Porn vs. Cocaine: Which is Worse?

With the explosion of internet pornography in the last two decades, it’s worth exploring just how detrimental it is to society. We’ve long recognized illicit drugs as problematic because they lead to violence, depression, suicide, and crime. But is it possible that something a person can do in the privacy of their own home, just by viewing a computer screen, be as detrimental, or worse, to society and themselves as illegal drugs? Sure it is. The research results of pornography addiction are proof. Pornography addiction is likely to be far more damaging than one of the world’s most well-known narcotics: cocaine.

Porn vs Cocaine: Which is Worse? Infographic

Researchers and scientists long believed that the only way to become addicted to something was by physically consuming a substance into the body–like drugs or alcohol. Of course, that theory was later questioned as research showed evidence of addictions to gambling. Still, until recently, it was considered silly to believe that a person could become physically addicted to watching something. Sure, people may like something and feel a desire to watch more of it, but how could viewing something be addictive? We view images and nature and people all day long.

Over the past decade, however, enormous amounts of research has been piling up showing clear proof that pornography physically alters our brain similar to the ways alcohol or narcotics do. When viewing porn, much like when consuming drugs, dopamine levels increase in the brain, giving the user/viewer a buzz or high. People feel good when the dopamine rises. Interestingly, the brain restores information about what caused that particular high and it craves more of it. The problem, however, is that the brain also seeks to regulate dopamine levels. So while the brain is telling you to get more of what gave you the high, it also forces you to increase the level, severity, or kind in order to get the same high.

With drug use, to get a high, users typically increase dosage and/or frequency to get repeated similar buzzes. With pornography, frequency and dosages also become increased, but the brain also responds to different–or more extreme–versions. So while a person may initially get sensations from plain nude pics, for example, with continued use, those nude pics aren’t enough for the same rise in dopamine (and, hence, high). So users begin exploring new pornographic content, which, in time, often leads to the viewing of more seriously demeaning material: rape porn, child porn, and other aggressive and unnatural material.

2 thoughts on “Porn vs. Cocaine: Which is Worse?

  • January 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm
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    I’m curious about how the studies were done and where the people/groups that did them are located. Unfortunately with a lot of research that has a sort of “moral” aspect to, it tends to have a bias in it before the study is even commenced, at least, more so than in other research projects. Also, the studies are not always interpreted correctly. Take, for example-and this relates to your fourth point directly (first reference) and which you should take into consideration when making claims like you do in this blog post, the study showing that men who consistently viewed pornography have smaller brains. The lead scientist on this study said, concerning the results of this project:

    “It is not even clear whether pornography consumption causes the brain to shrink, or whether the brain structure is the precondition that makes people vulnerable for pornography consumption.”

    and so the question arises, does pornography cause these conditions, or are people with these conditions predisposed to be more likely to watch pornography (e.g., depression)? Before making claims like you do in this post, more research needs to be done to answer the questions of causation.

    If there is something we want fixed, finding the source/reason for whatever it may be is what we should focus on, not, “it causes all these bad things…” which it may not. Please, be more careful in your interpretation of science and read/report it dispassionately so as not to misconstrue/misrepresent the facts, even if it is done innocently.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm
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    So true, porn fucks you’re life up.

    Reply

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