Porn for kids is a Battle! You need to make sure they Win!

Kids watching screen image

With the growth of the internet and accessibility to explicit content, most young parents today have another challenge they need to deal with – pornography. The internet is a vast digital jungle with tons of information. But porn available for kids has grown so large that 4% of currently active websites offer pornographic content.

Kids today come in contact with porn at an early age. It’s almost impossible for them to miss it as they start using internet devices straight away. The millennial generations were the first to get access to porn online. However, this didn’t happen until they reached their later teen years.

But even then, a lot of young minds turned watching porn into a debilitating addiction that negatively affected their lives. Let’s face it – parental control programs, although useful, they can’t completely stop children from watching porn. However, it’s essential to understand its effects and how kids behave to ensure that they come out victorious and become functional adults.

 

 

 

 

Reasons why kids watch porn

There are many reasons why kids watch porn and adults for that matter. Not all of them start to do it because they “feel the need,” the issue is more complex than that. At the same time, when understanding the reasons why someone is watching porn, you can understand how much this habit is hurting them.

Now let’s see some of the most common reasons why kids consume porn.

Curiosity – Discovering Their Sexuality

Sexual desire and pleasure is the number one reason why people watch porn. Sex is a normal human need, and as kids grow, they become more curious about their sexuality. All of them have a gradual sexual development that is more or less the same.

By the age of 10, most kids show signs of puberty, and their interest in sexual behavior increases. By the time of Junior High/Middle School, they are aware of their sexual feelings.

That is further enhanced by puberty, and kids usually start masturbating during this period. At this time, it’s common for them to look up for porn online. They want to explore their sexuality, and porn is an easy way to do it.

Peer Pressure

We are living in an age where porn is completely normalized. When you go online, you constantly see porn ads, nudity, and images with sexual meaning. And that transfers to budding young minds as well. As a part of their sexual development, kids often talk about sex with their classmates, the girls or boys they like, and so on.

In these conversations, children often talk about porn. It’s difficult to hide porn from them because they can easily learn about it from their peers. Not only this, but kids will often pressure each other into watching porn.

Many of them try out porn the first time because they want to feel like part of the group, not because they are curious.

To Fight Stress

Sex is known for its positive effects on stress. Kids who are stressed for different reasons like school, bullying, lack of friends, no relationships, or a poor situation at home are likely to engage in watching porn as a way out all of their problems.

Watching porn leads to increased estrogen and testosterone, which can reduce stress. There are many ways masturbation helps reduce stress, and some research even shows it has positive effects on anxiety.

To Learn About Sex

Many kids who start watching porn out of their curiosity do this to learn about sex. There are even those who don’t necessarily turn on porn to masturbate as they still don’t feel sexual arousal. They want to understand what sex is and how it looks.

However, this can disrupt their hormones and make them start masturbating earlier or even enter puberty prematurely. On the other hand, teenagers will often watch porn to learn “new moves” and prepare themselves for when they get the chance to have sex.

It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can have a lot of negative effects as well. Porn often represents sex in unrealistic ways, which can completely disrupt expectations and real sexual encounters.

Reasons why kids get hooked on watching porn

Getting hooked to porn is similar, like becoming a drug addict. It starts as a rewarding activity but can turn into uncontrollable urges that have a lasting effect on someone’s life. Watching porn isn’t just looking at sexual videos or nude pictures.

It affects the chemicals in the brain and changes it over time. Addiction doesn’t necessarily involve consuming a substance like cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. A lot of scientific research has shown that addictions are formed in the brain. They can be triggered in various ways, not just with substances.

Similarities of Drug Addiction and Porn Addiction

Simply put, porn can act as a facilitator for forming an addiction. With drugs, the stimulation gives a person the illusion of happiness and well-being. This feeling makes it difficult for those people to remain sober as life doesn’t look appealing unless they are under the influence.

Porn stimulates similar pleasure responses in the brain as drugs, giving a fake source of satisfaction. After a long period of porn abuse, kids won’t find real people attractive and won’t be able to enjoy real sex.

Porn Hijacks the brain

Before we talk about how the brain works on porn, let’s take a step back and introduce a single important chemical in our brain – dopamine.

Dopamine and Its Role

Dopamine is a brain chemical closely tied to our actions and emotions. For our subject, the most important aspect of dopamine is its effects on the reward center in our brain. Simply put, it has huge effects on behavior motivated by rewards.

Simply put, dopamine is in charge of all those feelings you get when buying something new, eating good food, getting a promotion, and so on. This chemical is in charge of our feelings of enjoyment and happiness.

Dopamine is essential for learned behaviors. However, there’s research indicating that it can also affect ongoing actions. When it comes to reward-based behavior, we tend to take actions that will be most rewarding.

A good reward helps produce more dopamine and, therefore, a happier state. That’s why we are likely to repeat that action in the future.

Porn For Kids: Brain and Pornography

So what is going on in your kid’s or your brain when watching pornography? First of all, you should know that sexual activity leads to a strong dopamine release. It’s simply the way our bodies work, meaning that watching porn, masturbating, and having sex all produce dopamine.

That’s why people want to repeat this behavior to get that sense of pleasure once again, and it’s precisely why kids and adults can get addicted to watching porn. If a child watches pornography regularly, they will develop a strong craving for that dopamine shot.

The Coolidge Effect

But the issues don’t end there. Another big reason why pornography is so addictive is accessibility. To put things in perspective, we must address the “Coolidge Effect.” The Coolidge Effect refers to the reduction of sexual desire when having sex with the same partner over a longer period.

