The idea of pornography addiction and teens suffering from it seems unlikely, but it happens more often than you think. With the availability of pornographic material online and peer pressure to check it out, too many teens fall victim to an obsession that once only plagued some adults. If you have caught your teen with porn and you chalked it up to youthfulness and hormones, you might be right not to be too worried. On the other hand, you should be aware that porn addiction in teens is real and that it can be very damaging.
Teens and Exposure to Porn
With high-speed Internet and online savviness, teens have greater access to pornography than ever before. They don’t need to sneak a magazine out of a store or steal a video from a friend’s parent. Teens can get porn on their phones and tablets with the touch of a screen, and much of it is free. Addiction to porn may seem unlikely, but it does happen and it’s happening to young people more and more.
Teens are more vulnerable to becoming addicted and experiencing lasting psychological damage because of pornography exposure than adults are. Teens have brains that are still developing, and this can be interrupted and skewed by a teen porn addiction. Some teens have even ended up with erectile dysfunction after battling porn addiction.
How Porn Addiction Causes Lasting Harm
Teens with so much exposure to pornography are likely getting their earliest sexual experiences this way. Instead of learning about sexuality in real situations, they are gleaning it from the screen and the fantasy world of porn. It gives these young people a distorted idea of what sex, intimacy and love are really like in real-world relationships. This can cause problems in relationships as the teens become adults.
The way in which teens view modern pornography is even more damaging than in the past because it is available online instantly. It’s more isolating and can lead more quickly to obsession and addiction. Teens who get obsessed with online porn may feel lonely, ashamed and confused. The intensity of most online porn leads to addiction more readily than old-fashioned print or video materials. While boys are most often the victims of porn addiction, teen girls can fall prey to it as well.
For teens, pornography addiction programs offer a way to get help and to repair the damage done by pornographic materials. It’s tough for anyone with any type of addiction to ask for help, but for a teen hooked on porn it can be particularly embarrassing. Parents must be responsible for monitoring their teens’ online activities and speaking up when they think there is a real problem with pornography. Getting help is essential to give that teen a new lease on life and the opportunity to develop healthy adult relationships.