Does Pornography Affect the Mind ?

Pornography is booming in today’s society. It is estimated that 40 million adults here alone in America visited porn sites in 2022 and we know that this number increased in 2023. But is spending time on porn sites good for us? There is an area in the brain which we call the “Reward Center.” In this area of the brain is where we form our habits. It also is the area in which many chemicals are released, for one, dopamine. It is called the “Pleasure Chemical.” So when anything  gives you pleasure, dopamine is released into your body, but for most of our daily behavior the brain knows when to shut off the dopamine. But with pornography the brain responds differently than if you are, let’s say, eating your favorite foods. The brain has an on off switch when dealing with most pleasures but pornography impacts the brain much like an addictive drug by triggering ever-increasing amounts of dopamine. Over time, the brain builds up a tolerance to the excess dopamine and requires either more access or more extreme content (or sometimes both) to achieve that same level of perceived pleasure. According to Canopy, “Research from a Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction report indicates that extended exposure to pornography correlates with less activity in the brain’s reward circuit. Furthermore, once the reward center is altered by “free” dopamine triggers like porn, it can lead to a person compulsively seeking out the activity that triggered the dopamine discharge.  In short, when viewing pornography, your brain gets less pleasure while wanting more, often causing desensitization and an escalation in behavior. When your brain’s reward center triggers the release of dopamine and related chemicals, it also releases a protein (DeltaFosB) that serves as a “reinforcer. In effect, it creates neural pathways to connect what someone is doing to how they feel—in this case, strongly connecting pleasure to the act of watching pornography. This connection in turn results in greater demand for the activity, making it more and more likely that one returns to porn, according to the Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction report. If enough of this reinforcing protein builds up, it can cause lasting changes to your brain that leaves you even more vulnerable to addiction.” So where does this leave you? Well, for married men you know longer remain faithful to your wife, but you go after the lust that you have created, because like an alcoholic, you just can’t get enough and like a drug addict you have to have stronger pills and more often. The craving never stops. You are never satisfied, so it leaves  you with a hatred for women. Sexual aggressiveness is a major message presented in modern pornography, and one review of popular porn videos found that in 9 out of 10, a woman was being beaten, yelled at, or otherwise harmed. Today teens are becoming a big percentage of those who regularly view porn. The risk of becoming addicted to pornography is higher for teenagers as the reward centers in their brains respond 2-4 times more strongly than those of adult brains.  According to Psychology Today, “Teenagers who are exposed to sexual content are more likely to have sex at a younger age, and early exposure to pornography is a risk factor for sex addictions and other intimacy disorders.”

Today if you find yourself going on porn sites, seek help, for they say , “It only takes one drink to make you an alcoholic, a one time drug user can end up dead and viewing porn even once, will never leave your brain.

 Visit the “First Aid Kit” on this website.

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