‘Online’ porn fuels sex addiction

Washington D.C., Nov. 24 (ANI): A new study has suggested that online porn may motivate sex addicts’ to intensify their search for new sexual images than their peers.

According to researchers, sex addicts were more susceptible to environment ‘cues’ linked to sexual images than to those linked to neutral images.

In the study, Valerie Voon of the University of Cambridge studied the behaviour of 22 sex addicts and 40 ‘healthy’ male volunteers undergoing tasks.

In the first task, individuals were shown a series of images in pairs, including naked women, clothed women and furniture.

The researchers found that sex addicts were more likely to choose the novel over the familiar choice for sexual images relative to neutral object images, whereas healthy volunteers were more likely to choose the novel choice for neutral human female images relative to neutral object images.

In a second task, volunteers were shown pairs of images – an undressed woman and a neutral grey box – both of which were overlaid on different abstract patterns. They were then asked to select between these abstract images and a new abstract image.

This time, the researchers showed that sex addicts where more likely to choose cues (in this case the abstract patterns) associated with sexual and monetary rewards. This supports the notion that apparently innocuous cues in an addict’s environment can ‘trigger’ them to seek out sexual images.

In another test, they found that when the sex addicts viewed the same sexual image repeatedly, compared to the healthy volunteers they experienced a greater decrease of activity in the region of the brain known as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, known to be involved in anticipating rewards and responding to new events.

Voon said that their findings were particularly relevant in the context of online pornography, adding it was not clear what triggered sex addiction in the first place and it was likely that some people were more predisposed to the addiction than others, but the seemingly endless supply of novel sexual images available online helped feed their addiction, making it more and more difficult to escape.

The study is published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. (ANI)

Related Posts

Leave a Reply