Brain Structure & Functional Connectivity Associated with Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn




This German study of 64 men explored the relationship between the amount of pornography they consumed (i.e., dosage) and changes to their brains in areas influencing decision-making, motivation, and reward. The study found that more frequent, but not necessarily addictive pornography use, was associated with negative structural and functional changes in the brain, namely: 1) reduced gray matter, 2) decreased reward circuit activation when viewing pornography, indicating possible tolerance, a known vulnerability for addiction, and 3) less functional connectivity between the reward system and the prefrontal cortex. Thus, this study showed that frequent and regular pornography users have smaller reward systems compared to those who use pornography seldom or irregularly. The findings also suggest that “subjects with high pornography consumption require even stronger stimuli to reach the same reward level.” To hear the lead author discuss this study watch this brief video.


To read the full article from the National Center On Sexual Exploitation, go to:

https://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/research-spotlight/the-brain-on-porn/