Talking About Porn with Kids Reduces UsageLeave a Comment
No parent likes the idea of their child watching pornography. Unfortunately, it’s an uncomfortable topic to tackle. If you’re debating whether or not the awkwardness would be worthwhile, take note: open conversations are tremendously valuable when it comes to preventing behavioral problems. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Children and Media, researchers from Texas Tech University found that children are much less likely to use porn at all if their parents express negative views on pornography outwardly.
Pornography and Sex Addiction
Pornography refers to any printed, visual, or audio-based material designed to appeal to our sexual drive. A small but significant amount of porn users take the habit too far and fall into the same vicious cycle that characterizes any other addiction. Compulsive porn use hammers down the brain’s dopamine receptors, which makes it hard to feel happiness. At a certain point, not even the pornography is stimulating.
In the U.S., pornography addiction doesn’t have a universally accepted definition or criteria. However, this is mostly due to stigma. We don’t want to view social media, television, or pornography as legitimate addictions, because, for many of us, that would mean we have a problem. There is a substantial body of research to support these compulsions, including effective screening tools.
Every new study on pornography addiction, it seems, produces more startling results than the last–and nobody wants to believe this is such a capable problem. For the current generation of children, who have much more access to pornographic material thanks to smartphones and tablets, these findings are even more worrisome. How deeply affected will they be?
Young People and Pornography Addiction
Most young adults who use pornography casually won’t suffer a downturn in their happiness or productivity. That doesn’t mean pornography can’t contribute to their problems, though. Along with fast food, another modern-day anomaly, it’s believed to be a main culprit in early onset of sexual dysfunction.
The study’s authors note that teenage boys and teenage girls are roughly equally as likely to have a parent who overtly expresses a negative view of pornography, even though teen boys actually consume pornography substantially more often than teen girls.