Porn Addiction And Intelligence: Is There A Link Between The Two?

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Are porn addiction and intelligence related to each other in any way?

In the past there were many reports that watching porn will shrink your brain, but is it true?  

As a matter of fact, it is. Many scientists link porn to less grey matter in the brain.

Psychological Problems you can Face due to Porn Addiction

Many addicts have claimed that porn addiction caused them: 

  • Cognitive problems such as forgetting responsibilities  
  • Problems with working memory 
  • Increased impulsivity  
  • Decreased cognitive flexibility 
  • Decreased ability to multi-task 
  • Difficulties with sustaining attention 
  • Slower learning 
  • Difficulties making decisions 
  • Decreased emotional regulation 

Let us take a look at a few specific aspects of how porn can affect your cerebral functions

Porn Addiction Can:

Affect your memory 

A study published in the Journal of Sex Research in October last year evaluated the working memory of 28 healthy people. They were in pursuit of neutral, negative, positive, or erotic stimulation. 

Matthias Brand was the Head of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

He concluded that: “The results show that working memory is poor in the context of pornographic images.” 

Can affect your IQ 

In a study published in the “Journal of Sex Research”, it was found that compared with watching non-violent adult films, men with lower IQs are more likely to be sexually suggestive to women after watching movies about sexual assault.  

Higher IQ men did not differ in suggestiveness as a function of sexual film condition.  

In Study 2, compared with watching non-violent adult movies, men with lower IQs are physically closer to women after watching violent sex movies; men with higher IQs change less relatively. 

Can cause grey matter reduction in your brain 

Simone Kühn’s research on the relationship between brain structure and function relates to pornography consumption: The Brain in Pornography (2014). The findings are: more hours/years of pornography per week relates to a decline in grey matter in sections of the reward circuitry. This may mean that frequent use of pornography will put more pressure on your reward system. 

Can affect your brain’s reward system 

Under the same research, Simone Kühn continued-

The study assumed that subjects with high pornography consumption need more stimulation to get the same reward.  

When someone is encouraged or motivated, the area that plays a role in the brain shrinks. Hence, it becomes more resistant to people who watch a lot of pornography.  

Therefore, the more times they watch pornographic content, the more vivid the reproduction of the same pornographic content is needed to stimulate the brain.  

In other words, you have developed a kind of tolerance. They found that the more participants who reported using pornography, the smaller the size of the striatum, which is an area of the brain related to reward processing and motivational behavior. 

In conclusion, porn addiction, and intelligence correlate negatively. In the long term, they can severely affect the health of your brain.

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