The latest data is that 66% of men and 41% of women are looking monthly at porn sites. 50% of all internet viewing is pornographic. The Huffington Post reports that the average age that kids are being exposed to pornography is now 11 years old.
Focus on the Family reports that the average is 8 years old.
Scientists are finding that porn viewing is a drug addiction! Experts are finding that the release of adrenaline and dopamine into one’s system, through porn viewing, is creating a drug addicted culture that is leading to ADHD, OCD, ED, depression, adultery, sexual abuse and even suicide. Porn is the new gateway drug to complete destruction of one’s brain, body and relationships.
Viewing pornography results in a real change in brain chemistry; these changes in dopamine metabolism and in receptor numbers can be measured with MRI, PET and SPECT scans. Massive dumps of adrenaline and dopamine, over a long period of time, actually rewire and atrophy the brain. The most notable changes to the person are: desire for isolation, inability to focus, voyeurism and the inability to carry out intimate relationships.
Dopamine, which functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter and is important in the brain’s pleasure systems, is an integral component in pornography addiction. Neurosurgeon, Dr. Donald L. Hilton, writes in his book, Pornography and the Brain: Understanding the Addiction, “The problem with pornography is that adrenaline, dopamine and other powerful brain drugs are being used without a prescription.”
The drugs adrenaline and dopamine are released through the anticipation of and arousal from porn. Called “arousal addiction,” this is the same effect as such addictive drugs as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines.
Dopamine has been called the “novel chemical/drug.” Dopamine surges when a person is exposed to novel stimuli, particularly if it is sexual. Porn today is way more interesting than porn in the past, because of what experts say is “unending novelty.” Dopamine needs more and more novel stimuli to reach the same levels of release. The addiction to dopamine grows with each click of the mouse and swish of the photo.
But there’s good news: the most exciting aspect of this growing problem is how many people are getting set free from porn addiction. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new websites are popping up from former porn addicts giving information, hope and peer chat rooms for those who want to be set free.
Next time, I will look at the latest research we have on freedom from porn.
On the freedom road,
Steve Holt D.D. MA