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Porn could be ruining your memory

If you Google “porn” and “memory” right now you might get a link to “Three Girls Playing Strip Memory”. We can’t show you that, unfortunately. 

What we do bring you is some recent scientific evidence in Germany that links the two.

People watch porn for, we can speculate, many reasons. But if you’re watching porn just so you can forget about life for a few minutes, you might actually be doing a better job of it than you think.

A study at the University of Duisburg-Essen has found that viewing internet pornography may lead to short-term memory loss (as well as blindness and hairy hands, as everyone knows).

28 heterosexual men with an average age of 26 were shown a series of images, both sexual and non-sexual. The non-sexual included photos of people laughing, playing sport or carrying a weapon.

Whilst viewing the pictures, the volunteers were asked to press a button for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to indicate whether the image in front of them was the same as one viewed four slides earlier. They found it much more difficult to recall what they had just seen when viewing the sexual ones, logging 67 per cent correct answers, compared to 80 per cent correct for the nonsexual slideshow.

While it is unclear if the memory loss identified is permanent or lasts only while actually viewing porn, the researchers suggested the findings could help explain why people who are addicted to porn forget to sleep, miss appointments and neglect work and relationships - symptoms commonly associated with other types of addictions, too.

Since it focuses only on heterosexual males, the jury is still out on porn’s effects on women and gay men. The study author, Christian Laier, told the Daily Mail that the research was only preliminary: “Our results need to be tested with respect to gender and sexual orientation to verify.”

So next time you consider gazing at some sexy pictures (you dirty dog), remember, it could be that all the blood flow to your nether regions is leaving your brain in the lurch.

Image via Shutterstock.

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