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Is Your Child Addicted to Porn?

 


It may seem normal that teens are attracted to porn - but what about kids?

The frightening truth is that pre-pubescent children can become addicted to pornography. This answer may likely shock you and leave you wondering how it’s possible that your kids can be addicted to sexualized content before puberty.



Pornography distorts natural sexual impulses

Sex is normal and natural. After all, if sex weren’t a healthy activity, then the human race would go extinct!

Pornography, however, is not natural

Sexual contact in its highest form brings people together physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sex produces energy and unites two people on multiple levels. 

Above all, sex creates life.

Pornography is not any of these things.

The majority of pornographic content takes place between individuals that do not know each other. More often than not, the females were abused as children and are victims of human trafficking. In fact, over half of the 900 victims interviewed by researcher Melissa Farley were used to make pornographic films.

Unfortunately, the reality behind pornography is not evident on the millions of pornographic websites accessible on the internet today. 

Pornography initially upsets children

Pornography is everywhere on the internet, and it is becoming increasingly degenerate and violent. Most children that accidentally access sexual content initially become confused and upset.

But that doesn’t stop them from seeking it again. This often confuses parents that wonder why their children continue to seek pornography after an initial negative experience.

 

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Porn Addiction Causes

There are many porn addiction causes that include mental issues, relationship difficulties, and neurochemical imbalances. While many of these causes have persisted throughout history, increased availability is the leading cause driving the skyrocketing numbers of pornography addiction seen today. 

In the past, pornography was accessed through printed materials, audio, and film. Therefore, obtaining pornography was difficult and carried numerous risks, such as being discovered by family, friends, and professional colleagues.

Accessing pornography today is much more accessible through personal devices on the internet. Many people also believe their searches are private, however that is not the case. Most internet activity is monitored and recorded by search engines and social media websites - and private browsing does not provide additional security. 

Here are some critical internet pornography statistics to consider:

So whether you think you may be addicted to watching porn or not, please keep in mind that your activity is not private. Pornography is a growing industry, and external data companies track what you are viewing and log all your activity.

Signs of Porn Addiction

Signs of internet porn addiction include:

  • Sexual dysfunction, lack of vaginal lubrication, inability to maintain erections
  • Inability to stop despite any damage to relationships, work, or wellbeing
  • Losing track of time while watching porn
  • Marital difficulties
  • Consumed with thoughts of pornography against your will
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, and depression

Learn more about the signs of porn addiction

Neurochemistry of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction is more complex than just being “addicted to jerking off”. While viewing pornography, the neurochemical activity taking place is similar to “fireworks” going off in the brain.

Pornography excites specific brain regions that excrete dopamine - a critical neurotransmitter produced in the brain that acts as a “reward center”. Viewing pornographic scenes and subsequent climaxing create intense rushes of dopamine that temporarily feel “good” and cause addiction over time.

Frequent and powerful dopamine secretions have adverse effects because “what goes up, must come down”. According to Rachel Anne Barr from the Laval University in Canada, porn erodes the prefrontal cortex and reverts the brain to a more juvenile state. 

“'The much greater irony is that while porn promises to satisfy and provide sexual gratification, it delivers the opposite,” said Barr in recent statements. “Science is only just beginning to reveal the neurological repercussions of porn consumption.

“It is already clear that the mental health and sex lives of its widespread audience are suffering catastrophic effects. From depression to erectile dysfunction, porn appears to be hijacking our neural wiring with dire consequences.”

Click here for pornography addiction help.

Porn Addiction Treatment

Overcoming porn addiction is easy once you understand why you are using pornography. 

There are many ways to quit porn addiction, including behavioural therapy, group sessions, and treatment.

For individuals that want to maintain privacy, the LadderOut App provides a safe and secure way to break free from porn addiction.

Click here to discover how LadderOut works. 

Ready to start breaking your pornography addiction?

Your journey to breaking free requires taking that first step. LadderOut makes it easy with AI-powered tools that you can customize to your specific needs. 

