October 14, 2015

Recovering Porn Addicts Are Raising Awareness About the Harms of Pornography

Contrary to popular belief, pornography addiction is real and it is affecting the youth everywhere. Today’s society is very much based upon instant gratification—information is available instantaneously at the click of a button. Pornography works the same way. An individual feels sexually aroused, watches an explicit video, and receives pleasure. The mechanics of porn viewing are as simple as that, but is it all really just a matter of fun and games? 3News of New Zealand recently released a video examining the biology behind pornography addiction to further explain the answer.

The 3News team noticed the growing use of pornography among children and teens and sought to break down the barriers to shed some more light on the issue. The video consists of three main personal stories from males who all were affected by their extreme pornography use.

The first two men, Richie and Adam, explain that they were both very young when they started viewing porn and managed to break free after a difficult and lengthy battle. They admitted to spending hours each week, if not each day, watching these explicit videos, which in turn shaped their own views on sex. These men, along with countless school children, are now learning how to have sex through pornography, giving them unrealistic and violent ideas.

Gabe Deem, the founder of Reboot Nation, was the next to appear. He discusses his personal experiences, explaining that he developed erectile dysfunction at age 23 due to his porn addiction. Reboot Nation, which is a website that “helps people reboot their brains with encouragement and education” is lead by Deem, and it is an excellent and relatable resource for struggling men and women everywhere.

The video states that pornography has been regarded “as compulsive as crack” and that while many disregard the addiction as a legitimate medical problem, its effects on the brain suggest otherwise. A recent study at Cambridge University scanned the brains of 19 compulsive porn users and 19 healthy men while watching explicit pornography. The MRI scan showed that the reward centers of the brain “lit up like Christmas trees, just like the scans of cocaine addicts.”

Additionally, The Max Planck Institute in Germany identified two Our brains constantly want to learn something new and when it comes to pornography, “new is aggression, new is younger.”physical changes in the brains of these addicts—a rewiring of the frontal lobe, which exercises willpower, and an actual shrinkage in brain size. A third emerging aspect is that the more porn you watch, the more intense the brain wants it to be. Dr. Hilton, a neurosurgeon from San Antonio, explains that our brains constantly want to learn something new and when it comes to pornography, “new is aggression, new is younger.”

While the journey to end the stigma and legitimatize excessive porn use as an addiction will prove to be long and difficult, the glaring facts plead for action to be taken. In the video, Richie recommends more advocates and leaders to help support the cause. Additionally, better education on the harms of pornography in schools is another possibility brought up by Deem.

The idea of school programs based upon this issue was tested at Green Bay High School in Wellington in which sexuality expert Liz Walker discussed the topic of Internet pornography to the students. While many schools feel that pornography is embarrassing and inappropriate to talk about, the students all gave very positive feedback, proving the possibility of success in schools across the world.

The men in this video are not alone—people everywhere, even children as young as eight years old, are struggling. Most do not even realize the habitual and addictive nature in the beginning. A man named Brett commented: “I had a pattern. I’d sit down to do homework, get bored and then start surfing the Internet. First, it’d be ESPN.com, then NFL cheerleaders, then swimsuit models. It was this progressive step toward worse pornography.”

On average, there are at least 68 million searches for online porn in America each day. The growing popularity of online pornography is here and the issues are clear. The countless harmful effects, especially with regard to the brain, can have a lifelong impact on individuals.

Evidentially, more awareness is necessary. NCOSE implores people to be as brave as those in the video in order to aid in the prevention of pornography addiction, and to continue to strive for meaningful reforms.


Works Cited:

http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/3d/is-free-pornography-destroying-our-brains-2015100515#axzz3ngQtcW4A

http://www.insight.org/resources/articles/mens-purity/breaking-point-one-pastors.html?t=pastors

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/overcoming-obstacles/article_7edc144b-61ad-575e-a37d-783799153820.html

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php

Danielle Jahn

Intern

Danielle Jahn is a Communications, Press, and Digital Strategies Intern at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). She is a senior at The Catholic University of America and plans to graduate in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in English. Danielle is passionate about advocating for human dignity and is interested in the “hook up culture” among college students and the legality of sexual exploitation.

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