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Cosmo cover helps feed porn addiction

Cosmo cover helps feed porn addiction

by Nicole M. King | August 13, 2015

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Pop star Demi Lovato is challenging those who think her cover shoot for Cosmopolitan is too racy for newsstands, reports Entertainment Tonight and a host of others.

According to the story, “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation launched a ‘Cosmo Harms Minors’ campaign asking for supermarkets to have a protective overlay on the women’s magazine so as not to show their risque covers. . . . This past week, Rite Aid and Food Lion obliged this request and started shielding the magazines.” Lovato fired back on Instagram, “What these individuals who are protesting don’t understand is that for the first time in a long time I feel incredibly EMPOWERED and the MOST BEAUTIFUL I’ve ever felt on this magazine. . . . It’s so liberating to be able to show the world how confident a woman can be once she learns to love herself.”

Entertainment Tonight, like most other sources, gave Ms. Lovato plenty of space for her “self-love” and only a paragraph or two to detailing the concerns of those worried about pesky matters like sexual exploitation. But given research on pornography’s effect on the brain, perhaps it is time for the media to take such charges more seriously.

(Source: Jackie Willis, “Demi Lovato Defends Her ‘Cosmo’ Cover Against Protests,” August 6, 2015.)

The New Research: Porn: Like Taking Drugs

It is time to start thinking about addiction to pornography—a destroyer of marriages—the same way we think about addiction to illegal drugs. So argue two neurosurgeons from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

In surveying “the medical implications of pornography” in light of “current evidence supporting an addictive model,” the two Texas scholars report that, like other addicts, those addicted to pornography suffer from “various manifestations of cerebral dysfunction collectively labeled hypofrontal syndromes. In these syndromes, the underlying defect, reduced to its simplest description, is damage to the ‘braking system’ of the brain.” Thus, like other addicts, pornography addicts suffer “a dysfunction of the mesolimbic reward centers of the brain.” More particularly, these addicts experience “reduced cellular activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a brain area . . . [relied upon] . . . to make strategic, rather than impulsive, decisions.” The pornography addict may, in fact, manifest “decreased interest in pursuing goal-directed activities central to survival.”

Nor is it just a matter of medical science when pornography disrupts normal brain functions. The two scholars adduce evidence indicating that pornography use affects “sexual behavior in adolescents” and “does indeed cause harm in humans with regard to pair-bonding.” What is more, researchers have uncovered evidence that pornography may prime users for “actual sexual relations with children” and may foster “violent attitudes toward women.”

Unfortunately, pornography use is now very widespread. Surveys indicate that “87% of college age men view pornography, 50% weekly and 20% daily or every other day, with 31% of women viewing as well.” No wonder total revenue for the pornography industry was $97 billion in 2006, exceeding the combined revenue for Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, and Netflix for that year.

The Texas scholars consider it deeply unfortunate that “the sex industry has successfully characterized any objection to pornography as being from the religious/moral perspective” and has consequently been able to “dismiss these objections as First Amendment infringements.” In truth, the researchers argue, an objective review of available neurological science should compel us “to begin serious discussions of sexual addiction and its components such as pornography.”

Given the stakes, those discussions cannot begin too soon.

(Source: Bryce J. Christensen and Robert W. Patterson, “New Research,” The Family in America, Spring 2011, Vol. 26 Number 1. Study: Donald L. Hilton Jr. and Clark Watts, “Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective,” Surgical Neurology International 2.1 [February 21, 2011]: 19.)

This article has been republished with permission from The Family in America, a publication of The Howard Center. The Howard Center is a MercatorNet partner site. - See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/more-screening-or-more-married-parents/16629#sthash.6AwX5ZTt.dpuf

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