Pornography is Dangerous to Children

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Pornography is Dangerous For Children
Pornography is addicting. It destroys families. It costs people theirkid_computer[1] emotional, physical, and spiritual well-beings. As an addiction therapist that specializes in pornography addiction I see the destruction that pornography causes on a daily basis. Spouses traumatized, families torn apart, fathers feeling hopeless and stuck. Like most addictive substances pornography usually entangles it’s victims at a very young age. With the advent of the internet and other technology our world has changed forever. Our children are faced with so much more temptation than we ever were. Even in the sexually explicit world in which we live it is possible to porn proof your children.
The average age of first exposure to pornography is 9 years old. When a 9 year old child looks at pornography they don’t fully understand what it is and why it makes them feel the way that it does. They don’t know that their brain is releasing feel good chemicals that tell them that it is good. Another thing that they feel is confused. Even though it felt good they don’t want to talk about what they saw to anyone.
I remember my first exposure to pornography. I was about 9 years of age and I was at a park. Like most 9 year olds I was looking for an adventure. I was hiking around the park finding hiding places and fun trees to climb. I climbed a hill in the corner of the park where there was a large tree. As I arrived at the tree I noticed pages of magazines scattered on the ground. I started picking up the pages and realized that the content on the pages did something to me. It excited me in a weird way that I had never felt before. I indulged myself for about 20 minutes. My friends soon joined me and they too were caught up in the lure of lust that we accidentally stumbled upon. After we realized that our parents might wonder where we were we stashed the pages so we could come back another day and get another look. When we left I knew 2 things. I knew that whatever we were looking at made me feel good in a weird way. I also knew that I needed to hide what we saw from my parents because it felt yucky and gross. I did not want them to know.
My experience illustrates the danger of pornography. While it is enticing and alluring to young people it’s also shameful and scary to talk about. Mixed with today’s accessibility and affordability (it’s usually free) of pornography this sets up a dangerous dynamic of indulgence and hiding. As a child starts to use that “feel good” feeling that pornography gives them to cope with fear, anger, grief, boredom and other emotions this hinders their ability to learn how to cope with life in a healthy way. They numb their emotions rather than cope with them. A perfect scenario for addiction is shame, secrecy, and an inability to cope with emotions.
One of the scariest statistics is that the population that uses the most pornography are from the ages of 12-18 years old. Yikes!!! Our children are learning how not to deal with life. Instead of going through the ups and downs of life they are just numbing. Porn, video games, food, drugs, TV you name it. Our kids are not learning how to live they are learning how to hide from life. You cannot selectively numb your emotions. If you numb boredom, sadness, stress and anger you also numb your ability to feel joy, love, happiness, and fulfillment. Our children need to learn how to feel, how to sit in their emotions and cope with them in healthy ways.
A person who regularly numbs out emotion has difficulty connecting to others. One of the primary functions of our emotions is to communicate to others. Emotional connection is the fiber of our relationships. Pornography devalues the soul, the being, of the person that is being lusted after. Pornography’s nature is to objectify people and not even acknowledge the very existence of feelings, emotions, and thoughts. It’s a cheap way to get a hit of dopamine without the work that an emotional connection takes. Pornography jeopardizes one’s ability for a healthy, happy, relationship.
Okay, I could go on and on about the reasons you need to porn proof your children. Porn is destructive, you probably believe that or you wouldn’t be reading this article. I want to get into how and what you need to do as parents. Many parents feel lost and stuck. They feel like it’s somewhat out of their control because their children already know more about technology than they do. They know that cannot completely protect their children from exposure to pornography, but they don’t know what to do about it. There are answers and tools. Parents need to invest time and energy to train themselves on how to best protect their children.