Negative effects of porn: Body image issues

As you know, pornography is the culprit behind the decline in sex life quality, pornography addiction, sexual violence against women, child pornography, etc. However, there is another equally important aspect: how has pornography created body image issues for your children?

Body image issues: Obsessed with the bodies in porn

Many teenagers in qualitative research claim that pornography actually negatively impacts the way they perceive their bodies. For boys, this mostly revolves around penis size, although some also report feeling anxious about not having the attractively muscular strength to attract other girls. Meanwhile, girls worry about not having big breasts and big butt to be attractive in the eyes of their boyfriends.

An unexpected finding from this study is that teenage girls perform genital hair removal mainly because of pornographic content. They think they want to look as attractive and clean as the women in porn.

kids compare their bodies with others

In the same survey, parents – especially mothers – are more concerned about their child’s body image issues than ever under the pressure of pornography. This has a significant impact on the child’s mental health if the daughter constantly feels worried about her small breasts or her body is not thin enough.

For those with a son, they are concerned that boys will have unrealistic expectations about a woman’s appearance after watching porn. For example, a father had to explain to his child the unrealistic appearance of a female body in the porn movies he watched. This came after an occasion when his son said he was not attracted to what was described as “normal women with normal bodies”.

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Meanwhile, girls think that boys will judge their bodies based on the standards of porn actors. And that those guys would expect girlfriends to look and act sexier and would compare their bodies to those in porn videos.

A 17-year-old girl from Washington said she thought of “anal bleaching” because the body of female porn stars looks absolutely perfect. Besides, the actors also remove the labia to improve their body aesthetics. When looking at images like that, the girls will think “Wow, that’s what I need to do that to make a guy like me”.

Among those who have viewed pornography and made an opinion:

  • 29% agreed that they felt bad about their bodies when they saw the way actors’ bodies are in porn. This perception does not show any difference between boys and girls.
  • 35% agreed that they were worried about what other people think of them because they don’t look like the actors they see in porn.” Again, there is no difference between boys and girls in this perception.

body image issues in teens

What parents need to do to prevent kids’ body image issues?

During adolescence (10-19 years old), especially when your child is before the age of 18, you need to have regular these intimate discussions with your child on issues related to gender. When your child is in puberty, he or she is greatly influenced by the impact around them – images of porn actors can completely distort their body image, they will misinterpret them that this is their right body, which leads to fasting, anxiety disorders, and depression.

With boys, they both have body image issues with them and the perception of the female friend’s body will be distorted. They will think that the image they see on the screen is ideal and constantly comparing with other girls, thereby bringing a distorted view about women.

Therefore, in an age that is not enough to approach porn, besides talking with your children regularly, you need to be more proactive in ensuring the healthy psychological and cognitive development of your children by using content filtering tools to automatically and instantly prevent pornography from reaching your child. As you know, pornography is addictive, as long as your child sees an explicit image (intentionally or not), it will lure your child to continue to learn about it.

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Binh Nguyen
With 14 years of AI experience, I love developing AI products to solve real-life problems. I'm passionate about how CyberPurify’s AI-driven filtering solution can help parents protect their kids from harmful content, while still letting kids experience the positive benefits of the online world.

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