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Porn Addiction Is Real and Destructive

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new movie Don Jon is about a young man with an unhealthy fixation on Internet pornography.

While the story is fictional, there’s no question that people can get hooked on pornography as easily as booze or drugs, says Dr. Valerie Voon of Cambridge University.  In turn, this addiction to smut can cause problems with interpersonal relationships.

Voon studied the brains of 19 men aged 19 to 34 who were unable to quit watching Internet porn.  She discovered a heightened activity in a particular area of the brain whenever they saw sexual images, almost in the same way alcoholics react to liquor.

While further studies are necessary, it’s become clearer to researchers that pornography addiction has mental and physical components that rival those having problems with substance abuse.

Furthermore, previous research has turned up evidence that compulsive porn viewing can result in both short term memory loss as well as decreased sexual response.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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