The neurological impact of pornography

January 21, 2015

Embracing Life

laptop

I came across a great article by Daniel Spadaro today and I just wanted to share a bit of it with you. This is found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website in conjunction with the 9 Days for Life campaign. He writes:

“Pornography is believed to function like a ‘drug’ that stimulates the brain. Neuroscientists point to three fundamental effects that addiction has on the brain: 1) ‘desensitization,’ a numbing of the brain’s ability to experience pleasure; 2) ‘sensitization,’ an increased sensitivity to triggers and memories related to the addictive behavior; and, 3) ‘hypofrontality,’ the reduced activity of the frontal brain, decreasing impulse control and creating a negative mood. These effects remind us that pornography robs our joy, and where there is little joy, there is often never enough pleasure.

Based on recent brain imaging studies, behavioral addictions—like gambling, food, and Internet gaming—have been found to meet the above three criteria for causing changes in brain circuitry. They are related to pornography addiction in that they are all behavioral/process addictions, as opposed to chemical addictions. Internet pornography possesses characteristics very similar to Internet gaming addiction, and could arguably be more potent, as the object of compulsion is sexual arousal. This explains why some who are trying to break their addiction to pornography report having the same type of physical ‘withdrawal’ symptoms that are experienced by those breaking an addiction to drugs or alcohol.”

(Daniel Spadaro, LPC, CSAT, a licensed professional counselor and certified sex addiction therapist, is founder of Imago Dei Counseling in Colorado Springs. He is a regular columnist for the Colorado Catholic Herald.)http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/2012/life-matters-pornography-and-our-call-to-love.cfm
, , , ,

About Kathy Schneeman

After graduating from The College of St. Thomas, I taught at Nativity in St. Paul until our oldest was just about born in the classroom (What a great lesson on life that would have been for my students!) I then became a stay-at-home-mom while teaching religious education classes and working very part time at UST. Recently, I served as the Archdiocese's Life Coordinator in the Office for Marriage, Family and Life until twins arrived (I was almost 43!) When I have a few minutes of quiet time, I like to run, eat chocolates, scones and Mexican food (that's why I run), read, and have a beverage with my husband at night. We have a whopping nine kids (yes...same husband and same wife; we get that question a lot!) and we attend St. Joseph's in West St. Paul--where we first met when we were in grade school.

View all posts by Kathy Schneeman