Currently, it is reported that at least 90% of children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography online at least once. Not only are teenagers and teens watching porn, but boys 12 to 17 are actually the biggest viewers of porn online. With this statistic, pornography is even compared as the “drug” chosen by young people.

The number of children accessing porn is truly alarming. In fact, the statistics continue to increase every year. Now, statistics show that children are first exposed to pornography at the age of 11, however, this is not too surprising.

Porn is extremely harmful to your child because it harms your child’s brain, distorts views about women and makes your kids become a porn addict, etc. so you need to watch out for these 3 signs a child is watching porn and have the answer for your question “Is my child watching pornography?”

3 signs a child is watching pornography

Your child just wants to stay in his/her room with privacy

One of the signs that your child is watching porn is that he is no longer happy and interested in doing activities he used to enjoy.

This is explained by a part of the brain called vmPFC which has been extensively studied in the literature and is believed to be involved in human decision-making. When your child watches pornography, vmPFC’s gray matter decreases, resulting in a decrease in self-control.

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When addiction to pornography affects vmPFC, it can lead to thought impairment, the onset of an addiction phase, where the brain is stimulated by the thought of watching porn and not having it. Pornography increases this thought until your child can realize they have to watch sex in response to a stimulus.

3 signs a child is watching porn

This causes undesirable emotions when viewers experience a stressful situation where the conditional-response to viewing pornography is to ease the stress.

In short, porn controls your child’s brain and makes your child feel nothing else is important or interesting, which can lead to her loss of interest in sports, toys, or find going out with friends and family is annoying.

Is my child watching pornography? Notice if your child often uses the phone/computer at night

Besides staying up late to chat with friends or play games, your kids are still very likely to watch sex movies. Since this is the time they think is safest when the whole family goes to sleep, they have space to do what they want.

kids stay up late watching porn

Your child has behavioral changes in a negative way

This is a big problem. Children who are repeatedly exposed to pornography can even engage in unhealthy sexual behavior before their age. Reports of child molestation and child pornography against children have risen sharply over the past few years.

Besides, children exposed to pornography often begin to act in a variety of ways. This can include a physical outburst like hitting or punching or abruptly using vulgar and degrading language – especially against people of the opposite sex.

Early access to pornography is closely related to the erosion of a child’s prefrontal cortex – the area of ​​the brain that contains executive functions such as morality, will and impulse control.

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Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany, found that higher use of pornography reduces the brain’s ability to respond to conventional pornography. This is probably what explains why more children tend to turn to more erotic and unique forms. 

This prevents children from building up insensitivity to women and a distorted view of what constitutes a healthy sexual relationship.

What parents should do?

Stay calm

Sexual curiosity is a natural part of your child’s development, and so don’t yell at them just because they are questioning sex and gender. Once discovered, your child may feel embarrassed, upset, or scared. This is something every child will feel, but how you, as a parent react can make a big difference.

negative effects of porn

Instead of making your child feel like they’ve done something wrong or have done something very serious, make sure you approach them calmly. This will help them feel more at ease when they open up and listen.

Instead of assuming your child is spoiled, see this as an opportunity for you to talk and discuss gender topics with your child. You may need to update yourself with some basic gender terms first.

Have a positive conversation about why porn is bad

Now is a good time to start talking about porn. Pornography is one of those sensitive issues that need to be addressed. Many parents think that this kind of conversation will rob their child of innocence, but in fact, talking is one of the best ways to protect your child from the impact of pornography on their development.

Listen and be open to what your child says. If your child has questions, it’s best to answer briefly and honestly and don’t make up the answers if you don’t know the answer.

negative effects of pornography

You should reassure them that they are not in trouble and that you will be happy they tell you about it. Then, try to understand what your child feels through some questions like:

  • How do you feel when you see pornography?
  • What did you do after seeing it?
  • Do you like watching porn movies?

Praise them for telling you and letting them understand that you are always there for them to answer any scary or confusing things.

According to Miranda Horvath, a sex researcher and professor of psychology at Middlesex University, if parents start teaching children about equality and respect when they are 5 or 6 years old when they come across porn. As a teen, they will be able to recognize the disrespect and emotion that pornography brings.

Stay calm when kid watching porn

In addition to explaining pornography and its harm to your child, you can also share content such as telling your child what is appropriate and inappropriate for your child to see, how pornography harms your child, and teach your child the negative effects of pornography as described below.

Teach them about the negative effects of pornography

You can show them some of the negative effects describe as below:

talk to kids about the negative effects of pornography

Actively make your child’s online environment safer

Talking is one of the best ways to help your child proactively stay away from porn, but don’t be subjective either as they can be very curious (especially when you’re not around).

However, due to the vulnerable nature of children’s brains, it’s important to protect your child from pornography by using harmful content filtering tools to help you prevent the terrible damaging effects of porn on your child, protecting them from exposure to harmful content while freely surfing the internet or social media.

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