Men Who Watch Pornography Have Small Brains

This film image released by Relativity Media shows Joseph Gordon-Levitt, left, and Scarlett Johansson in a scene from "Don Jon" about a guy who is obsessed with porn. (AP Photo/Relativity Media, Daniel McFadden) AP

If you watch porn, you probably have a small brain, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows.

The study, conducted by the Max Plank Institute for Human Development in Berlin, found a significant negative correlation between frequent pornography consumption and grey matter in the brain (that’s the stuff that tells your brain how to react to sensory information.)

The keyword here is correlation. While the study’s findings are significant, the researchers don’t know if it’s the porn that causes the low grey-matter volume in porn-watchers, or if it’s the other way around. It could be a neurological pre-condition that makes watching porn particularly satisfying.


However, researchers have reason to believe that porn does negatively impact the brain. Previous research proves that frequent porn consumption can cause negative social behavior. Porn consumption can cause viewers to be less satisfied during sex and viewers often want to adopt acts they’ve seen in illegal pornography, according to the report. If porn can affect social behavior, it can probably affect cognitive behavior, too.

The study examined the cognitive structure of 64 males ages 21 to 45 years old that consumed porn at varying levels of frequency.

While few people openly admit to watching porn, 66 percent of all men and 41 percent of American women view pornography at least once a month, and an estimated 50 percent of internet traffic is sex-related, according to the journal.


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