It is the season for the electronic world to come out with faster and newer devices. Which gives us the opportunity to get lost in cyberspace. I was recently walking in the local mall the other day and witnessed a young boy with oversized goggles on. He had a large smile on his face and his hands appeared to be grasping at something. Unfortunately, my initial thought was not, “How cool, a kid playing virtual reality games (VR) in the mall.”(Being sold between $45 to $100 US dollars.)Rather it was, “Oh, no!” I thought to myself here is another way kids are going to become desensitized to human interaction. And more importantly act out sex thru porn in the wrong way.
At the same time the gaming world is creating new ways to interact with there audience. So to is the pornography world, and this is dangerous, because it is infiltrating the youth of our communities.
VR is the latest craze that is in all the local gaming stores, malls and holiday wish lists…. And so too in the porn world, it’s the latest craze VR Porn is taking the world by storm.
40 percent of boys between grades 4 and 11 have looked for porn online, and that many of them admit to doing so frequently. OK, if you are anything like me, and by that I mean a human who grew up with access to the Internet, you know that this is not groundbreaking news. What might surprise you — but probably shouldn’t — is that in the same survey almost one in five students in grade 11 said they had sent a “sext.” They are playing games like, “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”
Issues That Face Our Children.
The prevalence of teens scanning porn sites should raise concerns for two reasons: recent research regarding porn and the brain, and a growing number of sexual-health experts and young men claiming that Internet porn is causing sexual dysfunctions.
They Can Observe…Interpreting is another thing.
We have all heard the stories of grandpa’s garage full of Playboys, or the neighborhood kids playing house. (Insert your personal story here…) I like to say children are amazing at observing and unable to interpret their observations. This is extremely relevant as it pertains to children and pornography. The first step is to be aware and observe as parents. Be open to what the Internet is and what the Internet isn’t. It is important to help them interpret.
This is Your Brain On…..Drugs, Porn.
There was a Public Service Commercial in the 80’s and it was of a man who had a hot frying pan and he say’s dramatically…”This is your brain…” He goes on to crack an egg on the pan and says… “This is your brain on drugs, any questions?” It’s a rather startling display of what drugs do to your brain. The rather startling fact is that pornography is doing a number on the teen’s brain and adult brains too for that matter.
Scans of the developing adolescent brain—a National Institutes of Health (NIH) project that studied over a hundred young people as they grew up during the 1990s—showed that our brains undergo a massive reorganization between our 12th and 25th years. The brain doesn't actually grow very much during this period. It has already reached 90 percent of its full size by the time a person is six, and a thickening skull accounts for most head growth afterward. But as we move through adolescence, the brain undergoes extensive remodeling, resembling a network and wiring upgrade.
Pornography does a significant job re-wiring the teens brain and (adults brain). This is just the start!
Loss of Reality: The Sociological Dilemma.
Teens are so over consumed with social media and the like of what is going on beyond the screen. Some sources say that the average teenager aged 13-19 years old is 9 hours a day. Tweenies’ aged 8 -12 years old are spending 8 hours. It is said; the average age a young boy is introduced to pornography is 10 years old.
They are oblivious to what is a healthy social interaction with another. It is important to teach your children how to engage in a healthy relationship with others, this will intern help teens learn to date and socially interact appropriately.
Storm Clouds are Building: The Psychological Dilemma.
One of the most common dilemma’s that I am seeing in my office are the client’s that are stating they have ADHD, Anxiety, Irritability, Insomnia, and many other behaviors that are becoming detrimental to their life. The irony is the storm cloud of these symptoms is directly related to the amount of porn consumption of the individual. Many of the symptoms of ADHD or Anxiety are reverberations from a person’s pornography habit.
As a loved one this is important to understand and be aware of because it is very easy to chalk it up to your child’s other behaviors.
Have you thought your loved one or child is learning about sex through porn? Is you loved one presenting any symptoms that are new to you? Please consider the courage to talk with you child and be proactive.
It’s the Truth, Erectile Dysfunction: The Physical Dilemma.
In my office I have heard client’s as young as 18 years old with this problem to as old as 75 years old with this problem. The common variable is over use of pornography. The research says with anywhere between 6 and 18 months porn free they will be back to normal. This is even more of a problem for the youth, because this is how their brain is wired. They only know this behavior and it takes a lot longer to learn a new behavior. As I previously mentioned earlier, it all stems from the lack of imagination and real life experiences.
It is now the job of our society to keep talking about this epidemic and just like the courage to talk to the youth about other concerns, so too is it our responsibility to talk to them about Pornography and sexuality.
Dr. Ryan Westrum, PhD MA, is a sex therapist that specializes in pornography addiction, sex addiction and sexual education. Please contact Dr. Westrum at 952-261-5269 or firstname.lastname@example.org .