Watching Too Much Porn Cause Brain Shrinkage In Men, Study Finds

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A new study shows a correlation between porn and smaller gray matter volume in the male brain. New research published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry could send chills down every man’s spine—and other parts of his anatomy. According to a study conducted by the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, the amount of hours spent watching pornography is negatively associated with gray matter volume in the male brain. Of the 64 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 45 who participated in the research, the ones who watched more pornography literally had smaller brains. There was also a negative correlation between hours of porn watched and brain activation during sex cues. That added further evidence to the belief that “intense exposure to pornographic stimuli” can negatively impact visual sexual stimuli’s ability to do the trick, so to speak.

The participants answered surveys and described how much pornography they watched. The response was an average of over four hours per week. The brains of the participants were scanned using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology as they watched sexually explicit content from pornographic websites as well as non-sexual photos of people doing exercise. Noticeable differences in participants who regularly watched sexual images or videos compared with those who abstained.

The findings showed that gray matter volume of the striatum’s right caudate was smaller with higher volume of porn use.

“We found that the volume of the so-called striatum, a brain region that has been associated with reward processing and motivated behavior, was smaller the more pornography consumption the participants reported,” lead author Simone Kühn said. “Moreover, we found that another brain region that is also part of the striatum that is active when people see sexual stimuli shows less activation the more pornography participants consumed.”

The study also shows that the striatum is connected with the prefrontal cortex, the outer layer of the brain linked with decision-making and behavior.

However, other researchers said that porn consumed moderately was likely not damaging. Other behaviors including driving a cab are also associated with brain functioning and size changes. Things that people do often can shape their brain function and structure. Some people already have smaller striatums and are more likely to watch porn. People with lower striatum volume need more outside stimulation to experience pleasure, which may lead to more porn consumption. It is not determined whether viewing of pornography leads to changes in the brain or whether people who have these types of brain are more likely to watch porn.

via The Daily Beast

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