06 Aug Pornography Negatively Impacts All Ages
Babies grow up becoming terrible at two, leave for the very first day of school at five, and can read a book by age seven. Around 12 years of age the baby you used to have is really a young adult and could by now have developed a very dangerous and terrible disease. The symptoms of this disease are numerous, including greater acceptance of sexual permissiveness, sex at an earlier age, negative attitudes toward women, less commitment to family and school or careers, minimal social bonding, and sexual disorder and dysfunction. This disease is pornography. Pornography is a very serious, habit-forming, life-altering, and damaging disease.
Adulthood and Marriage
Sheila Hageman changed her name to Kyrie at the age of 18 when she became a stripper. She said that she become obsessed with her body at the age of 12 right after her parents divorced. It was at this time she came across a trunk-full of her father’s pornography hidden in the basement. The pictures showed women in erotic poses. To Sheila this showed her what she could do with her body to please men. She would go back to the basement often and kept looking to see more of what her body could do. She was hooked on pornography. Anorexia became her way of life wanting to be perfect and beautiful. She knew that there were more important things than her looks but she was obsessed because of the pornography. “I thought that [pretty looks] would bring me the love I longed for,” she said.
Not only is the person directly involved with viewing pornography affected but the effects spread to the whole family and to society. In the story about Sheila, her father’s use of pornography led her to be exposed to sexual images, leading her to become insecure, anorexic, and eventually making herself a play thing for the boys and men around her. Other teenagers who view pornography often have sex at an earlier age. This can lead to babies conceived and born to teenagers placing a heavy burden on the family and often on society. Pregnancy in a young mother causes health concerns both physically and emotionally for the mother and unborn baby.
Another symptom of viewing pornography is the negativity toward women. Women become an object to those who view pornography instead of a person with feelings and needs. Wives of men with pornography addictions have insecurities that they don’t measure up. One woman said after finding out about her husband’s addiction, “Sex was always warped; I felt fat, ugly, worthless.” Other women are so hurt by their husband’s pornography use they experience severe trauma and exhibit symptoms of anger, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and uncontrollable crying.
Focus on the Family outlines how pornography becomes addictive. Early and multiple exposure to pornography hook your child. Then escalation happens as viewing pornography becomes more frequently and is more graphic and violent until they become desensitized. At this point it becomes harder to get a peak physical experience that releases chemicals in the brain like drug addiction would. Becoming addicted to pornography happens from the same changes in the brain with all addictions. The brain rewires to accommodate the extra chemicals given and then needs even more chemicals to get the same high feeling as they first had. This leads to a dangerous situation where the child begins acting out what he has seen which is often violent, abnormal, and deviant sexual behavior.
Be a Protector
You must find the right way to protect your children from this disease of pornography. Do not allow the use of it by anyone in your home. Put blocks on your computer and devices with internet always keeping them in public, high traffic areas. Do not allow your child to take this poison into their bedrooms or bathrooms. Check history and pay attention to missing time on the history in all the internet browsers. Use passwords for the computer and internet if necessary. Make specific rules everyone in the house knows, understands, and follows. Do not make exceptions.
There really is a problem
Maybe you believe your kid would never be susceptible to this disease. Consider thefollowing:
- 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls are exposed to internet pornography before the age of 18.
- 83 percent of boys have seen group sex on the internet.
- 79 percent of accidental exposures to internet porn among kids take place in the home.
- Only three percent of pornographic websites require age verification.
- The average age a child first sees internet pornography is 11.
No matter what is done, pornography can still enter your homes. The Youth Pornography Addiction Center gives some behaviors of teenager with an addiction problem: a tendency to isolate self and stay up late at night on the internet, depression, irritability, anger and over protectiveness of their technology. It is possible that teens can keep their addiction a secret. It may be only when repeated attempts to stop viewing pornography have failed that they start to show these behaviors more obviously. Pay attention to these warning signs from your child.
Remember that moment you first held your little one in your arms. Any disease so debilitating as an addiction to pornography is something to keep far away from any loved one, but there is no sure way to keep pornography out of the home and still have the conveniences of today’s society. Family Lives gives advice about helping children with an addiction to this poison. Children do want to talk about their problems. They must be taught the difference between realistic sex and sensational sex. Ask your children what they think about pornography. Get a conversation started and then listen. You probably don’t want to start a conversation by saying, “when I was your age…” because children will stop listening. Try not to over-react if you find your kids viewing pornography, even if your religious principles are offended. A car ride can sometimes help to keep both parents and children to stay calm as they talk. Being calm is better when trying to help our children because it shows love and concern instead of anger.
Imagine if your 12-year-old broke his leg. Putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg is not going to help it or change anything. But a cast will keep those bones set in place and not moving so the bone can heal effectively. Use a figurative cast to fix this problem. Parents need to be educated on the problem; recognize the signs, then actively engage and assist in the healing process. Wishful thinking won’t make a porn problem go away.
Most beneficial for your children and family would be never to allow the poison to enter your lives. If it is too late and not possible for dear little ones never to start, it is the responsibility of parents to help them stop. Talk to your children and then listen and then listen some more. Counsel and be attentive to your little ones at every step. Remember pornography is a horrible, engulfing, addictive, life-altering, dangerous disease and remember to do your part to keep it out or get it out of your child’s and family’s lives.
Natasha Rasaka is a student at Brigham Young University – Idaho. She and her husband, Brandon, are the parents of two young children. Natasha is interested in family advocacy – helping to make the family safe, healthy, and helpful for the children involved.