its edginess. In case you haven’t noticed, this is the age of 50 Shades; you can now buy the leather and handcuff bestsellers in the grocery aisle and your kids can stream the hardest of hardcore to their phones anytime and anyplace.

As it turns out, desensitizing oneself to sex kind of defeats the purpose of sex. But that’s one of the consequences of porn’s 50-year march into the American mainstream.

Many social liberals and libertarians actually view the mainstreaming of porn as a sign of freedom and progress. But if scientists ultimately prove that porn use desensitizes the brain and thereby diminishes one’s ability to enjoy actually having sex with a real human being — wouldn’t that be a sadly ironic finale to the sexual revolution?

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  1. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Desensitization is a response to pleasure-chemical overload. The nature of the stimulus only matters in regard to the amount of chemicals it elicits. Therefore, an abundance of simulation via porn results in no more desensitization than an abundance of simulation via actual sex (marital sex, even). 

    Decades ago, a study showed that sex among long-established couples (typically married, in that era) often became dull because the couples had sex out of routine, rather than spontaneity. The couples were instructed to only lie next to each other for extended periods, and told not to have sex. This led to the reintroduction of foreplay, which reignited the old flame. 

    Modern TV/cinema teaches young adults that kinky sex is the answer to sustaining sexual interest, but perhaps the answer is really moderation (“in all things”) and not mistaking the means for the end.

    • #1
  2. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    That’s the problem with the Sexual Revolution … when the sex is based only on the body, it can only get as old and wrinkled as the body ages … but when the sex is based on the soul, it gets deeper and stronger and wiser as the soul matures.

    • #2
  3. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    So I assume the guy in the picture is doing research?

    • #3
  4. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Mike Rapkoch:

    So I assume the guy in the picture is doing research?

    Maybe the real conclusion is that electrode monitoring tends to kill the mood after a while.

    Scientist: “Just do whatever you would do alone. Forget we are even here.”

    • #4
  5. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Coolidge
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Mike Rapkoch:

    So I assume the guy in the picture is doing research?

    Reminds me of what they say of druggies; they are “experimenting” with drugs.  Yeah, as if they were doing controlled trials for the betterment of society.  They are just getting high.

    • #5
  6. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    Had something witty to add, but I forgot.

    • #6
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