Was the NFL the Gateway Drug for Playboy?

I wonder when neurological scientists will study the effects on the brain of watching football on the Lord’s Day. Until then, these conclusions look shaky (even a tad reductionist along materialist lines — but, hey, it’s our reductionism):

We now see the effects of having it “all out there now.” We can see how the constant exposure to pornography is not just eating away at our souls but is quite literally highjacking our brains.

In 2011, Struthers wrote an article for Christian Research Journal that explains the effects of porn on the male brain.

“Because the human brain is the biological anchor of our psychological experience, it is helpful to understand how it operates,” he wrote. “Knowing how it is wired together and where it is sensitive can help us understand why pornography affects people the way it does.”

Here’s a simplified explanation: Sexually explicit material triggers mirror neurons in the brain. These neurons, which are involved with the process for how to mimic a behavior, contain a motor system that correlates to the planning out of a behavior. In the case of pornography, this mirror neuron system triggers the arousal, which leads to sexual tension and a need for an outlet.

“The unfortunate reality is that when he acts out (often by masturbating), this leads to hormonal and neurological consequences, which are designed to bind him to the object he is focusing on,” Struthers wrote. “In God’s plan, this would be his wife, but for many men it is an image on a screen. Pornography thus enslaves the viewer to an image, hijacking the biological response intended to bond a man to his wife and therefore inevitably loosening that bond.” (For more on this see “9 Things You Should Know About Pornography and the Brain.”)

Imagine if neurological scientists tried to measure lust in the heart. And what about those long lasting effects of images of football players kneeling during the National Anthem on a Christian’s loyalty to the God-ordained powers?

The full story has yet to be told.

8 thoughts on “Was the NFL the Gateway Drug for Playboy?

  1. I like David Simon, but guaranteed income? That’s just lazy and immature. Surprised he didn’t just say, Ice cream for everyone. When your theme is the value of labor, you can’t then sell devaluing of labor and flattening of distinction. That’s just mailing it in on his part.


  2. And I wonder what police violence, especially when it is racially motivated has on the willingness of players to stand for the National Anthem?

    Neither Romans 13 nor the OT verses on exile command us to stand in reverence for the national anthem. We are to be conditionally obedient, we are to speak as prophets to individuals, society, and the state, we are to bless others, we are to care about the poor, and our first belonging is to God rather than conform to the world by succumbing to some form of tribalism.

    As for the NFL being a gateway drug to pornography simply because it is on the Lord’s Day? Don’t we want to consider when the Epistles in the NT lend support for no enforced special treatment of Sunday despite the fact thatt the theology of some state otherwise?


  3. I agree that pornography is dangerous and it is wise for Christians (or anyone really) to avoid it, but that neurological description is strained, to say the least. It’s not the image that a man looks at when he gets aroused that “binds” him so to speak, it’s what he thinks about as he has an orgasm. It could be the image on the screen, but it could be someone or something else entirely. Indeed, for men with unhealthy fetishes (licking unsuspecting women’s feet in public places, to use one real life example) there is a way to reprogram them by reconditioning their orgasmic response to something healthy (ideally their wife) rather than something unhealthy (bizarre or illegal fetishes).

    But really, the idea of “binding” to something during sex is a misnomer anyway. It’s not binding so much as an conditioned orgasmic response. In other words, certain stimuli – physical and mental – allow a man to have an orgasm (and women too, for that matter), and his ability to have an orgasm can become dependent on those stimuli. For those who overdose on porn, the stimuli can be pornographic images rather than actual sex, incredible as that seems. For those people, actual sex doesn’t allow them to orgasm the way watching porn does. This makes porn dangerous, because a man can become conditioned to porn (rather than bound to it) in order to orgasm.

    On the other hand, a man isn’t neurologically or hormonally bound to his wife during sex. Without being too crass, the physical sensation of sex with another woman would probably illicit the exact same response as sex with his wife. It’s the stimuli that conditions the orgasm, not the individual sex partner.


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