Biology & Chemistry · History · Psychology · Sociology

Cause of Pedophile On Neurology’s View

 

pedophilia_nightowls_lk

By : Dick Swabb

The shocking scale of child abuse within the Catholic Church has come to light in recent years. The first cases emerged in the United States, then in the Ireland, where, within the bishopric of Dublin alone, hundreds of children were abused between 1976 and 20014. Cases in Germany were subsequently exposed, after which hundred of victims came foward in the Netherlands. These revelations show that, as a result of the taboo surrounding pedophilia, we have no idea how frequently such abuse actually occurs–not just in the church but in general.

Pedophilia can have different causes. If an adult suddenly experiences pedophilic urges, they may have a brain tumor in the prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex or hypothalamus. Sometimes it is a symptom of dementia. A sudden switch in sexual inclination to pedophilia has also been caused by operations to cure epilepsy by removing part of the anterior temporal lobe. Such patients can go on to develop Kluver-Bucy syndrome, which involves the loss of sexual inhibition. In the United States, a man who started to download child pornography after an operation of this kind was recently sentenced to ninteen months of imprisonment! Pedophilia can also be caused by infection of the brain, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and brain trauma.

But a neurological cause for pedophilia is rare. Most pedophiles have always been attracted to children, and the cause can be traced to fetal brain development and early development after birth. Just as gender identity and sexual orientation are determined by genetic background and the interaction between a fetus’s sex hormones and its developing brain, so too pedophilia can apparently be explained by genetic and other factors causing the brain to develop abnormally at an early stage, leading to structural differences. I was once shown a family tree that included three generations of pedophile men. Deviant sexual behavior (like pedophilia) is displayed by a high percentage (18 percent) of first-degree relatives of pedophiles, pointing to genetic factor. In addition, pedophiles are more likely to have been sexually abused by adults as young children. At the end of 2009, the leader of the Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, went public with the painful family secret that his father had abused his own children, while his brother was in turn suspected of having sexually abused his daughter. Whether abuse as a children causal factor in the development of pedophilia in adulthood or whether there’s a genetic factor in such families, still needs to be investigated.

Daniel Gajdusek (1923-2008), a man of remarkable talent who studied physics, biology, mathematics and medicine in the United States, thought that abuse as a child could cause pedophilia. He had himself been abused by an uncle as a child. I once had the dubious honor of chairing a lecture by the hypomanic Gajdusek; my colleagues were amused by my vain attempts to keep him in check. Gajdusek had been researching the cause of mass deaths of young women and children from the disease kuru in the villages in the interior of New Guinea in 1957. At the time, it was still a Dutch colony, and he was able to find his way there by using Dutch ordnance survey maps that he’d stolen from the Leiden endocrinology department headed by Dries Querido. Gajdusek discovered that the deaths were indirectly caused by cannibalism. Long after they had eaten the brain of conquered enemies, the victims were struck down by a slow-acting virus, one of whose symptoms was dementia. The disease turned out to be caused by prions (infectious agents mad of protein) just like mad cow disease. In 1996 Gajdusek was awarded the Novel Prize for Medicine. However, when he returned from New Guinea and other remote locations it wasn’t just with brain tissue for further research; he also brought back fifty-six children, mostly little boys. We always thought that this was very odd. He took them into his home and gave them an education, but as an accusation made by a man who had lived with him as a child later revealed, also molested them. He was imprisoned for a year and died in 2009.

There are all kinds of factors in early development that could influence the risk of developing pedophilia. It would seem logical to study them, but the taboo on this condition stands in the way. Who in our society would dare openly admit to being pedophile and take part in research into the causes of this disorder?

In recent years, the first structural differences have been reported between the brains of pedophiles and those of remote control groups. A study involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that the former have less gray matter (neurons) in the various area of the brain, like the hypothalamus, the bend nucleus of the stria terminalis (whose size also differs in the transsexuals), and the amygdala, which play a role in sex, fear and aggressive behavior. It moreover emerged that the smaller the amygdala, the more like an individual was to commit pedophilic crimes. Exposure to emotional and erotic images of adult sparks less activity in the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pedophile men than in control men, which ties in with the fact that pedophiles are less sexually interested in adults. Convicted pedophiles display greater amygdala activity than control men in response to image of children. Functional scans of the brain of homosexual, heterosexual and pedophile men shown pictures of men, women, girls and boys moreover show a clear difference between these group in terms of brain activity. However, we must bear in mind that research into pedophilia focuses solely on a small, selected group of pedophiles. The majority are able to control their urges, don’t commit crimes, and therefore aren’t studied.

Sexual abuse damages children and is punished, not only for reasons of atonement but also to prevent further abuse. The latter objective poses a problem, though because how do you change behavior that has been programmed in the brain at an early stage of development? In the past, every conceivable effort has been made to change homosexual men into heterosexuals, without any success whatsoever. The same applies to pedophiles. Not so long ago, a court in Utrecht heard the case of sixty-year-old heterosexual church minister charged with pedosexuality. The prosecution called for a sentence of ten months in prison, but after a great deal deliberation he was eventually given a community sentence. How things have changed.

There was a time when an obscure mix of arguments bearing on eugenics, punishment, the protection of society, and the repression of homosexuality led to the castration of pedosexuals in Netherlands. Between 1938 to 1968, at least four hundred sex offenders were “voluntarily” castrated. This practice wasn’t laid down by law. These were offenders detained under a hospital order who were given the choice of his life imprisonment or castration. They had to submit a standard letter to minister of justice, the text of which ran, “May i humbly crave Your Excellency’s permission to be castrated?”. Up to 1950, 80 percent of the castrated men were pedosexual, a situation complicated by the high legal age of sexual consent (sixteen). In Germany, the hypothalami of pedophiles were surgically lesioned in the hope that this would change their sexual orientation. These brain operations were never scientifically documented.

The incidence of chemical castrations among offenders detained under a hospital order is currently increasing. This involves suppressing the libido with a substance that diminishes the effect of testosterone. It can provide relief at being freed from sexual obsession. However, it’s worrying that some of the individuals are being chemically castrated because the authorities would otherwise deny that applications for leave. These substance certainly aren’t suitable for every sex offender, and the side effects, including the development of breasts, obesity and osteoporosis are serious.

The pedosexual minister from Utrecht can thank his lucky stars that things have changed since the days of formal castration requests. The judge who presided over his case was worried about reoffending, and rightly so. Nevertheless, he thought that the six-week pretiral detention would have a deterrent effect and that the combination of a long conditional sentence and a community order would be more effective than lenghty imprisonment. Whether he was right we’ll never know, because the judicial system has no tradition of researching the effectiveness of its punishments. And the medical world, alas, has no tradition of researching the factors in early development that cause pedophilia. Doing away with the taboo on such research could shed light on these factors and on the best methods of checking pedophile impulses and stopping people from reoffending. This would prevent a great deal of misery for all concerned.

The same applies to female pedophiles. The idea that women can’t be guilty of pedosexuality has been found to be a myth. Sexual abuse of children by women is usually perpetrated by mothers on their own offspring. For the most part, the victims are girls with and average age of around six. The mothers tend to be poor and uneducated and often have mental health problem like cognitive impairment, psychoses, or addictions.

An initiative in Canada has shown that it’s possible to tackle this issue by quite simple means. There, pedosexuals are helped by group of volunteers after their detention. The resulting social network has been shown to cut reoffending rates quite considerably. This is much better than the situation in the Netherlands, where in late 2009, a pedophile was first banned from the city of Eindhoven by its mayor, then prohibited from entering a national park in the province of Utrecht. The man now lives in his car and travels from parking lot to parking lot. That’s asking for trouble. But the Netherlands is trying out the Canadian initiative. Another way of preventing child abuse might to be issue smart form of fake child pornography that don’t involve the abuse of real children. Milton Diamond, a renowned sexologist in Hawaii, has found considerable evidence to suggest that his works. However, it will no doubt prove difficult to convince the authorities to consider such an innovative idea.

Origin : We Are Our Brains, Dick Swaab, m/s 72-77, terbitan Penguin Group, 2014.

Biology & Chemistry · History · Psychology · Sociology

Punca Pedofilia Dari Sudut Neurologi

pedophilia_nightowls_lk

Oleh : Dick Swaab

Perkara yang mengejutkan tentang penganiayaan kanak-kanak dalam Gereja Katolik telah menjadi jelas baru-baru ini. Kes pertama timbul di Amerika Syarikat, kemudian di Ireland. Dalam pentadbiran uskup Dublin sahaja, beratus-ratus kanak-kanak dianiaya sekitar 1976 hingga 2004. Kes di Jerman kemudiannya terbongkar selepas beratus-ratus mangsa tampil di Netherland. Pendedahan ini menunjukkan wujudnya tabu yang berkaitan dengan pedofilia. Kita tidak tahu kekerapan penganiayaan telah berlaku yang bukan sahaja di gereja, tetapi pada selainnya.

Pedofilia terjadi disebabkan beberapa punca. Jika seseorang dewasa tiba-tiba mengalami desakan pedofilia, mereka mungkin mengalami tumor otak di korteks prefrontal, korteks temporal atau hipotalamus. Kadangkala disebabkan gejala demensia. Perubahan mengejut pada kecenderungan seksual kepada pedofilia juga disebabkan pembedahan dalam pemulihan epilepsi dengan membuang sebahagian luba temporal anteriror. Pesakit itu mampu terkena sindrom Kluver-Bucy yang menyebabkan kesekatlakuan seks. Di Amerika Syarikat, orang yang mula-mula memuat turun pornografi kanak-kanak dihukum penjara sembilan bulan baru-baru ini selepas pembedahan ini! Pedofilia juga disebabkan jangkitan di otak, Parinson, sklerosis dan trauma otak.

Namun, sebab secara neurologi bagi pedofilia masih pelik. Kebanyakan pedofilia selalu tertarik pada kanak-kanak yang puncanya dapat dikesan pada perkembangan otak janin dan perkembangan awal semasa kelahiran. Sepertimana identiti jantia dan orientasi seksual ditentukan dengan latar belakang genetik dan interaksi antara hormon jantina jantina dan perkembangan otaknya, begitu juga pedofilia yang nampaknya mampu dijelaskan dengan genetik dan faktor lain yang menyebabkan otak berkembang secara abnormal pada peringkat awal yang membawa kepada perbezaan struktur.

Saya pernah ditunjukkan silsilah keluarga yang termasuklah tiga generasi lelaki pedofilia. Perlakuan seksual yang menyimpang (seperti pedofilia) dipaparkan dengan peratus yang tinggi (18 peratus) pada tingkatan kerabat pedofilia yang pertama sebagai penetapan faktor genetik. Tambahan pula, pedofilia berkemungkinan besar berpunca dianiaya secara seksual oleh orang dewasa ketika usia muda. Pada penghujung 2009, rahsia derita keluarga pemimpin parti Northen Irish, iaitu Sinn Fein dan Gerry Adam telah terbongkar bahawa ayahnya telah menganiaya anaknya sendiri, manaakala giliran abangnya pula disyaki mempunyai penganiayaan seks terhadap anak perempuannya. Sama ada kanak-kanak yang dianiaya merupakan faktor penyebab pada perkembangan pedofulia semasa dewasa atau sama ada di sana terdapat faktor genetik seperti keluarga masih memerlukan penelitian.

Daniel Gjdusek (1923-2008), tokoh berbakat luar biasa yang mengkaji fizik, biologi, matematik dan perubatan di Amerika Syarikat menganggap bahawa kanak-kanak yang dianiaya kemungkinan penyebab pedofilia. Dia sendiri dianiaya oleh pakciknya ketika kanak-kanak. Dahulu saya pernah begitu ragu-ragu mempengerusikan syarahan oleh Gajdusek yang hipomania. Rakan kolej saya geli hati terhadap keinginan saya untuk menyekatnya.

