Not much is known about sex addicts other than the fact that they just love to have sex, or just love to look at people having sex while pleasing themselves. These persons were born for the role of the sex addict, but does this symptom have a similar effect on the brain that is comparable to taking drugs?
What is the cause for similar brain patterns? Well, sex addicts are hooked on something similar to drugs, and it is called pornography. The more these people watch porn, the more they become addicted to sexual related activities.
There has been a great divide in the past on whether or not people can become addicted to certain sexual behaviors, which includes watching pornography. If this research turns out to hold some truth behind the addiction claims, we might see a new round of attacks on the porn industry.
Dr. Valerie Voon, of the University of Cambridge in England, performed the study on 19 males without sexual addiction, and another 19 males with sexual addiction. According to Voon, the men who are addicted to sex had begun watching pornography at an early age. At the moment, they tend to watch more porn when compared to those who are not addicts.
"The patients in our trial were all people who had substantial difficulties controlling their sexual behavior and this was having significant consequences for them, affecting their lives and relationships," Voon explained.
"In many ways, they show similarities in their behavior to patients with drug addictions," she said. "We wanted to see if these similarities were reflected in brain activity, too."
During the study, the men were placed in a room to watch sports videos, and pornography. Those who are sex addicts showed increased brain activity in three parts of the brain when watching porn. This is compared with men who are not addicts.
The three parts of the brain in question are the ventral striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate and amygdala. These sections have a lot to do with motivation and reward, and these are the sections of the brain that is most active in drug addicts.
The study went on further to show that six of the 19 sex addicts have an obsession with sexual feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Apparently, they are unable to control these desires, which could mean these men require urgent help.