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In the brain, sex addiction looks the same as drug addiction

Published on Jul 12, 2014 3:30 AM
 

LONDON (Reuters) - Pornography triggers brain activity in sex addicts similar to the effect drugs have on the brains of drug addicts, researchers said on Friday - but that doesn't necessarily mean porn is addictive.

Although there are no precise figures, experts in the field believe as many as one in 25 adults is affected by compulsive sexual behaviour, more commonly known as sex addiction - an obsession with sexual thoughts, feelings or behaviour they are unable to control.

Excessive use of pornography is one of the main features of the condition. That can affect personal lives and work, causing distress and feelings of shame, the researchers from Britain's Cambridge University said in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study looked at brain activity in 19 male patients affected by sex addiction and compared them with the same number of volunteers. The patients had started watching pornography at earlier ages and in higher proportions than the volunteers.

 
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