Gajdusek telah mengkaji sebab kematian besar-besaran wanita muda dan kanak-kanak disebabkan penyakit kuru di kampung di pedalaman New Guinea pada 1957. Pada waktu itu, kampung itu dalam jajahan Belanda dan dia dapat menemukan jalannya ke sana dengan menggunakan kelengkapan tinjauan peta Belanda yang dia curi dari jabatan endorik Lein yang dipengerusi oleh Dries Querido.

Gadjusek menemukan bahawa kematian itu berpunca daripada kanibalisme yang tidak langsung. Selepas lama otak mereka dimakan yang ditawan musuh, mangsa ditimpa virus yang bergerak perlahan. Salah satu daripadanya ialah demensia. Penyakit itu ternyata disebabkan prion (agen yang berjangkit diperbuat daripada protein) yang sama penyakit lembu gila. Pada 1996, Gajdusek diangerahkan Hadian Nobel dalam perubatan.

Walau bagaimana pun, apabila dia pulang dari New Guinea dan lokasi terpencil yang lain, dia bukan sahaja mengkaji lebih mendalam pada tisu otak, dia juga membawa balik 56 kanak-kanak yang kebanyakan budak lelaki. Dia membawa mereka ke rumahnya dan memberikan mereka pendidikan. Namun, dia juga mencabul mereka sepertimana pendedahan tuduhan yang dibuat oleh seseorang yang tinggal bersama dengannya sebagai kanak-kanak. Dia dipenjara selama setahun dan meninggal pada 2008.

Terdapat juga segala faktor pada perkembangan awal yang mampu mempengaruhi risiko mengembangkan pedofilia. Sangat logik untuk mengkajinya, tetapi tabu pada keadaan ini menghalanginya. Siapa dalam masyarakat kita sanggup mengaku secara terbuka untuk menjadi pedofilia dan menyertai kajian bagi punca kerancuan ini?

Pada tahun baru-baru ini, perbezaan struktur yang pertama telah dikaji antara otak pedofilia dan mereka yang pada kelompok kawalan. Kajian yang melibatkan pengimejan resonan magnet menunjukkan orang itu ada sedikit gray matter (neuron) pada pelbagai kawasan otak seperti hipotalamus, dasar nukleus terminalis stria (yang saiznya juga berbeza dengan transeksual) dan amigdala yang memainkan peranan untuk perlakuan seks, ketakutan dan agresif. Tambahan pula kajian menunjukkan semakin kecil amigdala, semakin tinggi kemungkinan seseorang itu melakukan jenayah pedofilia. Pendedahan kepada gambar orang dewasa erotik dan beremosi menyebabkan sedikit aktiviti di hipotalamus dan koreks prefrontal pada orang pedofilia berbanding orang biasa. Ini menunjukkan bahawa orang pedofilia mempunyai minat seksual yang kurang pada orang dewasa.

Golongan pedofilia mempamerkan lebih banyak aktiviti amigdala berbanding kelompok kawalan dalam memberi respons imej kanak-kanak. Tambahan pula, imbasan fungsian pada otak orang homoseksual, heteroseksual dan pedofilia yang ditunjukkan gambar lelaki dewasa, wanita dewasa, budak wanita dan budak lelaki menunjukkan perbezaan yang nyata di antara kelompok dikelaskan mengikut aktiviti otak. Walau bagaimanapun, kita perlu ingat bahawa kajian pedofulia hanya fokus pada yang kecil dan kelompok pedofilia yang dipilih.Majoriti mampu untuk mengawal desakan mereka, tetapi tidak melakukan jenayah. Hal itu menyebabkan mereka tidak dikaji.

Kerosakan penganiayaan seksual kanak-kanak yang dihukum bukan sahaja kerana reaksi penebus, tetapi juga sebagai pencegahan penganiayaan yang selanjutnya. Bangkangan yang akhir-akhir ini mengutarakan sebuah masalah, iaitu bagaimana anda mengubah kelakuan yang telah diprogramkan di otak pada peringkat awal perkembangan? Pada masa yang lalu, setiap percubaan telah pun dilakukan bagi mengubah orang homoseksual kepada heteroseksual, namun tidak berhasil apa-apa. Perkara yang sama terjadi pada pedofilia. Tidak lama dahulu, mahkamah di Utrecht mendengar kes menteri gereja heteroseksual yang berusia 60 tahun yang dihukum kerana seks pedofilia. Orang itu dijatuhkan hukuman sepuluh bulan di penjara, tetapi selepas melalui perimbangan yang banyak, dia berkemungkinan dihukumi untuk khidmat masyarakat. Betapa hebat perubahan yang berlaku.

Ada suatu ketika berlakunya ketegangan yang bercampur aduk kesamarannya bagi berhadapan dengan eugenik, hukuman, perlindungan masyarakat dan tekanan terhadap homoseksual sehingga membawa kepada pengembirian pedoseksual di Netherland. Sekitar 1938 dan 1968, sekurang-kurangnya empat ratus pesalah laku seks “merelakan diri” untuk dikembiri. Praktik ini tidak ditetapkan oleh undang-undang. Pesalah laku seks ini ditahan bawah perintah hospital yang diberi pilihan sama ada penjara seumur atau pengembirian. Mereka telah menghantar surat rasmi kepada kementerian kehakiman yang dalam teks itu menyebut, “Bolehkah saya meminta dengan rendah diri kepada Tuan Yang Terutama bagi membenarkan diri tuan dikembiri?”. Selepas 1950, 80 peratus orang yang dikembiri ialah pedofilia. Dalam masa yang sama berlaku situasi rumit dalam penentuan cukup umur untuk seksual di sisi undang-undang. Di Jerman, hipotalamus pedofilia dilukakan secara pembedahan dengan harapan agar ini mampu mengubah orientasi seksual mereka. Kaedah ini tidak pernah didokumenkan secara saintifik.

Insiden pengembirian secara kimia terhadap pesalah laku yang ditahan bawah arahan hospital sedang bertambah sekarang ini. Ini melibatkan penyekatan libido dengan bahan-bahan kimia yang mengurangkan kesan testosteron. Ini mampu melegakan ketagihan seksual ketika dibebaskan. Walau bagaimanapun, perkara ini membimbangkan sebahagian individu ini dikembiri secara kimia. Pihak berkuasa cuma akan berlepas diri atas kesan perbuatan mereka. Bahan-bahan kimia ini tidak sesuai untuk setiap pesalah laku seks dan kesan sampingan baginya termasuklah perkembangan buah dada, obesiti dan osteoporosis yang merupakan sesuatu yang bahaya.

Menteri pedofilia dari Utrecht boleh memanjatkan kesyukuran kepada nasib tuahnya kerana perkara itu berubah sejak hari permintaan pengembirian yang formal. Hakim yang mempengerusi siasatan kesnya begitu bimbang terhadap perlakuan semula dan itulah yang sebetulnya. Namun, dia fikir bahawa enam bulan tahanan prapembicaraan mampu memberi kesan hukuman dan gabungan antara hukuman bersyarat yang lama dan komuniti order lebih efektif berbanding pemenjaraan yang lama. Sama ada dia benar, kita masih tidak tahu kerana sistem kehakiman tidak ada tradisi untuk mengkaji kefektifan hukumannya. Begitu juga dunia perubatan. Alahai! Itu pun tiada tradisi bagi mengkaji faktor perkembangan awal yang menyebabkan pedofilia. Menyahkan tabu daripada kajian itu mampu memberi pencerahan kepada faktor ini dan merupakan kaedah terbaik bagi memeriksa impuls pedofil serta menghentikan orang lain daripada. Ini mampu menghilangkan kesengsaraan besar yang sangat dibimbangi.

Perkara yang sama teraplikasi pada wanita pedofilia. Tanggapan tentang wanita tidak disabitkan melakukan kesalahan bagi seksual pedofilnya cumalah mitos sahaja. Penganiayaan seksual kanak-kanak oleh wanita selalunya dilakukan oleh ibunya sendiri. Pada kebanyakan bahagian, mangsa ialah wanita dan purata umur kira-kira enam tahun. Ibu itu disebabkan kemiskinan, tidak berpendidikan dan selalu mempunyai masalah kesihatan mental seperti kerosakan kognitif, psiko dan ketagihan.

Inisiatif di Kanada telah menunjukkan bahawa inisiatif itu mampu mengatasi isu ini dengan cara yang begitu mudah. Di sana, pedofilia dibantu oleh kumpulan sukarela selepas penahanannya.  Hasil rangkaian sosial ini telah mencegah perlakuan semula dengan kadar yang berpatutan. Ini lebih baik daripada situasi di Netherland. Pada akhir 2009, seorang pedofilia mula-mula dilarang dari memasui ke bandar Eindhoven oleh datuk bandar, kemudian dihalang dari memasuki taman negara di wilayah Utrecht. Sekarang orang itu tinggal di keretanya dan merantau dari lot letak kereta ke lot letak kereta. Itu sememangnya mencari masalah. Namun, Netherland sedang mencuba inisiatif Kanada.

Cara lain untuk mencegah penganiayaan kanak-kanak mungkin menghasilkan rekaan pintar pornografi kanak-kanak tiruan yang tidak melibatkan penganiayaan kanak-kanak sebenar. Milton Diamond, terkenal dengan ahli seksologi di Hawaii telah mendapati bukti yang banyak untuk mencadangkan bahawa cara ini berkesan. Meskipun begitu, ini tidak diragui lagi betapa sukarnya untuk meyakinkan pihak berkuasa untuk pertimbangkan idea pembaharuan iu itu.

Nukilan dan terjemahan daripada We Are Our Brains, Dick Swaab, m/s 72-77, terbitan Penguin Group, 2014.

Teks asal :

The shocking scale of child abuse within the Catholic Church has come to light in recent years. The first cases emerged in the United States, then in the Ireland, where, within the bishopric of Dublin alone, hundreds of children were abused between 1976 and 20014. Cases in Germany were subsequently exposed, after which hundred of victims came foward in the Netherlands. These revelations show that, as a result of the taboo surrounding pedophilia, we have no idea how frequently such abuse actually occurs–not just in the church but in general.

Pedophilia can have different causes. If an adult suddenly experiences pedophilic urges, they may have a brain tumor in the prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex or hypothalamus. Sometimes it is a symptom of dementia. A sudden switch in sexual inclination to pedophilia has also been caused by operations to cure epilepsy by removing part of the anterior temporal lobe. Such patients can go on to develop Kluver-Bucy syndrome, which involves the loss of sexual inhibition. In the United States, a man who started to download child pornography after an operation of this kind was recently sentenced to ninteen months of imprisonment! Pedophilia can also be caused by infection of the brain, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and brain trauma.

But a neurological cause for pedophilia is rare. Most pedophiles have always been attracted to children, and the cause can be traced to fetal brain development and early development after birth. Just as gender identity and sexual orientation are determined by genetic background and the interaction between a fetus’s sex hormones and its developing brain, so too pedophilia can apparently be explained by genetic and other factors causing the brain to develop abnormally at an early stage, leading to structural differences. I was once shown a family tree that included three generations of pedophile men. Deviant sexual behavior (like pedophilia) is displayed by a high percentage (18 percent) of first-degree relatives of pedophiles, pointing to genetic factor. In addition, pedophiles are more likely to have been sexually abused by adults as young children. At the end of 2009, the leader of the Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, went public with the painful family secret that his father had abused his own children, while his brother was in turn suspected of having sexually abused his daughter. Whether abuse as a children causal factor in the development of pedophilia in adulthood or whether there’s a genetic factor in such families, still needs to be investigated.

