Neuroscientist to speak about pornography's effect on the brain

Dr. William Struthers, author of “Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain,” will speak at Northwestern College Oct. 24 and 25.

A neuroscientist and psychology professor at Wheaton College, Struthers will present a talk in chapel at 11:05 a.m. on Oct. 24. On Oct. 25, he and his wife, Donna, will speak on “Pornography: What’s the Big Deal?” at 10:05 a.m. in the Vogel Community Room of DeWitt Learning Commons. Both sessions are free and open to the public.

“Dr. Struthers connects the call of Scripture with the neuroscience of the mind, calling forth a vision for healthy relationships fabricated upon the sort of connection that could be described as personal and intimate,” says Mark DeYounge, Northwestern’s dean of Christian formation. “With this positive invitation in mind, Dr. Struthers does a masterful job framing just how much of a counterfeit, artificial intimacy pornography really is. He shows how pornography promises intimate connection and fulfillment, but it never follows through. The reason for this is explained in the neuroscience as a reflection of the truths embedded in the narrative of Scripture.”

Struthers studies the impact of pornography consumption, noting in his book that viewing pornography changes how the brain works as well as how people form memories and make attachments. He hopes that by better understanding the biological realities of sexual development, readers can cultivate healthier sexual perspectives and interpersonal relationships.

Struthers was one of 25 professors selected, along with Northwestern’s Dr. Laird Edman, to participate in the 2015 and 2016 Oxford Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and Humanities. He focused his research on “Neuroscience, Religion and the Media: Fostering Dialogue in the Public Square.”

Struthers earned master’s and doctoral degrees in biopsychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.