Katie Couric Talks Porn

istock_000017465619smallA friend texted me the the other day to let me know that Katie Couric was doing a show about pornography and the effects it has on our brains.

i was really glad to see the topic get the attention it deserves. And Couric asked very good questions.

The issue of whether or not porn can be addictive was brought up. For the most part, the conversation was insightful and intelligent, even if i didn’t agree with every point.  Dr. David Ley, for example, believes that sex/porn addiction is a myth.

A clip of that segment is here.

While i differ on that, i agree with him when he says that the term “addiction” gets used as a sort of excuse for bad behavior.  True.  And that’s why it’s really important to understand that use of “addiction” should never be for that purpose.

“Addiction” should be used to describe the behavior of porn use once it becomes compulsive and the person viewing the porn is actually being controlled by the desire for more and more porn.  When it starts wrecking jobs and families, we can refer to it as an “addiction,” but still not as a means of denying responsibility for our actions.

The truly stunning moment on the show, however, came when Dr. Ley refused to say that it was a bad idea for kids as young as 8 years old to view pornography. The clip is here.

One of his arguments was that there is no scientific study that shows a demonstrable change in the brain from viewing porn that is any different from watching other forms of entertainment. Porn is just entertainment, he said.

When Couric circled back around to Dr. Ley to talk about ways to prevent kids from looking at porn, he reiterated his point about how the lack of scientific studies. Couric cut him off there, thankfully, at which point she appealed to common sense.

But whether we appeal to common sense, or science, the damage done to our brains — and therefore, our lives — by pornography is real.

As for the brain chemistry, consider The Brain That Changes Itself, by Dr. Norman Doidge. You can see an interview with Dr. Doidge where he talks about the plasticity of the brain.  In his book, Doidge spends significant time talking about what viewing pornography does chemically in our brains.

The main point here is that whether or not you’re comfortable using “addiction” to talking about a person’s porn use, the larger reality is that viewing porn changes us by changing our brains.  And those changes are not for the better.

Source: Intentional Warriors

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