Daniel Gajdusek (1923-2008), a man of remarkable talent who studied physics, biology, mathematics and medicine in the United States, thought that abuse as a child could cause pedophilia. He had himself been abused by an uncle as a child. I once had the dubious honor of chairing a lecture by the hypomanic Gajdusek; my colleagues were amused by my vain attempts to keep him in check. Gajdusek had been researching the cause of mass deaths of young women and children from the disease kuru in the villages in the interior of New Guinea in 1957. At the time, it was still a Dutch colony, and he was able to find his way there by using Dutch ordnance survey maps that he’d stolen from the Leiden endocrinology department headed by Dries Querido. Gajdusek discovered that the deaths were indirectly caused by cannibalism. Long after they had eaten the brain of conquered enemies, the victims were struck down by a slow-acting virus, one of whose symptoms was dementia. The disease turned out to be caused by prions (infectious agents mad of protein) just like mad cow disease. In 1996 Gajdusek was awarded the Novel Prize for Medicine. However, when he returned from New Guinea and other remote locations it wasn’t just with brain tissue for further research; he also brought back fifty-six children, mostly little boys. We always thought that this was very odd. He took them into his home and gave them an education, but as an accusation made by a man who had lived with him as a child later revealed, also molested them. He was imprisoned for a year and died in 2009.

There are all kinds of factors in early development that could influence the risk of developing pedophilia. It would seem logical to study them, but the taboo on this condition stands in the way. Who in our society would dare openly admit to being pedophile and take part in research into the causes of this disorder?

In recent years, the first structural differences have been reported between the brains of pedophiles and those of remote control groups. A study involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that the former have less gray matter (neurons) in the various area of the brain, like the hypothalamus, the bend nucleus of the stria terminalis (whose size also differs in the transsexuals), and the amygdala, which play a role in sex, fear and aggressive behavior. It moreover emerged that the smaller the amygdala, the more like an individual was to commit pedophilic crimes. Exposure to emotional and erotic images of adult sparks less activity in the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pedophile men than in control men, which ties in with the fact that pedophiles are less sexually interested in adults. Convicted pedophiles display greater amygdala activity than control men in response to image of children. Functional scans of the brain of homosexual, heterosexual and pedophile men shown pictures of men, women, girls and boys moreover show a clear difference between these group in terms of brain activity. However, we must bear in mind that research into pedophilia focuses solely on a small, selected group of pedophiles. The majority are able to control their urges, don’t commit crimes, and therefore aren’t studied.

Sexual abuse damages children and is punished, not only for reasons of atonement but also to prevent further abuse. The latter objective poses a problem, though because how do you change behavior that has been programmed in the brain at an early stage of development? In the past, every conceivable effort has been made to change homosexual men into heterosexuals, without any success whatsoever. The same applies to pedophiles. Not so long ago, a court in Utrecht heard the case of sixty-year-old heterosexual church minister charged with pedosexuality. The prosecution called for a sentence of ten months in prison, but after a great deal deliberation he was eventually given a community sentence. How things have changed.

There was a time when an obscure mix of arguments bearing on eugenics, punishment, the protection of society, and the repression of homosexuality led to the castration of pedosexuals in Netherlands. Between 1938 to 1968, at least four hundred sex offenders were “voluntarily” castrated. This practice wasn’t laid down by law. These were offenders detained under a hospital order who were given the choice of his life imprisonment or castration. They had to submit a standard letter to minister of justice, the text of which ran, “May i humbly crave Your Excellency’s permission to be castrated?”. Up to 1950, 80 percent of the castrated men were pedosexual, a situation complicated by the high legal age of sexual consent (sixteen). In Germany, the hypothalami of pedophiles were surgically lesioned in the hope that this would change their sexual orientation. These brain operations were never scientifically documented.

The incidence of chemical castrations among offenders detained under a hospital order is currently increasing. This involves suppressing the libido with a substance that diminishes the effect of testosterone. It can provide relief at being freed from sexual obsession. However, it’s worrying that some of the individuals are being chemically castrated because the authorities would otherwise deny that applications for leave. These substance certainly aren’t suitable for every sex offender, and the side effects, including the development of breasts, obesity and osteoporosis are serious.

The pedosexual minister from Utrecht can thank his lucky stars that things have changed since the days of formal castration requests. The judge who presided over his case was worried about reoffending, and rightly so. Nevertheless, he thought that the six-week pretiral detention would have a deterrent effect and that the combination of a long conditional sentence and a community order would be more effective than lenghty imprisonment. Whether he was right we’ll never know, because the judicial system has no tradition of researching the effectiveness of its punishments. And the medical world, alas, has no tradition of researching the factors in early development that cause pedophilia. Doing away with the taboo on such research could shed light on these factors and on the best methods of checking pedophile impulses and stopping people from reoffending. This would prevent a great deal of misery for all concerned.

The same applies to female pedophiles. The idea that women can’t be guilty of pedosexuality has been found to be a myth. Sexual abuse of children by women is usually perpetrated by mothers on their own offspring. For the most part, the victims are girls with and average age of around six. The mothers tend to be poor and uneducated and often have mental health problem like cognitive impairment, psychoses, or addictions.

An initiative in Canada has shown that it’s possible to tackle this issue by quite simple means. There, pedosexuals are helped by group of volunteers after their detention. The resulting social network has been shown to cut reoffending rates quite considerably. This is much better than the situation in the Netherlands, where in late 2009, a pedophile was first banned from the city of Eindhoven by its mayor, then prohibited from entering a national park in the province of Utrecht. The man now lives in his car and travels from parking lot to parking lot. That’s asking for trouble. But the Netherlands is trying out the Canadian initiative. Another way of preventing child abuse might to be issue smart form of fake child pornography that don’t involve the abuse of real children. Milton Diamond, a renowned sexologist in Hawaii, has found considerable evidence to suggest that his works. However, it will no doubt prove difficult to convince the authorities to consider such an innovative idea.

Biology & Chemistry

How Porn Affects The Brain Like A Drug

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On the surface, tobacco and porn don’t seem to have much in common. One is kept behind the counter at the gas station or supermarket because of its well-known harmful effects; the other is available virtually anywhere. One can quickly become an expensive habit while the other comes free with an internet connection. And let’s be honest, Hugh Hefner doesn’t exactly conjure images of a secretive tobacco executive.

So where’s the similarity? Inside the brain.

In case you’re not a neurosurgeon, here’s a crash course in how the brain works. Deep inside your brain, there’s something called a “reward center.” [1] You’ve got one. Your dog’s got one. For mammals, it comes standard. The reward center’s job is to release “pleasure” chemicals into your brain whenever you do something healthy, like eating tasty food, doing a hard workout, or enjoying a kiss. [2] The “high” you get from that chemical rush makes you want to repeat that behavior again and again. [3] Thanks to your reward center, your brain is hardwired to motivate you to do things that will improve your health and chances of survival. [4] It’s a great system…normally.

The problem is, the brain can be tricked.

When addictive substances are used, they give the brain a “false signal.” [5] Since the brain can’t tell the difference between the drugs and a real, healthy reward, it goes ahead and activates the reward center. [6] An important chemical called dopamine is released, which makes the brain start developing a craving for the fake reward. [7] As long as there’s a lot of dopamine floating around in the brain, the cravings will keep getting stronger, and the user will feel super-motivation to keep pursuing more of the drug. [8] Essentially, addictive drugs hijack the brain, turning it around and forcing it in a direction it was never meant to go. Instead of encouraging the user toward healthy behaviors, drugs lead the user into things that aren’t healthy at all, and can even be dangerous. [9]

Want to guess what else does that? Porn.

Researchers have found that Internet porn and addictive substances like tobacco have very similar effects on the brain, [10] and they are significantly different from how the brain reacts to healthy, natural pleasures like food or sex. [11] Think about it. When you’re munching a snack or enjoying a romantic encounter, eventually your cravings will drop and you’ll feel satisfied. Why? Because your brain has a built-in “off” switch for natural pleasures. “Dopamine cells stop firing after repeated consumption of a ‘natural reward’ (e.g. food or sex),” explains Nora Volkow, Director of The National Institute of Drug Abuse. [12] But addictive drugs go right on increasing dopamine levels without giving the brain a break. [13] The more a drug user hits up, the more dopamine floods his brain, and the stronger his urges are to keep using. That’s why drug addicts find it so hard to stop once they take the first hit. “[O]ne hit may turn into many hits, or even a lost weekend.” [14]

What else has the power to keep pumping dopamine endlessly into the brain? If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer screen for hours in a porn trance, you already know the answer.

Scientists have long known that sexual interest and performance can be increased simply by introducing something new—like a different sexual position, a toy, or a change of partner. [15] That’s because the brain responds to new sexual stimuli by pumping out more and more dopamine, flooding the brain just like a drug would. [16] And “new” is exactly what Internet porn sites provide: an endless stream of fresh erotic images delivered at high speed, in vivid color, 24/7. Before a user even starts to get bored, he can always give himself another dopamine boost just by clicking to something different, something more stimulating and hardcore than before. [17]

In fact, porn use follows a very predictable pattern that’s eerily similar to drug use. Over time, excessive levels of “pleasure” chemicals cause the porn user’s brain to develop tolerance, just like the brain of a drug user. [19] In the same way that a junkie eventually requires more and more of a drug to get a buzz or even feel normal, regular porn users will end up turning to porn more often or seeking out more extreme versions—or both—to feel excited again. [20] And once the porn habit is established, quitting can even lead to withdrawal symptoms similar to drugs. [21]

Citations

[1] National Institute On Drug Abuse: The Reward Pathway. (2016). Retrieved From Http://Www.Drugabuse.Gov/Publications/Teaching-Packets/Understanding-Drug-Abuse-Addiction/Section-I/4-Reward-Pathway; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 712-725. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33 (8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[2] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Zatorre, R. J., & Salimpoor, V. N., (2013) From Perception To Pleasure: Music And Its Neural Substrates. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of The Sciences Of The United States Of America, 110, 2. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.1301228110; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., & Meisel, R. L. (2009). Delta FosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior, 8(4), 442–449. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00491.X

[3] Bostwick, J. M., & Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 83(2), 226–230. Doi:10.4065/83.2.226; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (106-108).

[4] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. (75) New York: Henry Hold And Co.; Hyman, S. E. (2005). Addiction: A Disease Of Learning And Memory. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1414-1422. Doi:10.1176/Appi.Ajp.162.8.1414

[5] Stacy, A. W., & Wiers, R. W. (2010). Implicit Cognition And Addiction: A Tool For Explaining Paradoxical Behavior, Annual Review Of Clinical Psychology, 6, 551-575. Doi:10.1146/Annurev.Clinpsy.121208.131444

[6] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi.Org/10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 713. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Georgiadis, J. R., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2012). The Human Sexual Response Cycle: Brain Imaging Evidence Linking Sex To Other Pleasures. Progressive Neurobiology, 98, 49-81. Doi:10.1016/J.Pneurobio.2012.05.004

[7] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8) 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Salamone, J. D., & Correa, M. (2012). The Mysterious Motivational Functions Of Mesolimbic Dopamine. Neuron, 76, 470-485. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2012.10.021

[8] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Volkow, N. D., Wang. G. J., Fowler, J. S., Tomasi, D., & Telang, F. (2011). Addiction: Beyond Dopamine Reward Circuitry. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 108(37),15037-15042. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.1010654108; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (108) New York: Penguin Books.

