Harvard Scientist Reveals the Shocking Impact of Watching Porn

The Internet has had its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. However, by far the greatest impact it has had is the easy availability and access to porn. It is extremely easy to stream it for free and yet, a Harvard scientist claims, it may be damaging your health.

Kevin Majeres is a psychiatrist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy and is a faculty member of Harvard Medical School. In a blog, Majeres analyses how the brain works and what are the effects of repeated exposure to pornography. He uses such logical explanation and simple coherent language to put forth his point, that it will make you think twice before you start streaming porn again. He starts with a mating pattern that he has discovered in rats:

“Scientists have discovered that if you place a male rat in a cage with a receptive female, they will mate; but once done, the male rat will not mate more times, even if the female is still receptive. He loses all sexual interest. But if, right after he finishes with the first female, you put in a second receptive female, he will immediately mate again; and again a third, and so on, until he nearly dies. This effect has been found in every animal studied. This is called the Coolidge effect.”

What pornography does is to trick the lower brain into believing image for reality. Thus, by blurring this gap this process is kicked off again. Pornography offers men a unlimited number of willing sexual partners. Thus, every time a man sees such a partner on the screen, his sex drive gets all fired up. Here’s what Majeres has to say about the role of dopamine in this process:

“Dopamine is the drug of desire – when you see something desirable, your brain pours out dopamine, saying “Go for it! Do whatever it takes!” Dopamine fixes your attention on that desirable object, giving you your power of concentration…

“So when someone clicks and sees a new pornographic image, his lower brain thinks this is the real thing, this is the lady he must win over with all his might, and so he gets an enormous dopamine flood in his upper brain, causing a wild amount of electrical energy.

“This first exposure to a new female who is a potential mate wasn’t something that happened a lot to our ancestors; maybe only once in their lives; so the brain thinks this is a big deal. It doesn’t know that now the game has completely changed: it doesn’t understand that these are virtual females only; so with each new one it causes another flood of dopamine, time after time, click after click, as long as he continues. It’s a dopamine binge.”

Majeres continues:

“This is why pornography causes a vicious circle. When someone views pornography, he gets over stimulated by dopamine; so his brain destroys some dopamine receptors. This makes him feel depleted, so he goes back to pornography, but, having fewer dopamine receptors, this time it requires more to get the same dopamine thrill; but this causes his brain to destroy more receptors; so he feels an even greater need for pornography to stimulate him.

“So, as guys keep gaining the dopamine system, they start to find that they have to use pornography for longer and longer periods to have the same effect, and they have to visit more and more sites.”

But after a while even porn sites can’t suffice. What then?

“You have to stimulate another emotion: fear or disgust or shock or surprise. For porn use, you need to start moving to kinkier things, things that make you afraid or make you feel a bit sick; and so you start experimenting with various perversions.”

The article obviously is worth a read. While the science may not be very clear, Majeres does make a strong point when he rightly concludes that pornography’s addiction can be harmful for relationships. Regardless of your moral inclinations on the subject, it’s time you thought about the role pornography plays in your life.