Porn rots your brain?

Have you seen the blaring headlines about how the brains of men who watch more porn are rotting/smaller/inadequate? Well, those headlines are a fine example of misstating and/or overstating scientific findings in order to get people to read the article, AKA “click bait”.

I’ve groused about this before, and will again in the future I am sure: I hate it when scientific information is sensationalized to the point where it bears little to no relationship to the actual science.

The actual results of the study found that the more porn a man watched, the smaller the “gray matter volume of the right caudate of the striatum” was in his brain. However, the study did NOT say porn caused this shrinkage. The scientists weren’t sure if the brain shrank in response to excessive porn viewing or if “Individuals with lower striatum volume may need more external stimulation to experience pleasure and might therefore experience pornography consumption as more rewarding, which may in turn lead to” more porn goggling. The research declared that more study was needed, because something was up in the brains of mega-porn watchers and scientists want to know who/what/where/when/why.

That is NOT declaring porn rots the human brain.

I also have an issue with the study itself. The research was conducted on “64 male subjects aged between 21 and 45”. So … women don’t ever look at porn, the delicate flowers that we are? Or is it just another case of the male brain being considered the “normal” brain that all brains could be measured by, rendering sex/gender a variable against the norm? Which means that the female brain is de facto abnormal in that context? Golly, if only feminists had been pointing this fallacy out for the last 70 years maybe those researchers would have thought to include women in the study.

No one is getting a smiley face from me on their paper today, class.

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