Teens and Porn

Pornography - the hidden danger that may be lurking in your home.

Posted Mar 11, 2016

hyrons/Depositphotos
Source: hyrons/Depositphotos

Aiden heard the car crank and he watched as the headlights bounced off of his ceiling. Finally they were gone. He had the house to himself, and his parents wouldn’t be home for several hours. With a smirk and a sigh of relief, he grabbed his tablet and searched the word “sex.” Within seconds his device was filled with links. Moving his fingers up the screen he tapped on images and scrolled through erotic pictures. He found one he liked and magnified it. Out of curiosity, he clicked “visit page” and opened the virtual door into the world of pornography...

The Porn Industry

It’s a world that attracts many people of all ages, particularly men. This fast growing multibillion dollar industry is enticing and luring people into a trap of sexual deception. In 2001 there were approximately 70,000 porn websites; today there are over 40 million. According to Carvaka Adult Toys, about 30 million people view online porn every second of every day. Did you know that 25 percent of all internet searches are porn related and over a third of downloads are pornographic? The internet has definitely made sexually explicit pictures and videos easily and widely accessible to anyone wanting to partake in a peep show and that includes your teen.

Pornography and Teens

While it’s hard to pinpoint how many teens are viewing porn online, one study reported 42% of Internet users from ages 10 to 17 said they viewed porn online in the past 12 months. Another study in the southeastern U.S. found that 53 percent of boys and 28 percent of girls (ages 12-15) reported viewing sexually explicit media and the most popular forum for watching porn was the Internet. The Internet makes it extremely easy for youth to satisfy their sexual curiosity in the comforts of their own home. Ironically, many parents have no idea what their teen is doing online.

iqoncept/Depositphotos
Source: iqoncept/Depositphotos

Did you know...

  • 71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents?
  • 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18?
  • 6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18?
  • 15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography?

Protecting Your Teen From Porn

  • Parents - just as you teach your teen about being safe outside the home, it’s time to do the same inside. The virtual world opens the door of your home to complete strangers and many of them don’t have your teen’s best interest at heart. Today’s teens are exposed to a world that often has no boundaries or morals.  It’s important that you teach him/her to use wise judgement both offline and online.
  • Explain the dangers of visiting pornographic sites. For example, discuss with your teen how the images online are entertainment and that’s not how real life relationships work. Porn sites deceive people by psychologically playing with their emotions and temporarily fulfilling their sexual needs. These images will never replace the need for human love and affection. In fact, they can do the opposite. Porn sites can become addictive, distort reality and cause relationship problems.
  • Discuss how visiting these sites can lead to deception and lying. Often people hide their porn-seeking behaviors because they know what they have done is wrong. So they begin to lie, sneak around, and hide their fetish with porn. This deception can lead to intense feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Teach your teen about love and healthy relationships. Porn is not a healthy way to view sex. Over 85% of porn films contain physical aggression and about half display verbal aggression. In the majority of porn scenes, most of the aggression is initiated by the male onto the female. What teens see when they view porn isn’t an accurate portrayal of a healthy sexual relationship.
  • If your teen has already begun to explore the world of porn, put safeguards in place to help him/her escape the trap. Don’t overreact and discipline too harshly. Your teen is probably already feeling ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, and remorseful. There is no need to make him/her feel worse. Work out a plan to help your teen. For example, if your teen discloses looking at these sites late at night,  plan to leave electronics in your room after a specific time. The best approach is to openly communicate with your teen and to make him/her a part of the planning system. You’ll have more “buy in” that way.
dundanim/Depositphotos
Source: dundanim/Depositphotos

With the real time access of the Internet, teens are exposed to inappropriate online material, and that includes porn. It’s important to safeguard and educate your teen about the pitfalls and dangers associated with venturing onto sexually explicit sites. Gone are the days of sneaking porn magazines. Teens can fill their minds, with graphic material and videos all with the click of a button. We can never do too much educating about being vigilant online.

...Aiden turned off his tablet and sat in the dark. A wave of guilt and shame washed over him. He wished he could just stop looking at those sites, but it wasn’t that easy. What started as an occasional glance had turned into a weekly occurrence. He couldn’t explain why he felt so bad about looking at porn, but deep down inside something told him what he was doing was wrong…

Sources:

Brown, J. & L'Engle, K. 2009, Communications Research, 36(1), 129-151, X-Rated: Sexual attitudes and behaviors associated with U.S. early adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit media.

http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/internet-porn-stats_n_3187682.html

http://www.internetsafety101.org/pornographystatistics.htm