[9] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Kauer, J. A., And Malenka, J. C. (2007). Synaptic Plasticity And Addiction: Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8: 844-858. Doi:10.1038/Nrn2234; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (106-109) New York: Penguin Books; Hyman, S. E. (2005). Addiction: A Disease Of Learning And Memory. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1414-1422. Doi:10.1176/Appi.Ajp.162.8.1414

[10] Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[11] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017

[12] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374: 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480

[13] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374: 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 712-725. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Yanofski, J. (2011). The Dopamine Dilemma—Part II. Innovations In Clinical Neuroscience, 8(1), 47-53. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pmc/Articles/PMC3036556/

[14] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059

[15] Dewsbury, D. A., (1981). Effects Of Novelty Of Copulatory Behavior: The Coolidge Effect And Related Phenomena. Psychological Bulletin, 89(3), 464-482. Doi:10.1037/0033-2909.89.3.464; Wilson, J. R., Kuehn, R. E., And Beach, F. A. (1963). Modification In The Sexual Behavior Of Male Rats Produced By Changing The Stimulus Female. Journal Of Comparative And Physiological Psychology, 56, 636-644. Doi:10.1037/H0042469

[16] Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Banca, P., Et Al. (2016). Novelty, Conditioning, And Attentional Bias To Sexual Rewards. Journal Of Psychiatric Research, 72, 91-101. Doi:10.1016/J.Jpsychires.2015.10.017

[17] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6: 17. Doi.10.3390/Bs6030017; Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123

[18] Satinover, J. (2004). Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation, Subcommittee On Science, Technology, And Space, Hearing On The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction And Effects Of Addiction On Families And Communities, November 18.

[19] Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Angres, D. H., & Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month 54, 696–721. Doi:10.1016/J.Disamonth.2008.07.002; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books; Paul, P. (105). Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co. (75).

[20] Banca, P., Et Al. (2016). Novelty, Conditioning, And Attentional Bias To Sexual Rewards. Journal Of Psychiatric Research, 72, 91-101. Doi:10.1016/J.Jpsychires.2015.10.017; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27(2), 41–44. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00137-3

[21] Angres, D. H., & Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month, 54, 696–721. Doi:10.1016/J.Disamonth.2008.07.002; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (106-107) New York: Penguin Books; Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2002). The Mind Of An Addicted Brain: Neural Sensitization Of Wanting Versus Liking. In J. T. Cacioppo, Et Al. (Eds.) Foundations In Social Neuroscience . Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. (565–72).

Originhttp://fightthenewdrug.org/how-porn-affects-the-brain-like-a-drug/

Biology & Chemistry

How Porn Changes The Brain?

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Believe it or not, studies show that those of us who make more frequent use of pornography have brains that are less connected, less active, and even smaller in some areas. [1]

To be fair, the studies only show that there’s a correlation between porn use and smaller, less active brains, but they raise the question: Can porn literally change your brain?

Scientists used to believe that once you finished childhood, your brain lost the ability to grow. [2] They thought that nothing except illness or injury could physically alter an adult brain. Now we know that the brain goes on changing throughout life, [3] constantly rewiring itself and laying down new nerve connections, and that this is particularly true in our youth. [4]

See, your brain is made up of about 100 billion special nerves called neurons, [5] that carry electrical signals back and forth between parts of the brain and out to the rest of the body. Imagine you’re learning to play an E chord on the guitar: your brain sends a signal to your hand telling it what to do. As that signal zips along from neuron to neuron, those activated nerve cells start to form connections because “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Those newly-connected neurons form what’s called a “neuronal pathway.” [6]

Think of a neuronal pathway like a trail in the woods. Every time someone uses the trail, it gets a little wider and more permanent. Similarly, every time a message travels down a neuronal pathway, the pathway gets stronger. [7] With enough repetitions, your neuronal pathway will get so strong you’ll be strumming that E chord without even thinking about it. That process of building better, faster neuronal pathways is how we learn any new skill, whether it’s memorizing math formulas or driving a car. Practice makes perfect.

But there’s a catch. Your brain is a very hungry organ. It may only weigh 2% of your body weight, but it eats up 20% of your energy and oxygen, [8] so resources are scarce up there in your head. There’s some pretty fierce competition between brain pathways, and those that don’t get used enough will likely be replaced. [9] Use it or lose it, as they say. Only the strong survive.

That’s where porn comes in.

Porn happens to be fantastic at forming new, long-lasting pathways in the brain. In fact, porn is such a ferocious competitor that hardly any other activity can compete with it, including actual sex with a real partner. [10] That’s right, porn can actually overpower your brain’s natural ability to have real sex! Why? As Dr. Norman Doidge, a researcher at Columbia University, explains, porn creates the the perfect conditions and triggers the release of the right chemicals to make lasting changes in your brain. [11]

Conditions

The ideal conditions for forming strong neuronal pathways are when you’re in what scientists call “flow.” Flow is “a deeply satisfying state of focused attention.” [12] When you’re in flow, you get so deep into what you’re doing that nothing else seems to matter. [13] You’ve probably experienced it before, playing a game or having a conversation with friends or reading a great book. You were so focused on what you were doing that you lost track of time, and everything around you disappeared. You wanted it to keep going forever. That’s flow.

When you’re in flow, it’s like you have superhuman abilities. Athletes call it being “in the zone,” when you seem to do everything right. Your focus is intense. Your memory is phenomenal. Years later, you’ll still recall exact words of the conversation or details of what you read.

Now imagine a person sitting in front of the computer at 3:00 in the morning, looking at porn. He’s so absorbed in his porn trance that nothing else can compete for his attention, not even sleep. He’s in the ideal condition for forming neuronal pathways, and that’s what he’s doing. He clicks from page to page in search of the perfect masturbatory image, not realizing that every image he sees is reinforcing the pathways he’s forging in his brain. By now, those images are burned so deeply into his mind he’ll remember them for a long time to come, maybe his whole life.

Chemicals

Like other addictive substances and behaviors, porn activates the part of your brain called the reward center, [14] triggering the release of a cocktail of chemicals that give you a temporary buzz. [15]. One of the chemicals in that cocktail is a protein called DeltaFosB. [16]

Remember when we said that building neuronal pathways is like making a trail in the woods? Well, DeltaFosB is like a troop of Boy Scouts out there with picks and shovels, working like beavers to groom the trail. With DeltaFosB floating around, the brain is primed to make strong mental connections between the porn the user views and the pleasure he feels watching and masturbating. [17] Basically, the DeltaFosB is saying, “This feels good. Let’s be sure to remember it so we can do it again.”

DeltaFosB is important for learning any kind of new skills, but it can also lead to addictive/compulsive behaviors, [18] especially in adolescents. [19] DeltaFosB is referred to as “the molecular switch for addiction,” [20] because if it builds up enough in the brain, it switches on genes that create long-term cravings, driving the user back for more. [21] And once it’s been released, DeltaFosB sticks around in the brain for weeks or months, which is why porn users may feel strong cravings for porn long after they’ve stopped the habit. [22]

The good news is, neuroplasticity works both ways. If porn pathways aren’t reinforced, they’ll eventually disappear, so the same brain mechanisms that lay down pathways for porn can replace them with something else. [23]

Citations

[1] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Kuhn, S., & Gallinat, J. (2014). Brain Structure And Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain On Porn. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(7), 827-834. Doi:10.1001/Jamapsychiatry.2014.93; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Wehrum-Osinski, S., Klucken, T, & Rudolf, S. (2015) OR-95: Neuronal And Subjective Responses In Patients With Excessive Pornography Consumption, Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 4(S1), 42; Arnow, B. A., Et Al. (2002). Brain Activation And Sexual Arousal In Healthy, Heterosexual Males. Brain, 125, 1014-1023. Doi:10.1093/Brain/Awf108. See Also Kuss, D., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). Internet And Gaming Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review Of Neuroimaging Studies, Brain Science, 2(3) 347-374. Doi:10.3390/Brainsci2030347 (Discussing Brain Atrophy Among Persons Addicted To Internet Use.)

[2] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (Xiiv-Xiv) New York: Penguin Books; Kolb, B., Gibb, R., & Robinson, T.E. (2003). Brain Plasticity And Behavior, Current Directions In Psychological Science, 12(1) 1-5.

[3] Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773

[4] Kercel, S.W., (2005). Editorial: The Wide-Ranging Impact Of The Work Of Paul Back-Y-Rita, Journal Of Integrative Neuroscience, 4(4) 403-406; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (Xv) New York: Penguin Books.

[5] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (50) New York: Penguin Books.

[6] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (9) New York: Penguin Books.

[7] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (242-243) New York: Penguin Books.

[8] Du, F., Et Al. (2008). Tightly Coupled Brain Activity And Cerebral ATP Metabolic Rate. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 105(17) 6409-6414. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.0710766105, See Also Spence, C., Okajima, K., Cheok, A. D., Petit, O., & Michel, C. (2016). Eating With Our Eyes: From Visual Hunger To Digital Satiation, Brain And Cognition, 110, 53-63. Doi:10.1016/J.Bandc.2015.08.006 (Asserting That The Brain Consumes “Somewhere In The Region Of 25% Of Blood Flow, Or Rather, 25% Of The Available Consumed Energy.”)

[9] Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (59-60) New York: Penguin Books.

[10] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Hilton, D. L. (2013) Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience And Technology 3. 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Wang, Y., Ghezzi, A., Yin, J. C. P., & Atkinson, N. S. (2009). CREB Regulation Of BK Channel Gene Expression Underlies Rapid Drug Tolerance. Gene Brains Behavior, 8(4) 369-376. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00479.X; Angres, D. H. & Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month 54: 696–721.

[11] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (104) New York: Penguin Books. ; [11]Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (102) New York: Penguin Books.

[12] Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773

[13] Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773; Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience. New York, HarperPerrennial.

[14] Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[15] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773

[16] Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[17] Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Hilton, D. L. (2013) Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience And Technology 3. 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (208-209) New York: Penguin Books.

[18] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Hilton, D.L, & Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective, Surgical Neurology International 2, 19. Doi:10.4103/2152-7806.76977; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[19] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysunction? A Review With Clinical Reports, Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Brom, M., Both, S., Laan, E., Everaerd, W., & Spinhoven, P. (2014). The Role Of Conditioning, Learning, And Dopamine In Sexual Behavior: A Narrative Review Of Animal And Human Studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 38(1). Doi: 10.1016/J.Neubiorev.2013.10.014; Bridges, A. J., & Anton, C. (2013). Pornography And Violence Against Women. In Sigal, J. A. & Denmark, F. L. (Eds.), Violence Against Girls And Women: International Perspectives (Pp 183-206.). Santa Barbara, California: Preager.

[20] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[21] Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 713. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Nestler, E. J. (2012). Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Drug Addiction. Clinical Psychopharmacology And Neuroscience 10(3) 136-143. Doi:1-.9758/Cpn.2012.10.3.136; Hyman, S. E. (2005). Addiction: A Disease Of Learning And Memory. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1414-1422.

[22] Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Hilton, D. L., & Watts, C. (2011). Commentary On: Neuroscience Research Fails To Support Claims That Excessive Pornography Consumption Causes Brain Damage, Surgical Neurological International, 2, 64. Doi:10.4103/2152-7806.81427; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[23] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (208-212) New York: Penguin Books.

Originhttp://fightthenewdrug.org/how-porn-changes-the-brain/

Biology & Chemistry

How Porn Can Become Addictive?

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Is pornography addiction even a thing?

