Within today’s easy access to the Internet and the lightning spread of pornography, more and more teenagers are addicted to porn – or we can call it Teen porn addiction.

Research shows that most pornography and sex addiction begin in adolescence. However, most parents do not act to prevent this problem any sooner. Partly because they are subjective that their kids will never do it, partly because many parents don’t know how to handle these situations.

As a result, lots of kids went from a curiosity of watching porn to becoming a porn addict.

Teen porn addiction: How Pornography Affects the Teenage Brain

Completely uncontrolled watching sex movies can flare from an act of mere curiosity to searching the Internet into a serious addiction. Chemically, dopamine is the basis of this addictive behavior. Dopamine is a brain chemical that makes people feel comfortable, a rewarded feeling for doing things that will help them survive and succeed in life.

For example, dopamine is produced when your child smiles, exercises, eats or has sex. It connects with your child’s memories, encouraging them to repeat these activities.

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When large amounts are released too quickly, addiction occurs. Since the brain cannot immediately process high levels of dopamine, it builds a wall with tolerance to pornography. This may mean less dopamine is released or less dopamine receptor is released that functions less.

Teen porn addiction - How Pornography Affects the Teenage Brain

This leads to the story that your child is motivated to watch more sex movies or to watch more weird and violent pornography to regain the same stimulus as the first time. As your child watches porn more and more, brain stamina increases, leading to the formation of a “rock” that blocks the reward and logical judgment centers of the brain.

This rock inhibits self-control. Your child will feel extremely motivated and eager to watch porn at any cost. Dopamine induces a strong desire to make your child watch more sex content. This chemical process is also explained for drug addiction.

Another hormone released when your child watches pornography is oxytocin or “cuddle hormone”. This hormone is associated with attachment in relationships. Therefore, your child will mistakenly think that watching porn is much more fun and meaningful than joining real relationships out there. Especially for children with depression, autism – children who crave friendships to feel loved and accepted are more likely to fall into porn addiction.

Porn becomes the least resistant way to artificially create, bond, and feel connected. Someone who is looking for social acceptance from friends thinks that clicking the “play” button is easier than reaching out to someone else and trying to talk. Plus, your kids don’t have to worry about their fear of being rejected by porn because it fills the void of loneliness and gives them a virtual sense of social connection.

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How does porn addiction devastate your child’s life?

In 1999, Benedek and Brown conducted a study in this area and noted some of the negative effects of pornography on adolescents. Among the findings include:

  • Imitate inappropriate behavior
  • Sexual development is negatively affected
  • Emotional side effects such as nightmares and feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and confusion
  • Stimulate early sexual activity
  • Develop attitudes that can be harmful and misleading about sex
  • Become aggressive in your social and sexual relationships.

In terms of chemistry, pornography has been shown to have a powerful effect in generating biochemical fever in teenagers. When your child is exposed to the stimulant images, the epinephrine secreted from the adrenaline gland enters the bloodstream, which is then transported to the brain and locked into memory.

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Then just having a simple visual flashback is enough to stimulate your child’s brain. You will probably still recall the first erotic images you saw when you were younger (either accidentally or on purpose).

Other chemicals that are responsible for the euphoria in teen porn addiction include adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, each of the addictive substances found in drug addiction. Once your child experiences this stimulation, it is not surprising that he will find ways to experience it again. Many people believe that porn addiction is not merely a social problem, but rather a drug because of its addictive nature.

Besides, early access and addiction to porn are very likely to lead to sexting – sending, receiving and transmitting pornographic messages, pictures, videos, behaviors that can damage reputation of a whole life of a man but is overlooked by today’s teenagers.

How soon can you know if your child is addicted to pornography?

Staying up late is often associated with your kids chatting with friends or being addicted to games, but this could be typical of teen porn addiction behavior. If your child frequently stays up late, make sure he or she can explain to you clearly what he is doing. If your child becomes secretive or embarrassed when asked about his or her time usage, that could be a red flag.

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Some of the other early warning signs of pornography addiction are similar to other forms of addiction, such as trying to keep it a secret, stealing and lying.

What should parents do to prevent teen porn addiction?

Become a friend

Sharing and explaining to your kids what is appropriate and not for their age, how pornography harms children, etc. Make sure you give clear evidence of that, don’t talk like a lecture at school. They won’t listen to it.

You can also love how parents cleverly deal with when they catch their kids watching porn.

Don’t over-control them

Your child is still human, and therefore he/she has certain privacy rights. Instead of suddenly snatching your child’s phone and reading everything on it, forbid your child from using the computer when no adult is around or constantly staring at their screen, etc. those sound effective but extremely counterproductive.

You will gradually give your child a feeling of being watched, they will become closed and afraid to share with their parents (for fear of being scolded) or start telling lies to gain the access to the computer.

Authoritarian Parenting

Instead, to ensure your child’s online environment is safe and healthier, you should consider using an additional online content filtering tool to hide 15 types of harmful content on the Internet, including:

  • Pornography
  • Horrifying content like gore, accidents, ghosts, violence, murder, terrorism, etc
  • Content about stimulants, addictive substances such as alcohol, beer, marijuana, drugs, etc
  • Content with aggressive elements, hurting others like Hate speech

The special thing is that this extension is completely free, helps to minimize your child’s access to harmful content, ensuring a healthy online environment for your child but at the same time, not invading their privacy rights.

Conclusion

The sooner a child can learn to manage and control himself from pornography, the greater the likelihood that they can live a life free from pornography addiction (or any other kind of addiction). Many adults addicted to pornography are exposed to it when they are too young, and become addicted by the age of 18.

Parents need to become wiser and face this risk from the moment their children begin to have their first sexual curiosities, or otherwise, your kids will grow up and have to deal with the addiction, without you knowing.

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