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December 28, 2021 11:47 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, we have a re-air of a show from June of 2017 with Matt Fradd, author of The Porn Myth. Fradd shares how pornography affects the brain and works just like any other addictive substance.
Family policy matters in engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation. Thanks for joining us this week. Family policy matters.
Our guest today is Matt Fred today.
Matt joins us to discuss his newest book, the porn myth, which provides a nonreligious response to the commonly held belief that pornography is harmless or even potentially beneficial to society and as is customary with topics of the sort we will certainly endeavor to keep our conversation G rated. But I do want to let parents know the portions of today's program may not be suitable for younger listeners and with that, Matt, Fred, I want to welcome you.
Family policy matters.
It's great to have you on the show great to be, thanks for having me will thank you Matt no Matt you argue. I know that a few things in our society are more concerning than pornography. With all that's going on in our culture in the world around us hope our listeners understand why you place this issue of pornography at such a high level of concern for us right will ever since the advent of the Internet number fees become accessible, affordable, and anonymous in a way that it is never been before the bat porn use has skyrocketed and certainly think the at Bentall's YouTube site say about 2000.
Many people are beginning to speak out about Tereus affect the pornography is happening in their lives, not just religious people, but atheists or agnostics, and people of all different walks of life. What we used to think was that in order for substance to be addictive.
It had to be your something external to the body that you put into the book like nicotine or heroin, but since it neuroscientist started looking in the brain. It's gotta change how we think of addiction right so that it's not necessarily about the substance and how it's brought into the body. It's really about the sort of mechanisms. It it triggers in the brain. So as I sit here today doing there are currently 33 neuroscience-based studies on porn uses and every single one of them supports the addiction model right attests to the fact that there are these sort of addictive traits taking place in the brain, which leads to a whole constellation of problematic things numb out what is the number one myth about pornography did you encounter and how how do you refute that myth is your talking to people and communicating about liking today in our culture we really canonized choice, heavenly choices more important than what's right what's good about what's notable and so people often several people have a right to do whatever they want and I usually respond by saying well.
People can of course do whatever they want, but it's prudence before engaging in an action that may have deleterious effects that one takes stock of the possible negative consequences that might be brought about through that through engaging in that behavior. And so I really try and educate people and show them that consuming can lead to less satisfying sexual life. It can lead to things like sexual dysfunction, it can lead to sexual aggressiveness and it can even lead to shrinkage in different parts of the brain in 2014 study showed the something I wish somebody had told me back when I was 17 and 18 in engaging in this sort of material I just like everyone else. This was harmless, entertainment, and that if you were against porn you were somehow anti-sex. Now I know you talk about a movement called fight the new drug and you've already spoken about this a little bit but I know that you and some others are beginning to refer to pornography more as a drug because of the eyes you've already discussed some of the traits. There are there more aspects of pornography that related to a drug addiction, like alcohol, illegal drugs and things of that nature right well. Certainly pornography isn't the frog in the sense that note, no one's injecting. It's no one's inhaling at that sort of thing, but what topography consumption does is elicit powerful neurotransmitters in the brain which the brain can become addicted to insert very few drugs are addictive right in order for drug to be addictive. What it must do is something very specific. It must boost a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the reward center of the bright what drugs do they don't create anything new in the brain rapidly amplify, decrease existing mechanisms in the brain so all mammals have a reward system in the brain. It's that thing that gives us a craving to engage in behaviors that are either life promoting or life enhancing. That's why we get that big feeling of all, I got have a hamburger.
I got a workout today so what pornography does is it boosts that dopamine in the Nero is in the reward center of the crime and down regulation takes place so that the reward center begin to numb itself because of the overstimulation dopamine literally begin to atrophy and the person is quite honestly in a state of dopamine craving so in order to boost the levels of dopamine up, you know, just to feel normal. This is why people looking over if you find that they have to view more pornography and very often more deviant or hotter forms of photography just to get the same high interesting and that's what the scientific studies are showing more more evidence on correct right absolutely the three main characteristics of addiction. Those who beat a sensitization which is a Pavlovian theory where one is easily triggered this sensitization, which means one grows accustomed to the sorts of things. One is participating in and they no longer do it for them anymore so tolerance builds up and that's what's called hypo from Tallassee where the reward center of the brain and the prefrontal cortex at managerial center of the branch can't communicating as well as my old so it seeing the same signs of addiction in pornography use as we do another addiction is very interesting. No Matt, you do spend several chapters of your book the porn myth exploring the relationship between pornography and feminism and I found this to be quite interesting. It's not unusual to hear one group thing that pornography is empowering for women, while another group at the same time would argue that it is demeaning and degrading toward women. Help us sort through that a little bit. Yeah I think whenever we try to engage with someone who we disagree with. It's always important. I think that we do our best to try and understand the been so what might the feminist be saying when they try to save nobody can be liberating.
