Moment Of Clarity

Pornography and Men: Size Does Matter

If you’re a man who watches a lot of pornography, and have done so for a while, you may have a small —- brain. More specifically, a smaller striatum.

Dr. Simone Kühn of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin recently conducted a study of 64 healthy men to determine if pornography affected a particular part of the brain called the frontostriatal network. This particular part of the brain is connected with reward processing and motivated behavior.

In this study, men were asked about their pornography habits and an MRI of their brains was conducted while they were watching porn to measure brain activity. The results were quite interesting …

The study concluded that decision making got worse the more men consumed porn.  Decision making got worse because the connection in the part of the brain associated with reward processing and motivated behavior was weaker.

Now, before people start throwing away their porn stashes and ending relationships, it is important to know that we are not sure if pornography leads to changes in the brain or if people with smaller brains (striatums) are more likely to watch porn (I guess there’s really no good way to reframe this one …). More research will still need to be done.

In the end, I agree with Dr. Gregory Tau of the Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York who said, “Everything is going to be bad in excess and it’s probably not terrible in moderation.”

This study can be taken a number of ways and some of the responses by those who watch a lot of porn could be fear, shame, and denial.  While there is no right or wrong way to respond to the research, if you find yourself worried about your pornography consumption, consider checking in with an expert to explore what may be causing your reaction.

In the end, sex is healthy and pornography can be helpful. Yet, like the saying goes, “too much of anything isn’t good for ya.”

What do you think? Is too much porn bad or is it a necessity? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Pleasant journeys!

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90% success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!