Your Brain on Porn Part 1

Pornography has been something that I have done some study on during my 4 years at Briercrest as I sought to gain knowledge on the subject to help my brothers and sisters in Christ with this struggle. I’ve read books, wrote papers, and have gone to seminars on the subject and am still learning more about the awful affects it has on our lives spiritually, physically, emotionally, and so forth. It hurts us on so many levels and is one of the darkest activities out in our world today (even though on the surface it may seem harmless). I read this article on the affects porn has on our brain and emotions and found it super helpful! It is a very long article and since I know that most people lose interest in reading anything these days I will break it into smaller chunks to take in! Enjoy!

Slave Master

How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain

by Donald L. Hilton, Jr.

While some have avoided using the term “addiction” in the context of natural compulsions such as uncontrolled sexuality, overeating, or gambling, let us consider current scientific evidence regarding the brain and addiction.

This article will seek to answer two questions: (1) Biologically, is the brain affected by pornography and other sexual addictions? (2) If so, and if such addictions are widespread, can they have a societal effect as well?

The Story of the Gypsy Moth

Let’s begin with a seeming digression. In 1869 the gypsy moth was brought to America to attempt to jumpstart a silk industry. Rarely have good intentions gone so wrong, as the unforeseen appetite of the moth for deciduous trees such as oaks, maples, and elms has devastated forests for 150 years. Numerous attempts were made to destroy this pest, but a major breakthrough came in the 1960s, when scientists noted that the male gypsy moth finds a female to mate with by following her scent. This scent is called a pheromone, and is extremely attractive to the male.

In 1971 a paper was published in the journal Nature that described how pheromones were used to prevent the moths from mating. The scientists mass-produced the pheromone and permeated the moths’ environment with it. This unnaturally strong scent overpowered the females’ normal ability to attract the male, and the confused males were unable to find females. A follow-up paper described how population control of the moths was achieved by “preventing male gypsy moths from finding mates.”

The gypsy moth was the first insect to be controlled by the use of pheromones, which work by two methods. One is called the confusion method. An airplane scatters an environmentally insignificant number of very small plastic pellets imbedded with the scent of the pheromone. Then, as science journalist Anna Salleh describes it, “The male either becomes confused and doesn’t know which direction to turn for the female, or he becomes desensitized to the lower levels of pheromones naturally given out by the female and has no incentive to mate with her.”

The other method is called the trapping method: Pheromone-infused traps are set, from which moths cannot escape; a male moth enters looking for a female, only to find a fatal substitute.

Two Fallacies

What does this have to do with pornography? Pornography is a visual pheromone, a powerful, $100 billion per year brain drug that is changing human sexuality by “inhibiting orientation” and “disrupting pre-mating communication between the sexes by permeating the atmosphere,” especially through the internet. I believe we are currently struggling in the war against pornography because many continue to believe two key fallacies:

Fallacy No. 1: Pornography is not a drug.

Fallacy No. 2: Pornography is therefore not a real addiction.

As an illustration of Fallacy No. 1, consider the following statement by a Wall Street executive whose mainstream company discreetly profits from pornography: “I’m not a weirdo or a pervert, it’s not my deal. I’ve got kids and a family. But if I can see as an underwriter going out and making bucks on people being weird, hey, dollars are dollars. I’m not selling drugs. It’s Wall Street.”

Now consider both fallacies as elucidated in the following statement by an executive in the pornography industry:

[T]he fact [is] that “drugs, booze and cigarettes” are all physical, chemical agents that are ingested and can indeed have measurable, harmful, addictive effects. The mere viewing of any type of subject matter hardly falls into this category and, in fact, belittles the very real battles that addicts face over drugs, booze and cigarettes—all of which can be lethal. No one ever died from looking at porn. While some compulsive types can be “addicted” to anything, such as watching a favorite television show, eating ice cream or going to the gym, nobody suggests that ice cream is akin to crack cocaine [remember that statement] and should be regulated to protect . . . people from themselves—instead, these compulsive actions are rightfully viewed by society as personality defects in the individual. . . .

Here I will review some of the science he refers to, and also discuss whether pornography is a “physical, chemical” agent, i.e., “a drug,” and also consider the latest research on natural brain rewards in deciding whether it is a true brain addiction.

Original article can be found at http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo13/13hilton.php

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