Help for Adolescent Pornography Addiction
Are you worried your teenager is viewing pornography? Do you feel scared they will develop unrealistic sexual expectations? Have you found yourself on edge about them using their phones or laptops in private? Do you feel helpless to stop them? You are not alone.
Parents of teenagers have a frightening new reality to deal with. Because teens have so much unrestricted access to the internet through smart phones, tablets, laptops and TV, it is very difficult to regulate them. It is much more challenging than when you were a kid and your parents didn’t have to contend with technology when trying to preserve your innocence.
Teenage use of online pornography is staggering. According to a report from Covenant Eyes, about 90% of teen boys and 70% of teen girls have accessed images containing nudity and sexual content online, and roughly one third of teen boys watch it regularly. According to extremetech.com the top porn website has “4.4 billion pageviews per month.” Sexual-sanity.com says that 30% of web searches are for porn. Even if you have safeguards on your child’s phone or computer there are workarounds. Some of the adolescents I have worked with have told me they find pornographic images on Facebook and Instagram by using the right search terms. These are not sites that were blocked with the software their parents had installed.
What are the potential consequences of struggles with pornography?
- Exposure to unrealistic sexual activity
- Associating sex with lust and not love
- Failing to learn how to develop meaningful relationships with the opposite sex
- Distancing from family and faith communities out of guilt and shame
- Sneaky behavior, and lying
- Loss of productivity and socialization
- Deep seeded addiction that can be as emotionally destructive as drug addiction
- Frequent exposure to aberrant sexual behavior, until it is seen as acceptable
- Higher likelihood of many sexual partners over a lifetime
- Difficulty in committed relationships in the future
- Higher rates of using substances during sexual behavior
- Boredom with sex in an intimate and committed relationship
- Challenges with emotional intimacy with the opposite sex
- Depression and loneliness
There is so much to be concerned with. If you’ve caught you’re child once, or suspect it, there is a good chance they use it more than they’ve admitted.
Though you feel alarmed and discouraged, know that there is hope. There are lots of ways to get help.
- Much like Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a free program called Sexaholics Anonymous. It is a 12-Step program, and is a good adjunctive to therapy.
- Therapy is an excellent way to be held accountable while healing from the damage done by viewing sexually explicit content. Therapy also helps create lasting change. It helps you as parents know what to do too.
- Inpatient treatment. For those who find the addiction has become overwhelming, inpatient rehabilitative treatment is available, usually at a high financial cost (However, the financial cost of sexual addiction is also extremely high).
In most cases, pornography addiction is treated by a therapist of the same sex.
- If your son is struggling with pornography use, call Seth right away to talk about your situation at 209-968-0653. Because he sees clients through online videoconferencing, even though his spaces are limited, he is usually able to find a way to get you an appointment if one is needed.
- If it is your daughter you are concerned with, call Lauren at 949-394-0607.