How Does Porn Affect Your Brain?
Author and acclaimed Neuroscientist Dr. William Struthers, from the USA, will take part in a tour around Australia in March 2013, giving us insight into the harmful effects of porn on the brain.
“Our reproduction organs are often given too much attention in the discussion of sexuality,” say Dr. Struthers. “It is the brain, however, where we feel the sexual longing, the arousal, the focus and the ecstasy that comes from sexual intimacy. Pornography takes human sexuality out of its natural context, intimacy between two human beings, and makes it a product to be bought and sold.”
“Repeated exposure to pornography changes the way our brains see each other. Repeated exposure to any stimulus results in neurological circuit making. Pornography is the consumption of sexual poison that becomes part of the fabric of the mind”
And if you want to see someone get excited by neurons, dopamine and epinephrine then Dr. Struthers is the man. He’s the Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College near Chicago Illinois and has the incredible knack of making all of these neurological terms easy to understand. He has published numerous papers on Brain Research and Physiology and is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Wired for Intimacy – How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain.”
“The visual scanning of the naked image has a power that forces itself onto the brain,” say Dr. Struthers. “With each lingering stare, pornography deepens a Grand Canyon like gorge in the brain through which naked images are destined to flow. Constant exposure creates a one-way neurological superhighway where a person’s mental life is over-sexualised and narrowed. It is hemmed in on either side by high containment walls making escape nearly impossible.”
According to Sydney University researchers, excessive users of porn tend to have severe social and relationship problems due to their addiction; and data released by Nielsen Net Ratings shows that 35% of Internet users in Australia have viewed pornography or visited a sex-oriented matchmaker site, equating to around 4.3 million Australians.
On top of this the age of viewing is getting lower and lower. In a recent survey conducted by Psychiatrists in Australia, it was found that the starting age to view pornography was between 11 to 13 years. When subjects were asked about their porn viewing history, they said that it always started with something very small, but then escalated to viewing material more frequently and more explicit.
“The pornography-built pathway has only a few off-ramps, leading to sexual encounters that have only a fleeting impact and hasten the need for more,” says Dr. Struthers. “They become the automatic route through which interactions with real humans are routed and imprisons the viewer’s ability to see these humans as anything else but potential porn stars.”
“We can find healthy ways to train the brain to understand and act on its sexual nature. By appreciating this and acknowledging porn’s unhealthy impact on our brain, we have a better path forward.”
Dr. William Struthers will be in Australia from March 9 to 19, 2013. He’s been brought over from the USA by Guilty Pleasure, a registered Australian charity aimed at educating people about the reasons why people get addicted to pornography and connecting addicts and couples to professional help.
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