Fox news: Porn in moderation?

And by the way … thanks for the soft porn ads on the sidebar, Fox.

Did you see the Fox News article that broke today? At first, I was excited, but then I read it.  Yeah. Great headline. Ridiculous article.

“Watching too much porn may be bad for your brain, study finds”

Here’s the gist: Some Germans recently did a study in which they recruited 64 men and asked them about their porn-watching habits. Then they did brain scans and found that those who watched more porn had various negative effects: shrinkage and reduced activity in the reward center, damage to areas associated with behavior and decision making, etc.

Is any of this sounding familiar? Yes, this is the same conclusion that Don Hilton came to in his study published in Surgical Neurology International three years ago.

It is the same information that Dr. Hilton presented to hundreds of international leaders at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit two weeks ago in Washington, DC. I know. I was there.

It is the same message that Fight The New Drug shouts out to more than 70,000 Facebook fans every day.

If the headline actually reflected the meaning of the article, I wouldn’t have a problem. But the rest is a joke.

After touting the results of the German study as “the first evidence for a link between pornography consumption and reductions in brain size and brain activity in response to sexual stimuli” the article then goes on to quote a scholar in New York who wasn’t even involved in the study.

This American “expert” (who is apparently in agreement with the German author of the study?) basically claims that the men in the study might have been born that way–with smaller/damaged brains–and that their biological tendencies could have led them to porn. The American is then quoted to say “Everything is going to be bad in excess and it’s probably not terrible in moderation.”

Really? Everything? So what about crack and cocaine, which have been shown to have identical effects on the brain? Are they okay in moderation too?

And just to add a little cherry on top, the report ends with this gem: “Kühn [the study’s lead author] said other behaviors, such as driving a taxi, are linked to changes to brain size and functioning.  ‘Basically everything that people do very frequently can shape their brain structure and function,’ she said.”

Wow. I hope normal activities like eating and sleeping aren’t causing shrinkage and damage to my brain. Because if I’m reading this article right, that just might be true.

Overall, I’m not sure whether I’m more disgusted with the “experts” or the reporter.

Shame on Reuters for such sloppy, biased reporting.

And shame on Fox for putting up something so ridiculous and then not allowing comments.

What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “Fox news: Porn in moderation?

  1. This is why I never pay attention to Fox. Porn is bad? Okay, maybe if it is the only thing you watch or read, the only thing that informs you. The study, all of them are not conclusive because they don’t study these men from infancy through adulthood, cannot say whether it is porn or some combination of other things that causes these results.

    Great Rant.

    Like

  2. “And just to add a little cherry on top, the report ends with this gem: ‘Kühn [the study’s lead author] said other behaviors, such as driving a taxi, are linked to changes to brain size and functioning. ‘Basically everything that people do very frequently can shape their brain structure and function,’ she said.’”

    I’m sure that’s true. It’s too bad that the article didn’t discuss how some activities can help expand one’s brain and shape its structure in beneficial ways and that it didn’t offer examples of such activities. To me, the worst omission is that of WHY such studies matter. How do people with smaller brains behave? What are the ramifications for society? How will the study’s authors go about finding out whether the prone causes the changes in structure or whether the structure leads to watching porn? What are we supposed to do with the information presented in this article?

    Ruth

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    1. All good questions, Ruth. I hope someone with access to the study has the sense to write a real report about it–or at least follow after this first failed attempt. I heard that Time wrote an article also. I’ll bet they did a better job.

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      1. I’ll have to look for the *TIME* article. It would be interesting to see a more informed and informative take on this topic.

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      2. Seems like just a shorter version of the same article. There’s really no way, I guess, to do the subject justice in the usual magazine article. In addition, I imagine that going into the kind of detail that would be necessary to discuss pornography fully would run the risk of being slightly pornographic itself. It’s such a nasty, tricky issue.

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