Originally posted at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2014/06/23/porn-users-smaller-brains

Monday, June 23, 2014 | Written by

According to a new German study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, there is a significant correlation between higher consumption of porn and a lower amount of grey matter in your brain.

It isn’t clear from the study if one phenomenon causes the other. Are those born with smaller brains more drawn to porn? Does porn cause the shrinkage? Are both caused by some yet unknown issue? While neuroscientists are unsure, others are connecting the dots from what they know to be true about the brain: any repetitive activity, especially ones that are highly stimulating, cause brain changes.

A Matter of Size

Researchers found that the forebrain structure called the striatum was smaller among participants who consumed more . This region of the brain is associated with motivating behavior through rewards.

Study co-author Simone Kühn says, “Since the striatum is part of the brain network that is known to respond to sexual cues, one can assume that this reflects a blunting of the reaction to erotic stimuli.” In other words, heavy porn users are more likely to be desensitized to real-life sex.

Also, the study showed that the connection between the striatum and prefrontal cortex worsened as more porn was consumed.

The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain associated with decision making and willpower. This means that heavy porn users are also more likely to have a compulsive relationship with porn.

The Science of Quitting Porn

This study joins a host of other studies that show correlations between viewing porn and sub-par brain functionality. As we grow in our understanding of the hormones and neurotransmitters involved in sexual stimulation, the more we understand why so many are saying that porn has become their “addiction.”

The good news is that the brain is a plastic organ—that is, it changes over time. How can a man or woman strengthen these shrunken and malformed regions of the brain? Through the development of good, healthy habits.

In The Porn Circuit, Sam Black writes that our new habits that replace porn should be naturally rewarding: an entertaining and engaging hobby, physical exercise, meditation. Yes, one still needs to rid his or her life of the potentially tempting sources of porn, but ultimately this old habit must be replaced with new ones.

Learn more about what science says about porn addiction.

Luke Gilkerson is the general editor and primary author of the Covenant Eyes blog. Luke has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and is currently working on an MA in Religion. Luke is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s