Exposure to Pornography
High-speed internet, access to the internet on private phones, tablets and other devices make it easier than ever for teens to find material most parents do not want teens to see. Easy access is available at the touch of a screen, much of it free of charge. It is little wonder young people are struggling more than ever with addiction to pornography. Teenage brains are still developing and the psychological damage from pornography exposure and addiction can be longer lasting than adults. Erectile dysfunction is a real concern with some teens who battle pornography addiction.
Teens with exposure to pornography are likely getting the earliest sexual experiences in this way rather than through direct contact with another person. Instead of learning about sexuality in real life circumstances (with real life consequences), experience is gleaned from screens and the fantasy world pornography provides. Some of the damaging effects may include:
- Development of distorted ideas of what sex, intimacy and love are like in real-world relationships
- Problems in relationships as teens grow into adults
- Instant online access (often for free) can lead to obsession and addiction
- Isolation from peers, family and friends
- Shame and confusion around sexuality issues
- Teen girls can fall victim to addiction as well as boys, though on a lesser scale
Teens may struggle to admit a problem with pornography exists to family or friends and seek help. Addiction programs designed specifically with teens in mind may offer a way to get help and repair damage done by viewing pornographic materials. Embarrassment and shame may keep a teen from seeking help. Parents must take responsibility for monitoring teen’s online activities and speaking up when a problem is perceived with pornography. Teens can seek help in the following ways:
- Find a trusted confidante or friend to admit about the problem
- Speak with a parent or caregiver (teacher, pastor, mentor, coach) who can provide help in seeking treatment
The challenge of addiction to pornography will not go away without therapeutic intervention and support from a team of people. Teens who need help should reach out and take the first step, however difficult it might be. Parents can be mindful of a teen’s internet viewing habits and take notice of signs a child is in distress. Seeking help now will ensure a teen’s healthy recovery and development of better relationships in the future.
Teenage addiction to pornography requires immediate intervention to prevent severe psychological and physical damage. Find the right support and resources through Hired Power. We are here to help your teen be free of addiction.