There’s an ongoing debate right now in the media, and even in academic circles, over whether compulsive porn use is truly an addiction. Part of the problem is simply that people don’t agree on exactly what the word “addiction” means. [1] But Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the United States’ National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is convinced that porn addiction is real. She even suggested changing NIDA’s name in order to recognize “addictions such as pornography, gambling, and food.” [2]

In fact, research shows that of all the forms of online entertainment—like gambling, gaming, surfing, and social networking—porn has the strongest tendency to be addictive. [3]

Doctors and scientists used to believe that in order for something to be addictive, it had to involve a substance that you put into your body, like cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. [4] But once scientists started to look inside the brain, it changed our understanding of how addictions work. [5] What’s important, we now know, is not necessarily what gets inside the body or how it got there, but rather what reactions does it trigger in the brain. Cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs bring foreign chemicals into the body in a myriad of ways: sniffed, injected, drunk from a glass, or lit on fire and smoked. Porn and other behavior addictions like gambling, on the other hand, brings no new chemicals or substances into the body that weren’t already there. But, these behaviors initiate strikingly similar processes inside the brain like substance addictions, and that’s what makes them potentially addictive. They hijack the brain’s reward pathways. [6]. That’s what every addictive substance and habit does. [7]

Porn may enter through a different “how” and be a different “what,” but it ultimately does the very same things. [8]

See, your brain comes equipped with something called a “reward center.” [9] Its job is to motivate you to do things that protect and promote your survival—things like eating to stay alive or having sex to produce babies. [10] The way it rewards you for doing those things is by flooding your brain with dopamine and a cocktail of other “pleasure” chemicals each time you do. [11]

But your brain doesn’t always reward you for the right things. For example, it produces higher levels of dopamine when you have chocolate cake than it does for whole-wheat bread. [12] Why? Because 3,000 years ago, high-calorie foods were really hard to come by, so when our ancestors found them, they needed to eat a whole bunch while they had the chance. [13] These days, a bag of Oreos is only as far as the nearest supermarket. If we gorged on them every chance we got, we’d have heart disease and a lot of other health problems.

Porn is basically sexual junk food. When a person is looking at porn, their brain is fooled into pumping out dopamine just as if they really were seeing a potential mate. [14] Sure, filling your brain with feel-good chemicals might sound like a great idea at first, but just like with junk food, it’s more dangerous than it seems.

When porn enters the brain, it triggers the reward center to start pumping out dopamine, which sets off a cascade of chemicals including a protein called DeltaFosB. [15] DeltaFosB’s regular job is to build new nerve pathways to mentally connect what you’re doing (i.e. the porn you watch) to the pleasure you feel. [16] Those strong new memories outcompete other connections in the brain, making it easier and easier to return to porn. [17]

But DeltaFosB has another job, and this is why it’s nickname is “the molecular switch for addiction.” [18] If enough DeltaFosB builds up, it flips a genetic switch, causing lasting changes in the brain that leave the user more vulnerable to addiction. [19] For teens, this risk is especially high because a teen brain’s reward center responds two to four times more powerfully than an adult’s brain, releases higher levels of dopamine and produces more DeltaFosB. [20]

Overloaded with dopamine, the brain will try to defend itself by releasing another chemical called CREB [21] (It’s called CREB because no one wants to have to say its real name, “cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein!). CREB is like the brakes on a runaway reward center; it slows the pleasure response. [22] With CREB onboard, porn that once excited a person stops having the same effect. [23] Scientists believe that CREB is partly why viewers have to keep increasing their porn intake to get aroused. [24] That numbed-out state is called “tolerance,” and it’s part of any kind of addiction. [25]

As porn users become desensitized from repeated overloads of dopamine, they often find they can’t feel normal without a dopamine high. [26] Even other things that used to make them happy, like going out with friends or playing a favorite game, stop providing enjoyment because of the dulling effects of CREB. [27] They experience strong cravings and often find themselves giving more of their time and attention to porn, sometimes to the detriment of relationships, school, or work. [28] Some report feeling anxious or down until they can get back to their porn. [29] As they delve deeper into the habit, their porn of choice often turns increasingly hard-core. [30] And many who try to break their porn habits report finding it “really hard” to stop. [31]

If this sounds like the classic symptoms of addiction, well….the head of the United States’ National Institute on Drug Abuse agrees.

Citations

[1] Lewis, M. (2017). Addiction And The Brain: Development, Not Disease. Neuroethics. 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S12152-016-9293-4; Hall, P., (2014). Sex Addiction—An Extraordinarily Contentious Problem. Sexual And Relationship Therapy, 29(1) 68-75. Doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.861898

[2] Hilton, D.L, & Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective, Surgical Neurology International 2, 19. Doi:10.4103/2152-7806.76977

[3] Meerkerk, G.J., Van Den Eijnden, R.J., & Garretsen, H.F. (2006). Predicting Compulsive Internet Use: It’s All About Sex!, CyberPsychology And Behavior, 9(1), 95-103. Doi:10.1089/Cpb.2006.9.95; See Also Korkeila, J., Kaarlas, S., Jaaskelainen, M, Vahlberg, T., Taiminen, T. (2010). Attached To The Web—Harmful Use Of The Internet And Its Correlates. European Psychiatry 25(4) 236-241. Doi: 10.1016/J.Eurpsy.2009.02.008 (Finding “Adult Entertainment” To Be The Most Common Reason For Compulsive Internet Use.)

[4] Holden, C. (2001). Behavioral Addictions: Do They Exist? Science 294(5544), 980. Doi: 10.1126/Science.294.5544.980

[5] Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Olsen, C. M., (2011). Natural Rewards, Neuroplasticity, And Non-Drug Addictions. Neuropharmacology, 61, 1109-1122. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuropharm.2011.03.010; Nestler, E. J. (2005). Is There A Common Molecular Pathway For Addiction? Nature Neuroscience 9, 11: 1445–1449. Doi:10.1038/Nn1578

[6] ] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi:10.3390/Bs5030388;

[7] Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767

[8] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[9] National Institute On Drug Abuse: The Reward Pathway. (2016). Retrieved From Http://Www.Drugabuse.Gov/Publications/Teaching-Packets/Understanding-Drug-Abuse-Addiction/Section-I/4-Reward-Pathway; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 712-725. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33 (8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[10] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. (75) New York: Henry Hold And Co.; Hyman, S. E. (2005). Addiction: A Disease Of Learning And Memory. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1414-1422.

[11] Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 713. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046

[12] Johnson, P. And Kenny, P. (2010). Dopamine D2 Receptors In Addiction-Like Reward Dysfunction And Compulsive Eating In Obese Rats. Nature Neuroscience 13: 635-641. Doi:10.1038/Nn.2519; See Also Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018 (“[P]Leasure Can Be Thought Of As Evolution’s Boldest Trick, Serving To Motivate An Individual To Pursue Rewards Necessary For Fitness, Yet In Modern Environments Of Abundance, Also Influencing Maladaptive Pursuits Such As Addictions.”)

[13] Linden, D. J. (2011). Food, Pleasure And Evolution. Psychology Today, March 30.

[14] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 3:20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Pfaus, J. (2011). Love And The Opportunistic Brain. In The Origins Of Orientation, World Science Festival, June; Georgiadis, J. R. (2006). Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Changes Associated With Clitorally Induced Orgasm In Healthy Women. European Journal Of Neuroscience 24, 11: 3305–3316. Doi:10.1111/J.1460-9568.2006.05206.X

[15] Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[16] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Hilton, D. L. (2013) Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience And Technology 3. 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (208-209) New York: Penguin Books.

[17] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Nestler, E. J., (2015). Role Of The Brain’s Reward Circuitry In Depression: Transcriptional Mechanism. International Review Of Neurobiology, 124: 151-170. Doi:10.1016/Bs.Irn.2015.07.003; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 108.

[18] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[19] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Nestler, E. J. (2008). Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363: 3245–56. Retrieved From Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pmc/Articles/PMC2607320/; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 107.

[20] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374: 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Sturman, D., & Moghaddam, B. (2011). Reduced Neuronal Inhibition And Coordination Of Adolescent Prefrontal Cortex During Motivated Behavior. The Journal Of Neuroscience 31, 4: 1471-1478. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4210-10.2011; Ehrlich, M. E., Sommer, J., Canas, E., & Unterwald, E. M. (2002). Periadolescent Mice Show Enhanced DeltaFosB Upregulation In Response To Cocaine And Amphetamine. The Journal Of Neuroscience 22(21). 9155–9159. Retrieved From Http://Www.Jneurosci.Org/Content/22/21/9155

[21] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[22] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[23] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[24] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123

[25] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Nestler, E. J., (2015). Role Of The Brain’s Reward Circuitry In Depression: Transcriptional Mechanism. International Review Of Neurobiology, 124: 151-170. Doi:10.1016/Bs.Irn.2015.07.003; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). Internet And Gaming Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review Of Neuroimaging Studies. Brain Sciences, 2(3) 347-374. Doi:10.3390/Brainsci2030347

[26] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T. P. (2008). Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593

[27] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017

[28] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Bostwick, J. M., & Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 83(2), 226–230. Doi:10.4065/83.2.226; Kalman, T. P. (2008). Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (110).

[29] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T. P. (2008). Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (108).

[30] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T. P. (2008). Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (110).

[31] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T. P. (2008). Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, (111).

Originhttp://fightthenewdrug.org/how-porn-can-become-addictive/

Animal · Biology & Chemistry

How Porn Affects Your Sexual Tastes?

electronic brain screen_time autism_0

As you’d probably guess, rats don’t like the smell of death.

But a researcher named Jim Faust wondered whether that instinct could be changed, so he sprayed female rats with a liquid that smelled like a dead, rotting rat. When he put them in cages with virgin male rats, a strange thing happened. The drive to mate was so powerful that it overcame the instinct to avoid the smell, and the rats hit it off. Actually, that’s not so strange. The strange part was what happened next.

Once the male rats had learned to associate sex with the smell of death, Faust put them in cages with different objects to play with. The male rats actually preferred to play with the object that smelled like death, as if it were soaked in something they loved! [1]

We know what you’re thinking: “Now I know what I should have done for my science fair project!”
No, seriously, that’s pretty gross, right? You’re probably wondering how rats could possibly be trained to go against such a powerful natural instinct. Well, here’s how:

Rats, humans, and all mammals have something in their brain called a “reward center.” [2] Part of the reward center’s job is to promote healthy living by rewarding you when you do something that either keeps you alive (e.g., eating) or creates a new life (e.g., sex) , or enriches your life (e.g. building satisfying relationships). [3] The way it rewards you is by pumping a cocktail of “pleasure chemicals” through your brain. [4]

Those chemicals do more than make you feel great. While you’re enjoying that good feeling, your brain is also building new nerve pathways to connect the pleasure you’re feeling to the activity you’re doing. [5] It’s the brain’s way of making sure that whatever you’re doing, you’ll come back to it again. The association between the activity and the “reward” happens automatically, even if you don’t intend it, because “neurons that fire together, wire together.” [6]

The reward center is usually a pretty great thing, even if it didn’t work out so well for those poor rats. Normally our brain attracts us to healthy behaviors and encourages us to form life-supporting habits. [7] But when those reward chemicals get connected to something harmful, it has the opposite effect.

The same process that rewired those rats’ preferences—connecting the pleasure they felt during sex to the stench of death—is triggered in our brains by porn. Porn users may think they’re just being entertained, but their brains are busy at work building connections between their feelings of arousal and whatever’s happening on their screen. [8] And since porn users typically become accustomed to the porn they’ve already seen and have to constantly move on to more extreme forms of pornography to get aroused, [9] the kind of porn a user watches usually changes over time. [10]

In a survey of 1,500 young adult men, 56% said their tastes in porn had become “increasingly extreme or deviant.” [11] Just like the rats, many porn users eventually find themselves getting aroused by things that used to disgust them or that go against what they think is morally right. [12] In many cases, porn users find their tastes so changed that they can no longer respond sexually to their actual partners, though they can still respond to porn. [13]

Once users start watching extreme and dangerous sex acts, things that were disgusting or morally shameful can start to seem normal, acceptable, and more common than they really are. [14] One study found that people exposed to significant amounts of porn thought things like sex with animals and violent sex were twice as common as what those not exposed to porn believed. [15] And when people believe a behavior is normal, they’re more likely to try it. [16]

Research has also found that watching pornography affects attitudes and beliefs toward sex, women, and relationships. [17] Porn watchers are more likely to express attitudes supporting violence against women, [18] and studies have shown a strong correlation between men’s porn consumption and their likelihood to victimize women. [19] In fact, a 2015 peer-reviewed research study that analyzed 22 different studies from 7 different countries concluded that there is “little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are more likely to hold attitudes [supporting] sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression.” [20] (See Porn Leads to Violence.)