Simply put, a lot of people cheat on their partners because they don’t get the same dopamine reward as when finding another partner. When it comes to pornography, there are no limits. People can always find new things and more intense pornographic content.

Users can always find a video or image that will give them that feeling of something “new.” While it might sound good, in reality, people stop being able to get that dopamine when having “regular sex.”

All of this leads to a state where pleasure only comes from novelty.

The Consequences

For these reasons, many kids and people addicted to pornography experience erectile dysfunction. They have distanced themselves from being close to people and trained their bodies to get aroused by novelty found in videos and images.

Pornography can change a kid’s brain to want more pornographic content. Similarly to how eating candy makes you crave more sweets. The brain gets “rewired” to pornography and relies on it for sexual gratification and nothing else.

That’s why porn addicts find it so difficult to quit. Abstaining from this kind of behavior is difficult as it takes time for the brain to rewire back into a normal state.

Signs that your child is addicted to porn and not just curious

General Loss of Interest

If you notice your child is losing interest in various activities that they enjoyed in the past, this might be the cause of porn addiction. Porn can take hold of the brain and make all other activities seem boring. If they don’t want to do anything but sit in the room all day, it might be a good idea to investigate.

Neglecting Responsibilities

If your child doesn’t go to bed on time or spends tons of time in their room, or if there are no clear reasons why they are missing things and disrupting their life, there might be an underlying cause.

Taking Big Risks

Every parent knows their kids masturbate. They’ve done it themselves. However, if you notice that your child is taking every chance possible to watch porn and they engage in this kind of behavior in situations where there is a big chance of getting caught, they might have a problem.

Spending a Lot of Time With an Online Device

Of course, there are many reasons kids could be spending a lot of time on their tablet, phone, or computer. But neither of them is good. If your child is taking a device to the bathroom, sitting in front of a computer all night, and staying locked in their room during the day, you should learn what they are doing.

What to do about Porn For Kids

In case it’s curiosity

If your child is curious about its sexuality, you shouldn’t be dismissive or lash out. Instead, you should acknowledge their curiosity. Talk to your kids; don’t let them research on their own. Avoid making them feel bad about their curiosity and explain to your child that they can ask you what they want to know.

This way, you will prevent your kids from watching porn, and you can present the information in a normal and measured way. Make rules about watching porn and make it clear that it’s not a healthy thing. Of course, you won’t be able to monitor your kids at all times, but they won’t get the opportunity to do this often.

If you catch your child watching porn or talk about it with them, their instinct will be to hide their desires. Use this to your advantage. Tell them that it’s natural that they don’t want anyone to see them do this because it’s not the desired behavior.

In case it’s an addiction

In case you are suspicious of your child having an addiction, be open about it, and try to talk to them. Don’t judge your child or confront them in a way that will make them feel like there is something wrong with them. Learn about their thoughts, feelings, and what is driving them to behave this way.

It will help you confirm that they are actually addicted. Furthermore, make sure to visit a mental health professional that can talk with your child. It’s also a good idea to limit their time online, track how they are using the internet and which sites they are visiting.

 

Include your kids in as many activities you can that will have a rewarding effect and help find pleasure in other things.

Bottom line

Although it can be difficult to talk about these subjects with your kids, you need to do it. That’s how you can make sure that your child is growing properly and spot compulsive behavior early on. No matter what you do, make sure that you have confirmed the addiction with a professional before you start acting.

12 thoughts on “Porn for kids is a Battle! You need to make sure they Win!

  1. Faizul says:

    Very informative and article carrying insights. Appreciate the author for posting and doing such wonderful analysis.

  2. Christina Voges says:

    Very informative article. Its super important to talk to kids about every every thing. They need to know and understand they body. Boys wonder about their difference to girls, and vise versus. It’s very important to teach our kids early on, to appreciate and value their bodies; they need to understand and live their feelings; nobody should be allow to touch them or expose themselves on photos without their consent. Open discussion about nudity, genders, intimacy are inevitable to strengthen self-confidence and awareness. We need to build they self-confidence by enhancing their knowledge and allow them to explore themselves. Furthermore, it’s great to have useful tools in place to control kids while using electronic devices, until they actually mature enough understand the whole matter.

    • Sam Jazwyn says:

      Thank You Tina!

      It’s interesting how you view the matter in terms of our childrens’ consent. Indeed, they sometimes fall prey to sexually explicit material by forces, other than their own curiosity. It’s therefore important to make use of the useful online tools to control their activity online. Here’s a list of free tools that you may find useful 🙂 https://www.techradar.com/best/parental-control

  3. Obie says:

    I totally agree and we need to be aware and put the proper precautions to prevent the situation from getting out of control

  4. Adi says:

    With what world moving around and going fast I only react about this case if it happen to me is go back to Quran. yes you find it weird and we don’t have to mention religion but it the only way to react. I can’t let my kids watch porn in certain age so I will stop them and warning them do do it and I will explain them why When there ready

    • Sam Jazwyn says:

      Thank you Adi!

      Stopping them is definitely better than allowing them to watch pornography. It’s also important to explain to them like you mentioned, to respond to their curiosity, when the time comes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This article is spot on with everything. Speaking from personal experience, the reason I got into porn as a kid were many of the same reasons listed above. The effect on the brain is also something I have experienced. Kudos to the author for this article and hopefully it will be able to help parents try to shield their kids from going down this path.

    • Sam Jazwyn says:

      Thank You for the feedback

      All addiction have the same mechanism. Pleasure at first, then pain outweighs the pleasure. I recommend reading “ The brain that changes itself “ by Norman Doidge if you wish to understand more about addiction 🙂

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