Pornography is one out of many controversial topics discussed in hushed tones. The consumption of pornographic content is widespread among young adults. Concerns are rising over the addiction of young men to pornography. The condition is called problematic pornographic use (PPU). Apparently, there has been a minimal emphasis on PPU and its effect on society. Despite the social implications, PPU involves critical neural mechanisms. The condition has prompted individuals to seek medical treatment.

Investigation of Problematic Pornography Use

A study was conducted among heterosexual males to check responses of the ventral striatum, to monetary and erotic stimuli. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used on twenty-eight men suffering from PPU and twenty-four males without PPU. The ventral striatum assists the brain in decision making, perceiving rewards, motivation, and cognition. PPU candidates exhibited higher blood-oxygen-level-dependent levels than their counterparts. The ventral striatum of PPU males became active when given erotic cues as opposed to monetary cues. The self-reported data showed increased motivation to view pornographic content and engage in masturbation. The increased ‘Wanting’ is characteristic of severe problematic pornography use.

The findings of the experiment imply that behavioral addiction is triggered by neural anticipatory mechanisms on exposure to sexual stimuli. With a lot of digital pornographic content being readily available, people should be concerned about the potential side effects of pornography. Young adults are getting hooked by the day, and they don’t know how to come out of the situation. The study shows cause for the need to manage substance addiction and behavioral addiction, to assist young male adults suffering from PPU.

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