I have made a big deal lately out of our hypersexualized advertising and entertainment because science has shown that men are motivated basically by what they see. A lot of what they see – and want to see – is pornographic. And those ads and films are the starting point for that hunger.
In 2003 feminist Naomi Wolf, writing in New York magazine, argued that pornography has rendered men less sexually responsive to real women. “Today, real naked women are just bad porn,” she wrote. In 2009, Professor William M. Struthers offered scientific proof for Wolf's argument in his book “Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain” (IVP Books).
Struthers, a psychology professor with a specialty of behavioral neuroscience, says porn and prostitution give men a feeling of power over women and allow men to avoid the difficult task of getting to know and interact with a wife/lover. But porn, as a visual experience, differs from prostitution because there is no direct contact between man and woman.
Men justify using porn because it's a predictable way to deal with shame, loneliness and pain. But porn worsens these problems over time because they were meant to be dealt with patiently, via real relationships.
In chapter 4, “Your Brain on Porn,” Struthers likens it to a river that carves a channel in the male brain that anticipates and funnels sexually arousing images and thoughts with increasing speed. As it widens, this neural pathway demands more and more input in order to achieve the same kind of biochemical high. This sex superhighway also eventually becomes the fixed route that men travel when they see and relate to women. All women, in other words, are seen as sex objects by men hooked on porn. And once a man is in this trench, there's no way out, save for God.
My question: Given the harm that porn does to men, women and their relationships, what are you going to do about it? I'll offer some ideas in coming blogs.