Is porn bad for your brain?

In a recent article for CNN, Naomi Wolf argued that porn is bad for the brain. She bases this claim on a couple of scientific studies, including fMRI scans. She says that desensitization takes place when men repeatedly watch porn, and that they then always require new kinds of pornographic stimulation.

While this is true – it is also true for everything else, including chocolate, TV shows, books, magazines, clothing (ever cared to notice how quickly women “desensitize” towards their hand bags and shoes?) and every other thing. Repeated exposure to a stimulus – any positive or neutral stimulus whatsoever (with negative stimuli, there are some exceptions) – generally makes the brain react less intensely to it.

Her article also points out that she lacks a profound understanding of how dopamine works and what it does.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as saying that pornography is good for you. And in fact, as with many things, excessively using it surely is bad for you, as is the case with masturbation addiction.

But claiming that pornography is bad for your brain, and then pretending that that is a scientific fact, is about as absurd as claiming that the theory of Intelligent Design is scientific.

If you have a problem with abstaining from masturbation and you must do so obsessively – then that is something you should tackle, and hypnosis can help you to do so. Otherwise, porn in and of itself isn’t bad for your brain.