Two hundred years ago in the U.K., if you said you were going to a “gentleman’s club,” it was understood you were going to a private upper-class establishment where you could relax, read, play parlor games, get a meal, and gossip with others of your class. Today, in the U.S., if you said you were going to a “gentleman’s club,” it is assumed you will be paying to see a striptease in a low-lit bar.
Is this really what should typify a “gentleman”?
Pornography is often classified, along with other sexually oriented businesses, as “adult” entertainment—something for “mature” audiences. If this meant that these kinds of entertainment are “not suitable for children” then few would protest.
The very thing in the brain that is the mark of adulthood and maturity is the thing that is eroded as we view more porn. It is as if the brain is reverting, becoming more childlike. “Adult” entertainment is actually making us more juvenile.
That said, it would be foolish to use this as an argument that pornography is suitable for adults. Heroin and methamphetamines are also “not suitable for children,” but this does not mean, ipso facto, that they are healthy for those over the age of 18.
Porn advocates are fond of saying (“fond” is an understatement—they repeat it like a mantra) that pornography is sophisticated, mature entertainment suitable for responsible adults. Porn, they will have you believe, is what true gentlemen appreciate—like blue cheese, good scotch, and Dostoyevsky. As the infamous Ron Jeremy is quick to say: “Pornography is consensual sex between consenting adults, to be watched by consenting adults.”
Which leads us to ask: What exactly constitutes “adult” or “mature” behavior? Is it merely a commentary on the age of the participant? Or is it about something more? Stipulating proper definitions is complicated because today these terms are so often used as synonyms for erotic media—which is the very topic we’re trying to dissect….
Ask any neuroscientist what a “mature” human brain looks like, and he or she will likely talk to you about a region of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. It is located directly behind the forehead and serves as the managerial center of the brain. It is responsible for our willpower, regulating our behavior, and making decisions based on wisdom and principles. When emotions, impulses, and urges surge from the midbrain, the lobes in the prefrontal cortex are there to exercise “executive control” over them. By the age of 25, this region of the brain reaches maturity, meaning that our thinking becomes more sophisticated and we can regulate our emotions more easily.
Why bring neuroscience into the equation? Because fascinating research is being done looking at the impact of viewing porn on this region of the brain.
The brain is designed in such a way to respond to sexual stimulation. Surges of dopamine are released during a sexual encounter—and yes, also pornographic encounters—giving the person a sharp sense of focus and an awareness of sexual craving. Dopamine helps to lay down memories in the brain, so the next time a man or woman is in the mood,the brain remembers where to return to experience the same pleasure: whether that be a loving spouse or the laptop in the den.
However, scientists are now seeing that continued exposure to porn gives the brain an unnatural high—something it literally isn’t wired to handle—and the brain eventually fatigues. Anatomy and physiology instructor Gary Wilson notes this is the same pattern noticed when drugs are abused: the brain becomes desensitized. More of the drug or harder drugs are needed to get the same high, and the downward spiral begins. Wilson says this brings about significant changes in the brain—both for drug abusers and porn users.
One of those changes is the erosion of the prefrontal cortex—that all-important center of executive control. When this region of the brain is weakened, when the craving for porn hits, there is very little willpower present to regulate the desire. Neuroscientists call this problem hypofrontality, where the person slowly loses impulse control….
By Matt Fradd – Life Site News –