Z has an interesting anecdote taken from an article by Donald L. Hilton, Jr. entitled, “Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain”. The full article appears in Salvo.
Hilton sets out to answer two questions:
(1) Biologically, is the brain affected by pornography and other sexual addictions? (2) If so, and if such addictions are widespread, can they have a societal effect as well?
Here’s how he begins to answer those questions:
In 1869 the gypsy moth was brought to America to attempt to jumpstart a silk industry. Rarely have good intentions gone so wrong, as the unforeseen appetite of the moth for deciduous trees such as oaks, maples, and elms has devastated forests for 150 years. Numerous attempts were made to destroy this pest, but a major breakthrough came in the 1960s, when scientists noted that the male gypsy moth finds a female to mate with by following her scent. This scent is called a pheromone, and is extremely attractive to the male.
In 1971 a paper was published in the journal Nature that described how pheromones were used to prevent the moths from mating. The scientists mass-produced the pheromone and permeated the moths’ environment with it. This unnaturally strong scent overpowered the females’ normal ability to attract the male, and the confused males were unable to find females. A follow-up paper described how population control of the moths was achieved by “preventing male gypsy moths from finding mates.”
The gypsy moth was the first insect to be controlled by the use of pheromones, which work by two methods. One is called the confusion method. An airplane scatters an environmentally insignificant number of very small plastic pellets imbedded with the scent of the pheromone. Then, as science journalist Anna Salleh describes it, “The male either becomes confused and doesn’t know which direction to turn for the female, or he becomes desensitized to the lower levels of pheromones naturally given out by the female and has no incentive to mate with her.”
The other method is called the trapping method: Pheromone-infused traps are set, from which moths cannot escape; a male moth enters looking for a female, only to find a fatal substitute.
What does this have to do with pornography? Pornography is a visual pheromone, a powerful, $100 billion per year brain drug that is changing human sexuality by “inhibiting orientation” and “disrupting pre-mating communication between the sexes by permeating the atmosphere,” especially through the internet.
Hilton then addresses two fallacies he believes hinder our war against pornography:
Fallacy No. 1: Pornography is not a drug.
Fallacy No. 2: Pornography is therefore not a real addiction.
Hilton writes in an engaging style, covering what could be dense medical, psychological and historical research with clarity and ease (the “adrenaline grass” analogy is perfect). I think he makes the drug/addiction case pretty strongly and provides some helpful insights regarding the effects of pornography on individuals, couples, and society. He ends the article offering some help to those in the fight.
The entire article is well worth the 20 minutes of reading. Praying that more and more people would live in the freedom and joy of God’s will for us all (1 Thess. 4:3-6).