The Great Porn Experiment

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In this lesson pupils will learn about the wide-ranging effects of internet pornography on the brain. It updates a popular TEDx talk The Great Porn Experiment by former science teacher Gary Wilson with the latest research that supports the assertions made in the original talk.

Description

“Of all activities on the internet, porn has the most potential to become addictive” said Dutch neuroscientists (Meerkerk et al. 2006).

In this lesson pupils will learn about the wide-ranging effects of internet pornography on the brain. It uses a popular TEDx talk The Great Porn Experiment by former science teacher Gary Wilson. This talk has had over 13.5 million views. We provide an update on the facts since those given in the 2012 talk. There is a quick quiz to test pupils’ recall and a ‘pair and share’ exercise. You can allow a longer period of discussion to allow fuller examination of the very important health issues raised. This diversity friendly lesson does not show any pornography.

The original TEDx talk was given in Glasgow in 2012 and followed a 4 minute TED talk called “The Demise of Guys” by renowned social psychologist Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University.

You can delve deeper into the science behind The Great Porn Experiment with the full citations for it here and here. This talk later grew into a book called Your Brain on Porn – Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction. A free audio version of the book is available here.

Resources: 12-slide PowerPoint (.pptx) with 1 embedded video with sound and a 10-page Teacher’s Guide (.pdf). There are hotlinks to relevant research and further resources.

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