Obviously not everyone who looks at porn is going to turn into a rapist, but the reality is that even casual pornography use has the power to change ideas and attitudes. [21] When that happens, changes to behavior aren’t far behind. But spreading the truth about the harmful effects of porn helps limit its influence. Porn can corrupt our deepest, most basic instincts, but deep down at that same instinctive level, we know and want what’s healthy. We crave happiness and love. And every individual decision to focus on real love and real relationships moves us back toward the robust, natural lives we’re designed to pursue.

Citations

[1] Pfaus, J. G., Kippin, T. E., & Centeno, S. (2001). Conditioning And Sexual Behavior: A Review. Hormones And Behavior 40: 291–321. Retrieved From Http://Www.Pphp.Concordia.Ca/Fac/Pfaus/Pfaus-Kippin-Centeno(2001).Pdf; See Also Robinson, M. J. F., & Berridge, K. C. (2013). Instant Transformation Of Learned Repulsion Into Motivational “Wanting”. Current Biology, 23, 282-289. Doi:10.1016/J.Cub.2013.01.016 (Transforming Rats’ Revulsion To Saltiness Into Attraction)

[2] National Institute On Drug Abuse: The Reward Pathway. (2016). Retrieved From Http://Www.Drugabuse.Gov/Publications/Teaching-Packets/Understanding-Drug-Abuse-Addiction/Section-I/4-Reward-Pathway; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 712-725. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33 (8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[3] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Zatorre, R. J., & Salimpoor, V. N., (2013) From Perception To Pleasure: Music And Its Neural Substrates. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of The Sciences Of The United States Of America, 110, 2. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.1301228110; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., & Meisel, R. L. (2009). Delta FosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior, 8(4), 442–449. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00491.X; Bostwick, J. M. And Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230; Nestler, E. J., (2005) Is There A Common Molecular Pathway For Addiction?, Nature Neuroscience, 8(11) 1445-1449. Doi:10.1038/Nn1578; Balfour, M. E., Yu, L., And Coolen, L. M. (2004). Sexual Behavior And Sex-Associated Environmental Cues Activate The Mesolimbic System In Male Rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 29(4), 718–730. Doi:10.1038/Sj.Npp.1300350

[4] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Banca, P., Et Al. (2016). Novelty, Conditioning, And Attentional Bias To Sexual Rewards. Journal Of Psychiatric Research, 72, 91-101. Doi:10.1016/J.Jpsychires.2015.10.017; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books (108); Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773

[5] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 3:20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., And Meisel, R. L. (2009). DeltaFosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior 8, 4: 442–449. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00491.X.; Hilton, D.L, & Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective, Surgical Neurology International 2, 19. Doi:10.4103/2152-7806.76977; Miner, M. H., Raymond, N., Mueller, B. A., Lloyd, M., Lim, K. O. (2009). Preliminary Investigation Of The Impulsive And Neuroanatomical Characteristics Of Compulsive Sexual Behavior. Psychiatry Research 174: 146–51. Doi:10.1016/J.Pscychresns.2009.04.008; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books (107).

[6] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books (63).

[7] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books (109); Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold & Co. (75).

[8] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes Through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity And The Flow Experiences Of Web Users. M/C Journal, 17(1). Retrieved From Http://Journal.Media-Culture.Org.Au/Index.Php/Mcjournal/Article/View/773; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books (95).

[9] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Negash, S., Van Ness Sheppard, N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading Later Rewards For Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption And Delay Discounting. The Journal Of Sex Research, 53(6), 698-700. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1025123; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner And D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Angres, D. H., & Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month, 54, 696–721. Doi:10.1016/J.Disamonth.2008.07.002; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. (105) New York: Penguin Books; Paul, P. (2007). Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. (75) New York: Henry Hold And Co.

[10] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, (109); Cline, V. B. (2001). Pornography’s Effect On Adults And Children. New York: Morality In Media; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27, 2: 41–44. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pubmed/10904205

[11] NoFap Survey (2012) Http://Www.Reddit.Com/R/NoFap/Comments/Updy4/Rnofap_survey_data_complete_datasets/

[12] Wery, A. & Billieux, J. (2016). Online Sexual Activities: An Exploratory Study Of Problematic And Non-Problematic Usage Patterns In A Sample Of Men. Computers In Human Behavior 56, 257-266. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2015.11.046; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography To Porno To Porn: How Porn Became The Norm. In J. Stoner And D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute.

[13] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Hall, P. (2013). Sex Addiction—An Extraordinarily Contentious Problem. Sexual And Relationship Therapy, 29(1) 68-75. Doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.861898; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., & Ezzell, M. (2014) Pornography And The Male Sexua Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior. 45, 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2. Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (130).

[14] Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27, 2: 41–44. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pubmed/10904205

[15] Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27, 2: 41–44. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pubmed/10904205

[16] Layden, M. A. (2004). Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation, Subcommittee On Science And Space, U.S. Senate, Hearing On The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction, November 18; Cline, V. B. (2001). Pornography’s Effect On Adults And Children. New York: Morality In Media; Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (1984). Effects Of Massive Exposure To Pornography. In N. M. Malamuth And E. Donnerstein (Eds.) Pornography And Sexual Aggression. New York: Academic Press.

[17] Weinberg, M. S., Williams, C. J., Kleiner, S., & Irizarry, Y. (2010). Pornography, Normalization And Empowerment. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 39 (6) 1389-1401. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9592-5; Doring, N. M. (2009). The Internet’s Impact On Sexuality: A Critical Review Of 15 Years Of Research. Computers In Human Behavior, 25(5), 1089-1101. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2009.04.003

[18] Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M., & Yuen, C. (2010). Pornography And Attitudes Supporting Violence Against Women: Revisiting The Relationship In Nonexperimental Studies. Aggression And Behavior 36, 1: 14–20. Doi: 10.1002/Ab.20328; Berkel, L. A., Vandiver, B. J., And Bahner, A. D. (2004). Gender Role Attitudes, Religion, And Spirituality As Predictors Of Domestic Violence Attitudes In White College Students. Journal Of College Student Development 45(2):119–131.

[19] DeKeseredy, W. (2015). Critical Criminological Understandings Of Adult Pornography And Woman Abuse: New Progressive Directions In Research And Theory. International Journal For Crime, Justice And Social Democracy, 4(4), 4-21. Doi:10.5204/Ijcjsd.V4i4.184; Simmons, C. A., Lehmann, P., & Collier-Tenison, S. (2008). Linking Male Use Of The Sex Industry To Controlling Behaviors In Violent Relationships: An Exploratory Analysis. Violence Against Women, 14(4), 406-417. Doi:10.1177/1077801208315066; Shope, J. H. (2004), When Words Are Not Enough: The Search For The Effect Of Pornography On Abused Women. Violence Against Women, 10(1), 56-72. Doi: 10.1177/1077801203256003

[20] Wright, P., Tokunaga, R. S., & Kraus, A. (2015). A Meta-Analysis Of Pornography Consumption And Actual Acts Of Sexual Aggression In General Population Studies. Journal Of Communication, 66(1), 183-205. Doi:10.1111/Jcom.12201

[21] Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P. M., (2016) Adolescents And Pornography: A Review Of 20 Years Of Research. Journal Of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441 (“Existing Research Has Produced Consistent Evidence That Adolescents’ Pornography Use Is Related To Their Sexual Attitudes.”); Bridges, A. J. (2010). Pornography’s Effect On Interpersonal Relationships. In J. Stoner And D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 89-110). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.

Originhttp://fightthenewdrug.org/how-porn-affects-your-sexual-tastes/

Biology & Chemistry

Why Watching Porn Is An Escalating Behavior?

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Have you ever wondered how pornographers who charge for their material stay in business when there’s so much porn available for free? As Wendy Seltzer—an attorney and fellow at Yale Law School—explained, the answer is actually pretty simple: once porn users get hooked, they’ll want more and more. “Seeing [free porn] just whets their appetite for more,” Seltzer said. “Once they get through what’s available for free, they’ll move into the paid services.” [1]

How can pornographers be so sure? The answer is right there inside the brain.

Like any potentially addictive substance, porn triggers the release of dopamine into a part of the brain called the reward center (a.k.a. reward pathway or system). [2] Basically, the reward center’s job is to make you feel good whenever you do something healthy, like eating a great meal, having sex, or getting a good workout. [3] The “high” you get makes you want to repeat the behavior again and again. [4]. Your brain is hardwired to motivate you to do things that will improve your health and chance of survival. [5] Simple.

Well…not quite so simple. Researchers have recently discovered that the reward center is actually two different brain systems, a “Liking” system and a “Wanting” system, that work in different—sometimes opposite—ways. [6] Understanding how they work helps explain why porn can be habit-forming and why watching porn is often an escalating behavior.

Liking

The “Liking” system is a tiny portion of the reward center. [7] It provides the enjoyable feelings you get when you win a game, share a kiss, or experience any natural, healthy reward. [8] Unfortunately, it also lights up for counterfeit rewards like cigarettes, drugs, or porn, which is why addictive substances feel enjoyable at first. [9]

When something activates your reward center and you feel that intense high from the “Liking” system, your brain starts producing a chemical called CREB. [10] CREB acts kind of like a set of brakes on the reward system. [11] Normally it makes the pleasure fade and leaves you feeling satiated and ready to get on with your life. (See How Porn Can Become Addictive.)

But if the “Liking” system gets stimulated too much over time (as often happens with drugs or porn), CREB levels build up until your whole pleasure response goes numb. [12] Some researchers believe that an excess of CREB is the reason addicts experience tolerance, which means that they feel less enjoyment from the stimulant and need to use more of it to reach a high. [13] In fact, too much CREB floating around in your brain can dull the enjoyment of anything, which may be why addicts often feel bored, detached, and depressed. [14]

Wanting

The “Wanting” system is a much larger area in the reward center, and it causes the brain to rewire itself in response to intense pleasure. [15] With the help of a protein called DeltaFosB, the “Wanting” system builds new brain connections so you can remember the experience and repeat it later. [16]

It’s called the “Wanting” system because those new nerve connections make you crave the pleasurable experience. [17] The more often the experience is repeated, the stronger those nerve connections become, and the stronger the cravings grow. [18] DeltaFosB is sometimes called “the molecular switch for addiction” because it reinforces cravings and, if it builds up enough in the brain, it can switch on genes that leave the user more vulnerable to addiction. [19]

DeltaFosB doesn’t just make you remember the pleasurable experience itself; it also forms connections to details associated with the experience. These associations (called “cues”) are found with all kind of addictions. [20] For a smoker, a cue may be the smell of cigarette smoke. An alcoholic may develop pathways triggered by the sight of a bottle or the voice of a drinking buddy. Cues can be anything the brain associates with the experience. For a porn user, it may be the memory of a porn scene or a place or time of day he can be alone with a computer. For an addict, the whole world starts to seem like a collection of cues and triggers leading them back to their addiction. [21] Gradually, the porn pathways become sensitized, meaning they are easily triggered by the cues that are all around. [22]

Wait! Didn’t we say that CREB dulls the nerves, making them less sensitive? Now we’re saying that DeltaFosB makes them more sensitive. Well which is it?

Actually, both. Remember, we’re talking about two differents brain systems. With repeated exposure to porn, the “Wanting” system grows more sensitive to the cues that cause cravings. At the same time the “Liking” system grows less sensitive to pleasure. That’s the awful irony of any addiction: the user wants it more and more, even while he likes it less and less. [23]

Porn is an escalating behavior because as some users develop tolerance, the porn that used to excite them starts to seem boring. [24] Predictably, they often try to compensate by spending more time with porn and/or seeking out more hardcore material in an effort to regain the excitement they used to feel. [25] Many users find themes of aggression, violence, and increasingly “edgy” acts creeping into their porn habits and fantasies. [26] But no matter how shocking their tastes become, you can bet there will be pornographers waiting to sell it to them.

