Pornography & Violence

Kids are being exposed to adult sites younger and younger. Parents need to keep in mind that online porn is nothing like the porn that teens of previous generations had access too. Online porn is hard-core, XXX-rated, and is being classified as the new drug. It is highly addictive and the younger the exposure, the greater the addiction. The aggressive/ submissive and violent theme of online porn significantly affects how young, developing minds view and approach intimate relationships later in life.

 

There are steps we can take to limit the chance of inadvertent exposure, but experts are of the view that it is more a case of “when than if”.

 

If your child has been shown or watched porn, preparing for a conversation with them is key. Take a deep breath, read our blog on how to approach the chat, and then sit down and talk to them.

 

Use parental control filters to prevent initial and ongoing access to inappropriate adult websites, and to limit and filter social media apps and games, which are often the initial source of pornography exposure.

The research on this question is mixed. Many studies have found that people who play violent video games are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour. But there are also studies that show that as more youth play video games, rates of youth violence have decreased.

Children are most likely to see pornography online for the first time accidentally, via pop-ups or shown it by someone else unexpectedly. The behavior path of addiction can begin with a child or teen accidentally finding porn and then seeking it on purpose. They think about how and when they are going to get access to it throughout the day. They can create a ritual or routine around using it and ignore consequences or negative impacts on viewing porn. The desire can eventually lead to a need.

The warning signs of pornography addiction include isolation, lying, being mentally foggy and distracted, grades dropping in school, emotional apathy, very low energy and memory loss. The symptoms of “arousal addiction” mimic social anxiety, depression, performance anxiety, concentration problems and OCD.

The average age for first exposure of kids to pornography is 8-9 years old. The earlier that kids are exposed and then continue watching, the more quickly addicted they appear to become.

Teen brains are different than adults and are still forming. Resting dopamine levels are lower than adults and as a teenager responds to a stimulus, the amount of dopamine released is considerably greater. Because of this, their brains are more at risk for pornography addiction. In addition, learning about sex based on pornography is unrealistic. Associating sexual arousal to screens on the computer and phone leads to not being able to be aroused by real people. Finally, what happens is that no human being can compete with the vast amount of images the brain has been exposed to resulting in losing the appetite for real world encounters.

Experts say early exposure to porn can "rewire" young people’s brains and distort their views of sexual behavior. In many countries, sexting between tweens and teens is viewed in the same light as the distribution and possession of child pornography, and therefore a criminal offence.

The research on this question is mixed. Many studies have found that people who play violent video games are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour. But there are also studies that show that as more youth play video games, rates of youth violence have decreased.

The research on this question is mixed. Many studies have found that people who play violent video games are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour. But there are also studies that show that as more youth play video games, rates of youth violence have decreased.

Firstly, parents need to sit down and calmly talk to their child when they have seen pornography online. Check out our Porn Talk Guide. Then, parental controls need to be installed on all devices that will limit the abillty to browse the internet for pornography, or send and receive it via apps or games. The conversation needs to be kept alive with constant check ins and check ups.

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Downloads related to this topic

  • The Porn Talk Guide

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