To get started, take our free private test to learn more about your pornography addiction.

Structure up your strategy

  • Triggers

    Things that trigger urges in you.

  • Blockers

    Things you can do ahead of time, that make it harder to do the unwanted behavior

  • Breakers

    Things you can do in moments you are actually experiencing urges

  • Skills

    Alternate behaviors that you will do instead

Gear up your fight with extensions

Daily Check-in

Recovery Plan

Skills Page

Weekly Check-in

Monthly Check-in

Support Person

Relapse Help

Statistics

Stress Chart

Why Pornography is Addictive

Pornography depicts a distorted version of human sexuality - yet children do not know the difference. Any initial exposure drives them to learn more, which can result in cycles of dopamine production such as those that drive addiction in drug addicts.

Dopamine is a “feel good” neurochemical triggered during pleasurable activities such as exercise and healthy human contact. Harmful activities such as eating processed food high in sugar and/or fat, doing drugs, and viewing pornography skyrocket dopamine production to “abnormal” levels and trigger addiction.

Learn more about porn addiction here

What happens when children watch porn at a young age?

According to research by Philip Zimbardo, PhD., repeated porn use exhausts the dopamine reward system in the brain, forcing users to seek increasingly “extreme” sexual content to become aroused. Further, some users report reduced concentration and focus, leading to the misdiagnosis of conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration issues, depression, anxiety, and more. 

Children have a high degree of “neuroplasticity” - a term that refers to the ability of the brain to be shaped by new experiences. Early exposure to pornography distorts neural pathways associated with sex and leads to severe physical and emotional health problems.

When do boys start watching porn?

The average age that most children first access internet pornography is approximately 11 years old. While the majority of young users are male, girls can also become addicted to porn at an early age. 

How to avoid pornography exposure

Limiting exposure is the most effective way to prevent your daughter or son from becoming addicted to porn. 

Some tips to reduce exposure include:

  • Not allowing them to have a mobile phone at a young age
  • Placing any computers in shared environments with the monitor facing outward
  • Turning off the WiFi at night
  • Not allowing them to have a connected mobile device or computer in their room
  • Asking any friends to place their mobile devices in a box while visiting
  • Talking to other parents about the issue and creating a shared set of rules governing mobile devices when kids get together

How to stop kids from craving porn

If your child has already been exposed, there are several things you can do to have them break the habit early:

  • Talk to them about it with compassion - after all, it’s natural to be curious about sex
  • Teach them about the difference between sex and pornography
  • Talk to them about what happens to their brain in a way they understand
  • Tell them how many of the women in pornography are either abused, mentally ill, or victims of sex trafficking

Most people - children included - would likely turn away from pornography if they knew what goes on behind the camera. Teaching them in a kind and compassionate way will empower them to break the habit early. In the most favorable circumstances, education will cause children to believe that pornography is unhealthy, destructive, and inhumane.

Child Porn Addiction FAQ

How does pornography harm children?

Pornography distorts human sexuality and negatively alters perceptions of sex. In addition, continuous exposure creates excessive dopamine - a “feel-good” neurochemical that drives addiction. This is especially dangerous for children because they have a high degree of neuroplasticity. 

How do I talk to my son who is addicted to porn?

If your son is addicted to porn, it is best to approach the matter cautiously. It is normal to be interested in sex, however pornography distorts human sexuality and creates negative perceptions. Teach your child about the adverse mental and physical effects of pornography and take measures to limit exposure.

What do I do if my child is addicted to pornography?

Pornography is very easy to find, so if your child is addicted, the first step is limiting internet access, installing blockers, and taking away devices. The next step is to educate your child about the negative mental and physical effects of pornography as a way to convince them to stop on their own.

How can I prevent porn addiction for kids?

Preventing child porn addiction first requires the creation of rules concerning digital devices and access to the internet. Decide the appropriate age for your child to have a mobile device, and create a policy for WiFi use in your home. Also, educate your children about pornography so they consciously choose to avoid it.