Citations

[1] Schwartz, J. P. (2004). The Pornography Industry Vs. Digital Pirates. New York Times, February 8.

[2] National Institute On Drug Abuse: The Reward Pathway. (2016). Retrieved From Http://Www.Drugabuse.Gov/Publications/Teaching-Packets/Understanding-Drug-Abuse-Addiction/Section-I/4-Reward-Pathway; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 712-725. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Pitchers, K. K., Et Al. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33 (8), 3434-3442. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013

[3] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Zatorre, R. J., & Salimpoor, V. N., (2013) From Perception To Pleasure: Music And Its Neural Substrates. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of The Sciences Of The United States Of America, 110, 2. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.1301228110; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., & Meisel, R. L. (2009). Delta FosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior, 8(4), 442–449. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00491.X

[4] Bostwick, J. M., & Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 83(2), 226–230. Doi:10.4065/83.2.226; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (106-108).

[5] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi:10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. (75) New York: Henry Hold And Co.; Hyman, S. E. (2005). Addiction: A Disease Of Learning And Memory. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 162(8), 1414-1422.

[6] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[7] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388

[8] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Zatorre, R. J., & Salimpoor, V. N., (2013) From Perception To Pleasure: Music And Its Neural Substrates. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of The Sciences Of The United States Of America, 110, 2. Doi:10.1073/Pnas.1301228110; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., & Meisel, R. L. (2009). Delta FosB Overexpression In The Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward In Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain And Behavior, 8(4), 442–449. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00491.X. Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books. (106-108).

[9] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Berridge, K.C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2015). Pleasure Systems In The Brain. Neuron, 86, 646-664. Doi.Org/10.1016/J.Neuron.2015.02.018; Volkow, N. D., & Morales, M. (2015). The Brain On Drugs: From Reward To Addiction. Cell, 162 (8), 713. Doi:10.1016/J.Cell.2015.07.046; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Georgiadis, J. R., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2012). The Human Sexual Response Cycle: Brain Imaging Evidence Linking Sex To Other Pleasures. Progressive Neurobiology, 98, 49-81. Doi:10.1016/J.Pneurobio.2012.05.004; Stacy, A. W., & Wiers, R. W. (2010). Implicit Cognition And Addiction: A Tool For Explaining Paradoxical Behavior, Annual Review Of Clinical Psychology, 6, 551-575. Doi:10.1146/Annurev.Clinpsy.121208.131444

[10] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Nestler, E. J., (2005) Is There A Common Molecular Pathway For Addiction?, Nature Neuroscience, 8(11) 1445-1449. Doi:10.1038/Nn1578

[11] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Nestler, E. J., (2005) Is There A Common Molecular Pathway For Addiction?, Nature Neuroscience, 8(11) 1445-1449. Doi:10.1038/Nn1578; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co., (75).

[12] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Pitchers, K. K., Vialou, V., Nestler, E. J., Laviolette, S. R., Lehman, M. N., And Coolen, L. M. (2013). Natural And Drug Rewards Act On Common Neural Plasticity Mechanisms With DeltaFosB As A Key Mediator. Journal Of Neuroscience 33, 8: 3434-3442; Angres, D. H. And Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month 54: 696–721;

[13] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Wang, Y., Ghezzi, A., Yin, J. C. P., & Atkinson, N. S. (2009). CREB Regulation Of BK Channel Gene Expression Underlies Rapid Drug Tolerance. Gene Brains Behavior, 8(4) 369-376. Doi:10.1111/J.1601-183X.2009.00479.X

[14] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480

[15] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059;

[16] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[17] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[18] Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[19] Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience Of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review And Update, Behavioral Sciences, 5(3), 388-433. Doi: 10.3390/Bs5030388; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered In The Context Of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767. Doi:10.3402/Snp.V3i0.20767; Nestler, E. J. (2008). Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363: 3245–56. Retrieved From Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pmc/Articles/PMC2607320/; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, (107).

[20] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Saunders, B., Yager, L. M., & Robinson, T. E., (2013) Cue-Evoked Cocaine “Craving”: Role Of Dopamine In The Accumbens Core. Journal Of Neuroscience, 33(35), 13989-14000. Doi:10.1523/JNEUROSI.0450-13.2013

[21] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; See Also Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, (104). (Describing How, For Porn Addicts, Their Fantasies Overshadow Their Actual Sexual Lives, Leaving Them “Increasingly Dominated By The Scenarios That They Had, So To Speak, Downloaded Into Their Brains.”)

[22] Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Nestler, E. J., (2008) Transcriptional Mechanisms Of Addiction: Role Of DeltaFosB, Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1507) 3245-3255. Doi:10.1098/Rstb.2008.0067

[23] Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480; Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, Wanting, And The Incentive-Sensitization Theory Of Addiction. American Psychologist, 71(8), 670-679. Doi:10.1037/Amp0000059; Gola, M., Wordecha, M., Marchewka, A., & Sescousse, G. (2016). Visual Sexual Stimuli—Cue Or Reward? A Perspective For Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings On Human Sexual Behaviors. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, 10: 402. Doi:10.3389/Fnhum.2016.00402; Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Bostwick, J. M., & Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 83(2), 226–230. Doi:10.4065/83.2.226

[24] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593

[25] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593

[26] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Kalman, T.P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4) 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593

Originhttp://fightthenewdrug.org/why-watching-porn-is-an-escalating-behavior/

Biology & Chemistry

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Dina: “I had no idea you could milk a cat.”

Greg: “Oh yeah, you can milk anything with nipples.”

Jack: “I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?”

Meet the Parents (2000)

The short answer is no, you can’t milk Robert DeNiro. Barring specific medical conditions—like a tumor on the pituitary gland—men generally lack the necessary levels of prolactin to stimulate lactation and cannot produce milk. So if they aren’t able to be useful and help feed their offspring, why the heck do men even have nipples? The answer comes down to timing of sex determination during embryonic development.

Humans are mammals, which means they are warm-blooded, hairy vertebrates that breathe air and produce milk for babies. Up until genes on the Y-chromosome kick in after week 4 in development, however, male and female embryos develop identically. The primary formation of mammary glands and tissues are highly conserved across mammalian species and begin to form early in development, before the gender-specific processes take place.

The embryo’s gonad appears around week 4 of development and is considered bipotential or indifferent, meaning that gender is not playing a role in development at that point. This will continue for a few more weeks. During week 8, germ cells start to undergo sex determination. Males will then secrete factors that block the development of female ducts and structures. Once the male embryo produces testosterone, the hormone can influence other sex-specific traits around the body.

Men having nipples doesn’t really have any evolutionary advantage, but it usually doesn’t hurt anything either. As a result, the trait was never selected against. Developing those structures must also not be very energetically costly in the grand scheme of things. Most of the work with developing breast tissue and mammary gland function in females happens during puberty, while prolactin levels aren’t ramped up until pregnancy.

Despite having a limited amount of underdeveloped breast tissue, men are still capable of getting breast cancer. It is extremely rare for a man to develop breast cancer, and men account for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases, but it can happen. Risk factors include estrogen levels, obesity, alcohol consumption, and liver disease.

Originhttp://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/why-do-men-have-nipples/

Biology & Chemistry · Psychology

The Science Of Dirty Talk And Why It Increases Sexual Pleasure

Harder. Keep going, don’t stop.

Yeah, you like that, baby?

As forced as it sounds when you read it, many of us love hearing dirty talk in the bedroom. We lose ourselves in the heat of passion and take on a persona that turns us on in the most naughty, unconventional ways. But there’s more to it than that. What is it about erotic communication that increases our sexual arousal? When we look past the kinkiness, we may find there’s more to dirty talk than our desire to bring out our wild side.

1. Sex On The Brain

It begins in the mind.

The brain is considered a more powerful sexual organ than even male and female genitalia because it’s where sex drive stems from. The right amount of dirty talk will excite the mind. However, there is a difference in how each gender’s limbic system works in the brain.

Two areas in the hypothalamus, the preoptic area and the superchiasmatic nucleus, have distinct functions in female and male brains, according to a study published in the journal Hormone Research. The preoptic area, involved in mating behavior, is over two times larger in men than women and contains two times more cells. Meanwhile, the superchiasmatic nucleus, involved with circadian rhythms and reproduction cycles differs in shape: Males have a nucleus that is shaped like a sphere, while women have more of an elongated one.

A larger hypothalamus for men means more circulating testosterone to stimulate the desire for sex. A lower testosterone level and a smaller hypothalamus in women, on the other hand, means their sex drive is not as strong as a man’s. These biological differences are just the many ways men and women’s brain function differs when it comes to sex.

Daryl Cioffi, specializing in couples, relationships, sex, neuropsychology, and owner of Polaris Counseling & Consulting in Patucket, R.I., says dirty talk is a whole mind and body experience.

“People very much enjoy dirty talking because it activates all regions of your brain while your body is also getting stimulated,” Cioffi told Medical Daily. “Similar areas of the brain are touched upon during dirty talk as when we curse. So, very often as your brain sees it, the dirtier the better.”

For example, many powerful women in their everyday lives and jobs enjoy being more submissive in the bed, says Cioffi, because it stimulates the amygdala. This brain region is our fear center that is heavily involved in excitement and pleasure during sex. The whispers, moans, and screams accompanied by dirty talk are all processed by the brain’s hearing center, including the temporal lobe, the frontal lobe, and the occipital lobe.

After all, the mind is an erogenous zone. The brain and how it organizes the rest of our erogenous zones is further proof of the crucial role of the brain in determining both sex drive and sexual pleasure.

Asking what our partners need from us and what we need from them opens up the lines of communication to show we’re open to changing things up in the bedroom. Verbalizing the sexual roles we want and hearing what our partners want to do to us is essential in sexual arousal.

According to Dr. Ava Cadell, professional speaker, writer, and sex therapist in Los Angeles, Calif., couples engage in dirty talk to “heighten their arousal and share fantasies that they may not want to turn into reality, but talking about them can be even better.”

2. Communicating Sexual Fantasies In The Bedroom

Committing sexual acts and talking dirty involve two completely different mindsets. Dirty talk is something we do by ourselves, as opposed to physical sex acts. This erotic dialogue, therefore, serves to unleash the interest in new sexual acts that might not usually be of interest.

“Individuals can become comfortable and familiar with using phrases and language and descriptions that express their needs and wants,” Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and expert panelist on WE TV’s Sex Box told Medical Daily. “Practice expressing your needs and wants and encourage your partner to do the same and be ready to deliver the goods.”

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found the more comfortable we are talking about sex, the more satisfactory our sex lives will become. According to the researchers, even the slightest anxiety about communication affected whether partners were communicating or not. It also directly affected their satisfaction. Those who did communicate during sex were more likely to experience sexual satisfaction. In other words, engaging in a dialogue that feels good with our partner can heighten the sexual experience.

April Masini, relationship expert and author, told Medical Daily: “Talking dirty can enhance sex because it’s another layer of sexual behavior beyond physical sexual acts.”

Dirty talk can also arouse partners to the point of orgasm. Some women and men can actually get so turned on by dirty talk that they will get wet or hard and orgasm, even without genital stimulation. Masini says, the power of dirty talk can allow someone to get “out of their own head” and into the mood.

3. Dirty Talk And The ‘Good Girl’ Complex

The “good girl” complex, similar to the Madonna-Whore complex, is just one facet of what men want. Sex always seems to be the line that the “good girl” crosses where they just have to screw someone in order to be considered a “bad girl.” Pop culture has perpetuated this complex from songs like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” where he “knows” she wants it because she’s an animal and it’s in her nature, to Usher’s “Yeah!” where Ludacris acknowledges “we” (the men) want a lady in the street and freak in the bed.

