Impact on the BrainStatistics: Porn's Impact on the Brain (older archives available here)

  • The exposure of children to internet pornography is harming their developing brains.  “Pornography consumption is associated with decreased brain volume in the right striatum, decreased left striatum activation, and lower functional connectivity to the prefrontal cortex.”  (Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry – 2014).  “…teens and pre-teens with highly plastic brains are compulsively using high-speed Internet porn with their porn tastes becoming out of sync with their real-life sexuality.” (Psychology Today – 2016).  Exposure to pornography between 9 and 13 is linked to high-risk behaviors (The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – 2001). 
  • A 2015 study by the Journal of Sex Research demonstrated that “constant novelty and primacy of sexual stimuli as particularly strong natural rewards make internet pornography a unique activator of the brain’s reward system” and “novelty is compelling because it triggers bursts of dopamine in regions of the brain strongly associated with reward and goal-directed behavior.” (2015) Journal of Sex Research https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123
  • Our brains react to pornography the same way an alcoholic might react to seeing a drink advertisement. Voon, V. (2014) Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours. University of Cambridge. [Accessed 29th December 2015] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102419
  • Researchers believe that pornography’s intense stimulation of the brain brings about significant changes to the brain similar to drug addiction. Simone Kühn, Jürgen Gallinat, “Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn,” JAMA Psychiatry 71 (July 2014): 827-834.
  • Researchers have found a correlation between brain activity and age – the younger the age, the greater level of activity in the ventral striatum of the brain in response to pornography. Cambridge University. (2014) “Brain activity in sex addiction mirrors that of drug addiction.” http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/brain-activity-in-sex-addiction-mirrors-that-of-drug-addiction
  • Those with compulsive sexual behavior have brain activity that mirrors those of drug addicts. Cambridge University. (2014) “Brain activity in sex addiction mirrors that of drug addiction.” http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/brain-activity-in-sex-addiction-mirrors-that-of-drug-addiction
  • As hours of reported pornography use increases, the amount of grey matter in the brain decreases. Kuhn, S. and Gallinat, J. (2014) “Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn.” JAMA Psychiatry.