Pornography and Teens is Out of Control
Teen pornography exposure is becoming more and more common with almost 87% of teens now online on a regular basis. Only 3% of boys and 17% of girls have never viewed pornography. The average age that youth are exposed to pornography is age 11. Most teens are exposed to pornography while doing their homework.
Viewing pornography can have many dangerous effects on a teen. First, viewing pornography is highly addictive and could be very disruptive to other “normal” activities that a teen is engaged in such as school, sports, and relationships; viewing pornography creates a false sense of excitement and pleasure.
In addition, viewing pornography could lead to low self-esteem as the behavior is most often hidden from others and a feeling of shame and regret begins to set in. Also, viewing pornography repeatedly will desensitize one’s emotions, thus, a teenager will begin to seek out for more aggressive videos, images or actual encounters with a perpetrator in order to achieve the same feeling of sexual satisfaction or pleasure – this could lead to a “high risk” of unhealthy outcomes for teens, such as rape, prostitution or even death.
Parents should consider the following tips in confronting teens who are found to be viewing pornography. Fathers and Mothers should be caring when confronting a teen who is found to be viewing pornography. This approach will develop trust and build an alliance with the teen when discussing rules, guidelines, and concern.
Teens are more apt to be open to suggestions and guidelines when parents are not forceful or demeaning in their presentation. Parents should discuss the reality of rules that not only apply to the real world but also the virtual world. There are places that teens should not go to in the virtual world of the internet and pornography is one of those places.
Educate Teens on the Dangers of Online Predators
1 in 5 youth is solicited online. Only 25% of teens who were solicited online informed a parent of their experience. 75% of teens shared personal information about themselves or their families in exchange for goods or services.
In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the perpetrator used the victim’s social networking site to gain information about the victim’s likes and dislikes. 1 in 33 teens received an aggressive sexual solicitation where they were asked to meet in person at a proposed location. Parents should protect internet access in their homes. Sadly, only 1/3 of homes are actively protecting their teens against porn with the use of internet software.