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Experts Reveal Exactly What Porn Does to a Man's Brain and Why It Is 'So Dangerous' to a Marriage

"This is a really difficult culture for men who want to be honorable..."

Republican deputy Attorney General found to have child pornography in his possession (Shutterstock)

A noted social researcher has joined forces with an anti-smut Christian ministry leader in warning that pornography use can have a profoundly "dangerous" impact on marriages, detailing point-by-point exactly what happens in a man's brain when he sees sexual imagery.

Researcher Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross, the founder of XXX Church — a Christian ministry that has worked for more than a decade to help people escape porn obsession and addiction — have come together to pen the new book, "Through a Man's Eyes: Helping Women Understand the Visual Nature of Men," through which they dive into these issues in detail.

"For me, I really want to transform and change paradigms of how women understand the men in their life and to be able to support them better," Feldhahn told The Church Boys podcast of her intentions with the book. "This is a really difficult culture for men who want to be honorable ... and a lot of women are completely blind to what men face everyday if they want to be honorable."

Gross explained that marketers in the modern era have realized the effectiveness of using sexual images to sell products, and that they continue to employ this tactic in an effort to pedal whatever they are marketing.

"Guys are going to pay a lot more attention when you put that stuff [in], even if you sell cheeseburgers," he said.

Listen to Feldhahn and Gross discuss the dangers of porn below (interview begins at the 51:00 mark):

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But while marketers have discovered the benefits of using sex to sell products, both Feldhahn and Gross warned that men were never meant to be inundated with so many of these messages, with Feldhahn describing the stark differences between the male and female brain.

"Woman ... have no idea what happens in the male brain when a man sees a woman ... who's dressed in a way that's really calling overt attention to a great figure," she explained. "As women, our brains are wired so that what happens in your brain when [men] see that image is not what happens in our brain when we see an attractive man."

While women might admire an attractive man, Feldhahn said that, for men, something entirely different happens when they see someone attractive: a portion of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens is activated.

She said that this is the same activation that takes place when someone is starving and sees food on a table across the room.

"He sees that woman [and] the nucleus accumbens lights up ... and he has this instantaneous — and just so you know involuntary ... desire to kind of consume that image," she explained. "It's not a desire for the personal exactly, but that image."

Gross said that some critics have dismissed the stated dangers of porn, saying that he's heard them say that its rampant use is "harmless" and shouldn't be classified as an addiction, though he pushed back against that notion.

"I hear from Christian kids all the time, 'That's how I'm saving myself for marriage,'" he said. "I see people that have grown up watching porn or now are consuming porn on a daily basis and their disconnection with sex is way higher than, say, the people who lost their virginity on prom night, because they have no understanding of how to connect with a real woman."

Feldhahn mirrored these sentiments and said that desensitization is a worrisome element that comes along with pornography use, explaining how this can have a profound impact on a marriage.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

"It actually causes you to really, as a guy, see your wife or a woman as an object," she said. "It's just that's all that woman really becomes, and that is so dangerous for your marriage."

Feldhahn said that she believes that it wasn't a mistake for God to make men so intensely visual, as these sexual images were never meant to be so pervasive and present.

"Men are designed as visual, sexual creatures which is a good thing. The wiring was designed this way to bond a man to his wife," she said. "He was never, ever, ever, ever supposed to see the other sights. They weren't supposed to be confronting them, but now they are."

She contends that this leaves men to make the difficult choice of turning away from these pervasive images.

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Front page image via Shutterstock.com.

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