Dirty talk is a liberating experience for women to break down this mindset and become comfortable in their sexuality and desires. It’s where people invite their fantasies and where that straight-laced version of a person will enjoy being tied up, being called certain kinds of names, and using dirty words for genital parts when otherwise they wouldn’t think of such behavior, says Walfish.

It lowers inhibitions and reveals bedroom personalities by allowing partners to go a layer deeper within our everyday selves.

For example, some women may get turned on by words like “slut” or “whore,” even though they find it offensive outside the bedroom. Women are able to take control of the word and use it on their own terms. This linguistic exchange can reveal the darker fantasies of the mind and be played out in the privacy of the bedroom.

A woman who calls up her partner at work to say to him “when you come home sweetheart, I’m going to let you tie me to the bedpost, handcuff me, and arrest me,” says Walfish, is vocalizing her fantasy outside the bedroom.

“One possibility is maybe she has a dependent personality and maybe she likes the idea of submitting to a dominant, powerful force,” she said. “Or maybe she fantasizes about being the dominant one and is afraid to put that on to her guy to do it first, so she tests the waters.”

Basically, when we assume a persona via dirty talk or  role playing, we have an easier time being sexual.

4. Dirty Talk And Intimacy

Dirty talk gives people permission to surrender to their deepest, darkest, wildest fantasies. Sex is supposed to be dirty, erotic, and most of all fun.

Sexuality creates intimacy for a couple and becomes the glue of the relationship. Good sex is a barometer of a good relationship.

“Sex isn’t just a physical release or an expression of love and affection. It’s a way to work things out and process traumas, big and small,” Masini said.

Dirty talk isn’t for perverts, it’s about enhancing your sexual experience and vocalizing your sexual wants. More men want women to do it, according to Cadell, and that’s why women do it, to please their men. “Women are more auditory and men are more visual,” she said.

For dirty talk to be successful, it has to be tit for tat. Both people should do it so there’s no sort of animosity or resentment or power struggle.

It’s all about fill in the blank. “I love it when you blank me,” or “Your blank is so hot.”

After all, says Masini, “talking dirty is nothing more than sexual prelude. It’s all about the sex.”

Origin : http://www.medicaldaily.com/science-dirty-talk-and-why-it-increases-sexual-pleasure-349854

Biology & Chemistry

The Sex Talk You Never Had With Your Parents

529386269-STORY

IT’S TIME FOR a talk. The talk. Yep, S-E-X. Sure, your parents probably busted out the anatomy books when you were a kid. That goes there, those do that, etc. (Yuck!) And you may have taken some sex ed classes in school, or had frank discussions with your doctor. But here’s a dirty secret: When it comes to human sexual anatomy—the wellspring of civilization—there’s a shocking amount people don’t know. Not just civilians. Scientists! Part of it’s practical: Sex is really hard to study. Even today, with sensors and MRIs showing us what goes on when we’re getting it on, sterile labs aren’t exactly the coziest places in the world to examine our bodies. But much of the problem is also cultural: Until the Kinsey Institute, broaching the subject of sex at all was almost universally taboo. In other words, we humans don’t know our bodies as well as we think. (Remember Sophia’s very educational vagina lesson onOrange is the New Black?) So we decided to own up to our ignorance—and take it one step further: We’re a dude delving into the depths of the vagina and a lady sizing up the science of the penis. There’s more to anatomy than gyno charts and tutorials—we discovered a bunch of myth-busting, pleasure-validating developments in the field. And we want to talk about them.

Jason Kehe: So yes, we’re proceeding from the assumption that we don’t know much about human sexual anatomy—but let’s perhaps qualify that by considering this: Is it actually the case that we basically grasp the penis, but the real mystery is the (uh, largely ungraspable) vagina?

Katie Palmer: Sure, there are still people arguing—scientists arguing, in the medical literature—over the most basic parts of the female anatomy. There’s one father-daughter research team out of Italy that recently published that the female vaginal orgasm is a myth, because the G-spot doesn’t exist. Which has problems on so many levels.

JK: The chief being, of course, that the female vaginal orgasm is not a myth. Even if the G-spot isn’t technically a “spot”—in the way that, say, the clitoris sort of is—plenty of research has shown that stimulation of that (clitourethrovaginal)complex results in a deeply felt, full-body orgasm. Science suggests it’s harder to achieve than, say, a clitoral orgasm, which is enjoyed more locally and externally.

KP: It’s so nice having you tell me what I enjoy.

JK: Well, I’m constrained by thousands of years of patriarchal tradition. Anyway, male orgasms aren’t as controversial because they’re as simple as—well, is there white stuff or not? There’s rarely a question of whether climax was actually reached.

KP: Gross. Obviously I won’t let you get away with that—there’s a lot more to male orgasm. First of all, “the white stuff”—that’s ejaculation, but ejaculation and orgasm are two totally different things. The orgasm goes on in your brain; it’s associated with an enormous surge in dopamine, and then oxytocin, and of course a number of other complicated neurotransmitter pathways that scientists don’t completely understand yet. Ejaculation, on the other hand, is controlled at the level of the spinal cord. It’s like a reflex. Even if your brain can’t communicate with your penis—like in men with spinal cord injuries—you can still ejaculate. Once you’re aroused enough, your body reaches the point of no return and has no choice but to shoot out semen.

JK: OK, so ejaculation and orgasm in men are distinct (though I’m going to assume they go hand in hand [or wherever] most of the time). It’s actually not so different in women. In addition to vaginal orgasms being real, female ejaculation is real (and distinct) as well, according to most mainstream sex researchers. I spoke with Beverly Whipple, who helped popularize the G-spot back in the early ’80s. (Funny story: A colleague originally suggested she call it the “Whipple-Tickle”; Beverly, bless her, said no way. She preferred “Gräfenberg spot,” or G-spot, after its original discoverer.) In Whipple’s words, female ejaculation resembles “watered-down” or “fat-free milk,” and only about a teaspoon is released at a time (“released” being preferable to the other popular verbs in the literature, like “expelled” or, forgive me, “expressed”). Whipple adds that, despite mankind’s historical suspicion of womankind’s orgasmic expulsions, Western civilization has actually been documenting female ejaculation at least since Aristotle—though back then, you’d probably describe it as the nectar of the gods.

By the way, female ejaculation is not—repeat, not—the same thing as the phenomenon known as “squirting” or “gushing,” whereby the woman…well, I think the words speak for themselves.

KP: Wait, so that has a different composition than a woman’s normal lubrication?

JK: Sure does! Though again, this is a controversial subject. Some researchers dismiss any female emission as “vaginal hyper-lubrification”—so, just a lot more of exactly what you mention. But that’s probably pretty inaccurate. On one end of the what-fluids-come-out-of-the-vagina spectrum, you have your basic urine; on the other, you have the aforementioned nectar of the gods. “Squirting,” however, seems to fall somewhere in between—though, according to the latest research, it’s likely much closer to the urine side. There’s not a ton of work being done in this area, but thanks to the French (natch), we’re now a bit more certain that squirting is almost entirely urine. In a recent study, French doctors showed that a squirting woman’s bladder fills up during sex and then gushes out (of the urethra) during orgasm. Of course, they only studied seven women, and all of them reported “massive emissions” to begin with, so it’s possible that they’re all just incontinent during sex.

Also, I should add: There’s this idea, I’m guessing due to porn, that “squirting” is the ultimate expression of a woman’s pleasure, but there’s really no evidence to back that up. For now, most sex researchers agree that squirting and ejaculation are distinct events. Squirting is mostly pee, with trace amounts of prostatic secretions (yes, women have a prostate, also known as Skene’s glands); ejaculation is, biochemically, much more complex. For instance, it’s been shown to contain sweet-tasting sugar molecules!

KP: Semen has fructose too! Along with a bunch of other things, from five different glands, all mixed together. There’s zinc, and citric acid, and, obviously, sperm. I was surprised to learn that the majority of the volume comes from the seminal vesicles, not the vas deferens. Funnest fact: Semen is also basic, to cancel out the acidity of the vagina and keep the woman’s inhospitable hellhole from killing all the sperm it’s trying to make babies with.

JK: Does eating pineapples really make it taste better?

KP: Whaaa…?

JK: Never mind.

KP: OK, we’ll lay aside that particular myth and examine another one. Like, for example, what would you say is the average penis length?

JK: My somewhat educated guess is 6.5 inches.

KP: Flaccid, erect, or stretched?

JK: Assuming “stretched” is some perverse reference to medieval torture chambers, I’ll say erect.

KP: So, unsurprisingly, you overestimated. In case you haven’t checked on the international averages lately: Average erect length is about 5 inches, and flaccid length is around 3.5 inches. And unfortunately, stretched length is a thing that scientists measure—that’s about 4.8 inches on average. (One study had abnormally high “stretched” numbers because the methodology included 3 tugs before measuring.) US averages might be slightly higher than international averages—a recent study put erect length at 5.6 inches. ’Murica! Whether or not they’re actually below average, men are obviously closely attuned to their differences—to the point where some men are seeking out penile prosthetics.

JK: I blame Mark Wahlberg. Anyway. What’s interesting is, women have concerns about their anatomy as well: Vaginas, just like penises, come in many shapes and sizes (see: the Labia Library—probably NSFW), and women can surgically redecorate. Speaking of fixing what’s broken, we must touch on erectile dysfunction.

KP: OK, but before we do, can we clarify how erection happens, period?

JK: Isn’t it just blood pumping it up?

KP: Way more complicated. My favorite study title so far is “Erectile hydraulics: Maximizing inflow while minimizing outflow.” But there’s a lot of interesting biology before the blood can flow in, and then stay in. The most important part of the penis for an erection is the corpus cavernosa—two spongy cylinders, surrounded by muscles.

JK: Hey, women have those, too! Leading back from the clitoris. Same evolutionary idea.

KP: Sure, so when men get aroused, a cascade of neural signals goes from the brain to special nerves in the penis, which release a neurotransmitter—nitric oxide, or NO. That chemical starts a molecular messaging pathway that causes the muscles in and around those cylinders to relax, letting blood rush in. Pressure from muscles and the hard penis itself presses on a network of veins, keeping the erection going by preventing blood from flowing out.

JK: Understood. What could possibly go wrong?

KP: So, so many things. Erectile dysfunction can be because of problems in the brain, or in your overall body (like how well your body oxygenates its blood, which is why obesity can be a major risk factor for ED), or in the penis itself (like if the free nerve endings in the head aren’t sensitive enough to transmit signals to the brain and initiate arousal). Any of those can make erections difficult to initiate or sustain. But ED obviously also has a lot to do with a man’s perception of his performance relative to what he’s heard from his friends, or what his partner has experienced.

JK: I’m so glad you mentioned culture (again). It might not be the case after all that vaginas are more mysterious than penises—but it occurs to me that they might be more divisive. Do people have strong opinions on penises? Sure, they’re weird-looking, and they carry a lot of baggage—including, most symbolically, centuries of male aggression/domination. But people, at least people I know, don’t really get worked up about them. Vaginas, by contrast, seem to inspire a whole range of opinions, from passionate devotion to eternal dread.

KP: A greater degree of comfort with the penis doessort of make sense in the context of biology. Men are showers (most, anyway)—the putative indicator of sexual prowess is on display all of the time. Some evolutionary biologists think that before clothes, penis size developed as much as a lure to the opposite sex as a functional entity (to be fair, does anyone trust evolutionary biologists anymore?). So much depends on how people perceive that organ. Women, obviously, don’t have their fertility on display 24/7. So therewould be more mystery and misunderstanding associated with the vagina.

JK: Which makes one wonder: Is it more difficult for women to orgasm actually, or culturally? Again, science seems to suggest it really is harder, but lifetimes of “mystery and misunderstanding” could be partially to blame. Anyway, I fear we’re straying too far from the science—and that, ultimately, is what we need more of. The future of man—and woman—depends on it.