Table of Contents
23% of men under the age of 35 who reported frequently viewing pornography tended to suffer from erectile dysfunction during sex, according to a 2020 study.
The increasingly explicit nature of pornography can cause some men to become disenchanted with real-life sex, leading to a lack of arousal.
There are many alternatives to indulging besides pornographic videos, such as listening to erotic podcasts.
While pornography is generally used for pleasure, it can sometimes be harmful to our health. In addition to the addiction problems pornography, when used too regularly, has several effects on our brains. Let’s take stock of five studies on this subject.
Porn changes brain structure
According to a 2018 study (1) published in Intuition, regular porn use erodes the prefrontal cortex, the brain structure that controls morality, willpower, and impulse control.
According to a German study published in 2014 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry (2), there is also a link between increased pornography use and reduced brain activity when exposed to a classic pornographic image. This is why there is a tendency to switch to increasingly “harder” forms of pornographic videos. The study shows that the brains of pornographic movie consumers respond less to sexual stimuli and that their right hemisphere is smaller than others. The participants were all men aged 21-45 who reported watching 4 hours of pornography per week.
This suggests that X-Rated sexual Content causes changes in brain plasticity due to the intense stimulation of the pleasure centers. This worries researchers because the two areas of the brain that pornography affects are linked to areas that are associated with addiction in drug users. However, there is no evidence that this is a consequence of abusing pornographic videos: it may be that people with smaller brain areas need more external stimulation to feel pleasure, and are therefore more likely to abuse pornographic films.
Pornography abuse is associated with poorer mental health
People who use pornography report greater depressive symptoms, poorer quality of life, and poorer mental and physical health than people who do not watch pornography, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (3).
Another 2011 study by IPSOS on adolescent sexuality reported that the increased use of pornography can have very negative consequences for their development and mental health. It is said to promote anxiety attacks, sleep disturbances, feelings of guilt, and a distorted view of sexuality and love relationships. To counteract this, it is necessary to consult a child psychiatrist, a sexologist, or a psychologist to help the teenager build his sexuality and distinguish between the virtual and the real.
X-Rated Porn can make you more violent
In a 2015 meta-analysis (4) published in the Journal of Communication (a study analyzing 22 previous international studies), we learned that there is a link between pornography use and having a violent attitude. Pornography use is associated with a higher risk of committing sexual assault for both men and women. The association is stronger for verbal sexual assaults than for physical assaults, but both are significant. The consumption of violent pornography is considered to be an aggravating factor.
Pornography makes people take more risks in their sexual practices
An American study published in the journal Plos One in 2016 (5), which focused on anal sex among men, found a strong association between pornography consumption and risk-taking during sex. For example, people who regularly watch pornography are less likely to use condoms. They would also have more partners and one-night stands, which would put them at higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Actors who do not wear condoms could thus inspire consumers to change their perception of risk over time by copying them. However, the reverse effect is also possible: watching X-rated films that explicitly use condoms may encourage more protective sex.
- Pornography’s Effect on the Brain: A Review of Modifications in the Prefrontal Cortex
- Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption
- Mental‐ and Physical‐Health Indicators and Sexually Explicit Media Use Behavior by Adults
- A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies
- Viewing of Internet-Based Sexually Explicit Media as a Risk Factor for Condomless Anal Sex among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Four U.S. Cities