New Study: ‘Porn-Watching Men Have Less Gray Matter.’ Porn-Watching Men: ‘Huh?’

People forget that the brain is the biggest erogenous zone. And a new study suggests that maybe there’s a connection between porn and the brain makeup of the men that watch it.

The porn-brain study appeared this week in JAMA Psychiatry, and it looked at reported consumption of pornography among participants. The study had as a goal the determination of whether the frequent consumption of pornography is associated with the frontostriatal network, the neural pathways believed to be involved in the selection and perception of important information, as well as the manipulation of working memory and decision making.

The researchers looked at the porn consumption habits of 64 healthy adult males at the Max Planck Insittute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. They measured the gray matter volume of participants, as well as the functional resting-state connectivity of their brains.

When the researchers compared brain scans among participants, they found “a significant negative association between reported pornography hours per week and gray matter volume.”

Translation: guys that spent more time watching porn had lower gray matter volume.

The researchers hold out the possibility that porn consumption could be causing the lower gray matter volumes among participants. This could be because “pornography consumption bears resemblance with reward-seeking behavior, novelty-seeking behavior, and addictive behavior,” and continual stimulation of that sort causes the brain’s structure to shift.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, and the researchers admit this in their writeup:

“Alternatively, it could be a precondition that makes pornography consumption more rewarding.”

That is: guys that watch a bunch of porn might just be wired to get more joy out of watching a bunch of porn.

There’s already anecdotal evidence that the pornification of society is damaging relationships. The increased availability of free porn on the internet is also destroying the industry that creates the same content. The notion that porn might actually, truly, really be changing your brain structure is a bit novel, though. We’re still holding off on judgment of the study’s results, though, as we’ve watched our fair share of skin flicks and we feel like we turned out just sex.