06:53 GMT +325 March 2017
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    Watching Porn Affects the Brain, Things Will Never Be the Same Again

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    Today, with pornography only ever a few clicks away, a multitude of attitudes to sex imagery abound. Regardless of what porn aficionados have to say, Swedish researchers maintain that excessive porn consumption affects the brain.

    Like every other gratifying experience, watching sexual images releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is often referred to as the "happiness drug" and is a key ingredient in the brain's reward system. It is known to create vivid memories and spur a strong desire to relive the same stimulation again.

    Neuroscientist Predrag Petrovic, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, has long studied the brain's reward system and maintains that high consumption of pornography affects the brain in a similar way to other habits.

    "This is the very purpose of the reward system. So it is no surprise if some images get stuck, especially when it concerns such strong instincts as sex and reproduction. Pornography is also widespread to such an extent today, that it may no longer be regarded as a 'natural' stimulus," Predrag Petrovic said, as quoted by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

    Petrovic is more inclined to use the term "abuse" when talking about viewing porn, when it starts to forgo other activities one would like to do instead.

    "Excessive consumption almost always leads to an altered brain, no matter what you are doing. However, pornography does not create a [physical] dependency in the same way as drug abuse because no external substances are involved," Predrag Petrovic noted.

    A 2014 study by the Max Planck Institute showed that men who watched a lot of porn had a smaller amount of gray matter in a specific area of the frontal lobe, which is activated when people try to control their behavior. According to Petrovic, it is debatable whether this is a matter of a cause-or-effect.

    "Actually, the causation could be reversed here, in that some people consume more porn since they had a poor ability to control impulses from the offset," Petrovic said.

    Niklas Långström, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute, who specializes in the treatment of sex offenders and various types of aggressive behavior, concurred that existing studies are so methodologically flawed that it makes it virtually impossible to draw causational conclusions, comparing it to the chicken-or-the-egg problem.

    Although it is difficult to establish a direct connection between pornography and a penchant for violence, which is often maintained, porn consumption nevertheless seems to affect end users' sexual habits and preferences. For instance, a 2016 survey by an international team of researchers including Niklas Långström found porn consumers to make sexual debuts earlier, have more sexual partners and casual relations. Additionally, there are testimonies from women who admittedly feel pressured into certain types of sexual positions commonly seen in porn films.

    However, the contrary view can also be argued. Sexual experience makes consumers seek out a certain type of pornography. Porn surfing was found to be powered by a thrill that researchers maintained was particularly common among young people who have not managed to acquire many sexual experiences of their own.

    Indeed, getting to the bottom of how excessive porn surfing alters the brain is difficult, let alone being able to prove it with experimental studies.


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    brain, pornography, abuse, sex, Sweden
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    • Al
      So what? This is nothing but more government overreach. This is the problem in the world is government out of control, dictating how we should live our lives. How and when to have sex, what to eat and what vaccines we must take. This can only lead to civil war in many countries, government needs to be pushed back. Let us live our lives and stop making decisions on our behalf.
    • Abinico Arts
      Wow, watching porn has the same effect as watching CNN.
    • avatar
      Ibrahim Ahmad
      It sounds right, because the relation between brain and sexual organs is proved, and I’m sure that many people know clearly that sexual desire starts its way from brain first to be ended in the sexual organs. Somehow, I think this affecting comes from deep imaging via watching pornographic stuff; this deep imaging can cause many troubles especially to males such like short time’s period when making sexual intercourse in real, and also it may increases the electrical waves in brain which usually causes seizures.

      Anyway, to me I think watching pornography isn’t always to recall your desire fast – for example – and jerk off then, sometimes watching pornography is a great medicine to cure your uncontrolled eroticism. For example: Assume that a human being – regardless if was a male or female – has never watched sexual organs of anyone before, so how his/her feeling will be when watching sexual organs of anyone for the first time? The simple answer is: He / She will feel so horny and he/she may goes through this feeling badly and with no conscious if we assume this person is been using sexually by someone. In this case, the sexually satisfying - whether in watching sexual organs or even due to making sexual intercourse in real - of this supposed one will help him/her to think consciously in such situations as long as his/her desire is under control.

      Therefore and for previous reasons, I prefer watching porno stuff sometimes; also you can learn new techniques that will help you to develop your experience when you make sexual intercourse in real life.

      Sometimes, watching porno is much better than staying with news TVs; at least you can know what goes on and goes out clearly, while in news TVs you can be always in the late time to just know what goes out but they won’t make you realize what goes on first..
    • avatar
      pbecke
      'However, pornography does not create a [physical] dependency in the same way as drug abuse because no external substances are involved," Predrag Petrovic noted.'

      What a strange thing to say. Our hormones are a gift that justs keeps giving.
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