Porn Addiction: New Research Shows It Might Be As Potent As Narcotics

We’ve all heard the phrase “porn addiction”.  But there’s no reason to take it literally, is there?

Actually, there might be.

An article by Morgan Bennett presents exactly that case, drawing from various research.  [h/t Desiring God]

“Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent — if not more so — than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin.”

Here’s why.  Where cocaine and heroine produce their “high” through different physiological effects, (dopamine vs. opiates), the user of porn triggers both responses.  Arousal and release “is a type of polydrug that triggers both types of addictive brain chemicals in one punch, enhancing its addictive propensity.”

And, while that might be bad enough on its own, it gets worse.

“But,” Bennett says, “internet pornography does more than just spike the level of dopamine in the brain for a pleasure sensation. It literally changes the physical matter within the brain so that new neurological pathways require pornographic material in order to trigger the desired reward sensation.”  Also, the difference of hormonal release without a real-life partner serves to reinforce the urge to seek out more “novel” content, including various taboos.

In other words, porn is actually hard-wiring the brain to respond to specific stimuli.

Bennet raises another concern.  The problem of “permanence”.  While toxins from chemical addictions can be filtered from the bloodstream after use, and will diminish over time, the images associated with pornography remain in your memory.  They don’t just disappear.

There’s a lot more in Bennett’s article than I can summarize here, I recommend it.  What he says about “mirror neurons’ is certainly worth the ‘click’.

Now that you’ve considered the effect of porn, let’s remind ourselves WHO is being affected by this process.  A shocking recent article showed just how sexualized today’s children are becoming.

A mixed group of twenty thirteen and fourteen year-old boys and girls (some of whose voices hadn’t yet changed) were brought into a sex-ed class.  Not only did they astonish the adults by their broad knowledge of terms unfamiliar to many adults, but fully 100% of the group had seen explicit video (specifically sodomy) online.

With Bennett’s article as backdrop — and remembering how much more readily available and anonymous such images are relative to previous generations — what new pressures and risks will Millennials have with navigating puberty and their own developing sexuality that were comparatively unknown only one or two generations ago?

Parents? Church?

What’s your next move?

Wes Walker

About the author, Wes Walker: Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up Clashdaily.com since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck View all articles by Wes Walker

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