Children

It’s unfortunate, but today the average age when a child is first exposed to internet pornography is 8.

The effects that pornography has on young developing brains can be devastating.  Pornography robs children of their innocence.  It introduces them to a world that their minds cannot comprehend.  It presents a warped view of sexuality.  Because of the violent nature of porn,  it teaches boys that it’s okay to use women in sexually violent ways.  Girls learn that men are violent and cannot be trusted.  Early and consistent exposure can actually hardwire a young developing brain to become addicted to pornography.  This can make it more difficult to recover from the addiction.

While pornography might appear fun and exciting to children, it also fills them with shame because they know deep-down that it is wrong. This shame can create an invisible wall between children and their parents.  This prevents children from talking to their parents to try to understand what they have seen.  Thus they are left to try to figure out on their own what pornography is all about.  As parents and adults, we need to work to protect children from pornography and encourage them to talk to us when they encounter it

Teens

Pornography is a major problem in our society, particularly among teens.  The largest single population of pornography users are 12 – 17 year-olds.   An alarming number of young people spend countless hours viewing pornography.  What they don’t realize is how pornography really affects them.  They may view it as a simple “adult entertainment,” when in reality it is seriously hurting them.

To understand pornography’s effect on teens we have to ask, “what are the messages young people receive from pornography?” For young men and women, the messages are different.  Here are some of the messages young men receive from viewing pornography:

  1. Women are here solely for my sexual pleasure
  2. Women don’t need to be loved or respected
  3. Women love sex. They can’t get enough of it. They beg for it.
  4. The sex portrayed in pornography is normal and healthy
  5. Sex and pornography should be a part of any relationship
  6. True happiness in life will only come from having multiple sex partners

As you can see, these are all myths.  None of these messages will help a young man have a healthy lasting relationship with a woman.  In reality, they only lead to men using women for selfish sexual purposes. No happiness or fulfillment can come out of this.

Now let’s talk about the messages young women receive from pornography.  They are just as damaging as the messages young men receive.  Some of these messages are:

  1. In order to be loved by a man a woman must look and act like a porn star
  2. Women must be just as sexually aggressive as men
  3. The sex portrayed in pornography is normal and healthy
  4. Women should enjoy the sex in pornography despite how painful and physically dangerous it is
  5. Sex and pornography should be a part of any relationship
  6. In order to keep a boyfriend, a woman must engage in sexting

These messages are also myths.  Ultimately they convince a woman that in order to get a man and keep him she must sacrifice her dignity and engage in degrading acts.  This only leads to great sadness and disappointment when a young woman realizes she is simply letting men use her.

Young people today need to realize the lies they are being fed by pornography. Viewing pornography will not teach them about healthy intimacy and sexuality.  It will not teach them how to have a healthy and successful relationship.  I understand they have valid questions about sex and relationships, and the place most people turn to today for information is the Internet. However, because of all the pornography on the Internet and the dangerous messages it presents, the Internet is really the last place they want to go to for the truth about sex and relationships.  To get the real truth they need to turn to trusted adults, such as parents, teachers, health care professionals, and clergy.

So why doesn’t pornography present the truth about sex and relationships?  Well, the truth is that healthy sex and intimacy can only be found in a committed marital relationship where it is an expression of deep physical, emotional and spiritual love.  Pornography violates this because it takes sex out of that relationship.  There is no commitment or intimacy.  Sex is reduced to nothing more than a selfish recreational activity that, while temporarily exciting, can never provide lasting fulfillment.  In a healthy and fulfilling marital relationship, there is no need for pornography.

Young people need to arm themselves with the truth about pornography.  Beware of the lies you might be buying into because of pornography. Realize that God is calling you to be strong, virtuous men and women.  You cannot achieve this if you are enslaved to pornography.   By avoiding pornography and focusing on healthy relationships, you can have a healthy and happy life according to God’s plan.

The first step in recovery is asking for help.  This is done by finding a qualified therapist who can work with you to develop an effective recovery program.  I have worked with hundreds of people to overcome pornography use and addiction.  If your child or teen is struggling with pornography use, I invite you to contact my office to schedule an appointment.

The healing process can begin today. Click here to contact me.