I think what they might mean is this old Victorian idea that man enjoys sex while women endure it isn't, and perhaps their estimation, sometimes that's the way we have looked at sex and so some women would like to say I can take charge of my sexuality. This can be a liberating thing for me to do.
I find it liberating that Bennett's liberating, but no one saying we want to go back to this Victorian Puritanical euro where the side of the woman's old ankle could cause scandal that seems to me to be clearly unhealthy plots that doesn't mean that pornography is therefore liberating to women that we often hear in addition, about the moral concerns about pornography and how it degrades women and objectifies human sexuality.
But what what are some of the nonreligious arguments for choosing real love over porn as you discuss in your book appointment right so say something that sounds like it's out of the middle of a whole mockup that it might be tempting for us to dismiss that we got I think we've been made by love. True love and for love and as a Christian I think that's theologically accurate that we have law without origin, valve location and love is our destiny and therefore if we don't get love right we won't get lifelike. The more we participate in activities and behaviors that are contrary to love the more senseless our life will become so what is love. Well, Aquinas would say love is willing the good of the other for the sake of the other. It seems we pornography consumption. At least something contrary to love is at play. It seems to be merely a matter of use, in which I'm not interested in the interior life of this particular performer hopes and dreams and aspirations and so forth. She's very replaceable. She's just a collection of body parts, and therefore II use her for unknowable hands and so for that reason I think no porn use can ever be justified. Certainly if one uses pornography compulsively will have more of a deleterious effect on them.
But even moderate consumption leads to negative effects as well. And so if we want to have a beautiful wife. We want to have a beautiful sex like it then we should quit: I really think I'm not trying to be hyperbolic here. If one is for science and prologues and those are two very good reasons, one ought to seriously consider being anti-porn your book appointment concludes with a message of hope, very similar to what you're speaking about hope for protecting our children hope for healing damaged relationships and hopefully breaking addiction for those who may be addicted to this activity. What message of hope. Would you like to leave our listeners with as we conclude our conversation today. Yeah well and you say three things. One, to the consumer one to the spouse of the consumer wants the parent to the consumer. Maybe your man-made Bureau you're a woman who consumes pornography and I just want to say you ought your sin. You're not the bad things you've done you, not the things you might be addicted to you are a beloved son and daughter of God and God is certainly not scandalized by your behavior. He loves you and he knows what you're seeking right. It's what you're seeking isn't you know people or to reduce them to body parts looking for relief you're looking for stimulation and excitement and joy encircle and and they want to be found in canal graffiti and so this is a brother I would say trust in the mercy of God and have the strength to consider the possibility that you might be being called to go to say therapy or a 12-step group to get this issue under control to the spouses of the porn uses.
I would say don't undermine all or or or downplay rather the trauma that your spouse's pornography use has taken on you. This is something therapists are calling to try old trauma answer to recognize that you've undergone a lot and you need healing just as much is your spouse needs healing as well. Thirdly to the parents. I would say listen to me if you're going to buy your child electronic device. Almost all electronic devices with screens that you must monitor that device. If you're not willing to monitor don't buy it because I think you and I is parent will be held accountable on judgment day for what how we have raised our children if we must put good filtering accountability on all of our devices or else what we are doing giving our children essentially portable X-rated movie theaters and it's really not their fault when they end up becoming addicted to this Dolphins are just a word of encouragement. The parents note give your kids and internal filter for the unfiltered world in which they live and love them and don't get angry with them because if you do that the middle going to come back here again and maybe shed struggling with. Thank you for those words of encouragement how important those are not working our listeners go before the end to find your book appointment and to learn more about the science and resources available to those who are struggling with this in their own lives or who may be the spouses, parents or children of those who are struggling.
Yes, I think it will go to Amazon. I should also let people know that I don't like sent from any purchase, people might make. We decided all the royalties will go to a group in San Diego that help support sexually traffic women buying the book. You not only educate yourself you be supporting that wonderful apostolate go children of the immaculate heart as far as for more research I say go to our website integrity restored. Don't call him as subscribe drop talk often as you learn a lot more very good.
Well, I certainly want to encourage your listeners to avail themselves of these great resources. The book appointment met Fred without a want to thank you so much for joining us on family policy matters and for your great work to restore integrity in real love you been listening to family policy matters. We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online into learn more about NC families were to inform, encourage and inspire families across from Carolina go to our email@example.com that's NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family