June 9, 2015

Public Health Crisis: Porn Addiction is Hijacking Your Brain

While many people are becoming aware of the damaging effects of pornography to trust and fidelity in relationships, many are still unaware of the dangerous physical effects of pornography.

Gabe Deem, founder of Reboot Nation, is a young man who has experienced the adverse physical results of porn addiction.

Deem says that above all, people need to educate themselves on how porn addiction can compromise health. Science has come to show us that your brain can be addicted to anything as long as your brain perceives it as rewarding. Deem believes that addiction is not always about chemicals you put into your body, but rather substance. Pornography is not a drug that can be ingested, but viewing it can cause a psychological and neurological response that is similar to what those addicted to drugs experience.

Deem explains that, in pornography addiction, the brain becomes sensitized, meaning that the brain creates a neural highway to a reward. Once your brain experiences the reward, it craves that stimulation. In sensitization, the more porn one watches, the more associations with porn you are going to make coming in contact with stimuli that induces such thoughts.

Anything can be a trigger for porn.

Surprisingly, something as insignificant as a computer browser can provoke an addict to view pornography. Because computer browsers (Chrome in particular,) are designed to make all searches anonymous, they can prompt an addict to view pornography.

An article on HighExistence.com explains how trivial objects like computer browsers can sensitize a brain wired towards pornography in the article, entitled “How Porn Is Re-Wiring Your Brain: How Short Term Pleasure Might Cause Long Term Damage,” which states:

“The incognito browsing function in Google Chrome’s browser is invented to surf the web anonymously without leaving visible trace on your computer.”

If someone is regularly watch porn on a computer and is afraid of leaving traces, Google’s Chrome browser is a perfect way to solve that concern. Those who are addicted to pornography will therefore often begin associating the Chrome browser with watching porn. The article asserts that, “Due to the rewired nerve connections in the brain the reward circuitry gets stimulated with cues related to the addiction.” In other words, a brain that is wired to seek out physical and psychological satisfaction from viewing pornography will be stimulated even when coming into contacted with something associated with that behavior.

Porn rewires the brain and ends up determining how the body reacts in sexual situations. Because it does so in a massive number of people, it is a public health crisis.

Rachel del Guidice

Intern

Rachel del Guidice is an intern at NCSE. She is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville where she is Communication Arts Major with a concentration in Journalism. She is dedicated to bring about a culture where objectification of both men and women is not tolerated and where all people are appreciated for their character rather than physical appearance or social status.

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