Neurosurgeon discusses science of addiction to sex

A.P.A. has not yet recognized sexual addiction as official diagnosis

Published On: Feb 15 2013 06:34:29 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 15 2013 09:50:21 PM CST

Pornography is just a scan, chat, and a click away in a world where sex sells. But can it also scar? According to Dr. Don Hilton, it can.

"I don't see how we can come to any other conclusion than that pornography and sexuality can become addictive," says Hilton.

The San Antonio Neurosurgeon is very outspoken about the effects of pornography and what he calls hypersexuality on the brain. Dr. Hilton has published articles on the topic, and he even has a YouTube video aimed at parents and kids.

In his opinion, Hilton says more people need to be talking about an addiction, he thinks is widespread.

"I think it's affecting most families now and most individuals," said Hilton. "I think it's one of the primary drivers behind changing our demographic patterns in marriage."

But what Hilton says is an addiction, isn't so clear to others, namely the American Psychiatric Association. The A.P.A. has yet to recognize sexual addiction as an official diagnosis.

"It seems they are holding sexual addiction to a much higher standard than tobacco, and I would assume those same psychologists would agree that tobacco is indeed addictive," said Hilton.

Hilton thinks morality may be clouding people's judgment when it comes to addiction and sex. The topic makes people uncomfortable, but for this neurosurgeon, the effects of what happens online, can be seen in our brains.

"I'm a father, I'm a husband, I'm a person," said Hilton. "It's an issue that's been under addressed in my opinion."

Dr. Hilton also said just as the brain can be scarred, it can also heal, and those with sex addiction need to seek help. Meanwhile, the new diagnosis book from the American Psychiatric Association will likely include gambling addiction as an official diagnosis, but still, not sex.

To view a list of recent stories Steve has done, click here.