porn hurts

5 Ways Porn Hurts Our Sons and Daughters

When the only thing they hear from adults about sex is that it is bad and you shouldn’t do it they know they aren’t hearing the full story. When parents fail to give the full picture of sex kids will go looking for answers somewhere else. The “somewhere else” is porn. I was recently speaking to a father who caught his twelve-year-old daughter watching porn. He remarked, “I’ve seen plenty of porn during my life, but the stuff she was watching was disturbing.” His experience is the new normal. The average age a child encounters porn for the first time is between the ages of nine and eleven, and mainstream porn continues to get more extreme, violent, and degrading.

The internet and smartphones have opened the door to an invading army of porn into the minds and hearts of our kids. The consequences are devastating. Here are 5 ways porn hurts our sons and daughters.

1. Sexualizing Our Kids

The term “teen” has been in the top three highest searched words on porn sites for the past three years. One year, 2014, it was number one. That should make us all sick. We are talking about kids. This means a majority of people looking at porn on the internet desire watching kids. When porn site visits outnumber Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined, think about how many people are looking to watch kids having sex. Think about how many child predators are being fueled and emboldened. What is all of this communicating to our sons and daughters?

2. Losing Innocence

The culture surrounding porn is reinforcing the idea that kids can be sex objects. [Tweet This] This was evident in 2010 when eight-year-old girls danced in a competition to the song “Single Ladies” with highly sexualized moves while wearing lingerie. The crowd on hand, which included the girls’ parents, wasn’t horrified. Instead, they hooted, hollered, and cheered. We are teaching our sons and daughters at a young age if they want to be noticed they need to be sexy. It all starts with our pornified culture. And kids have gotten the message loud and clear.

3. Feelings of Shame, Guilt, and Depression

What happens next is tweens and teens play at being sexy. They quickly believe the lie that the best place to learn how to be sexual is through internet porn, which is easily accessible and affordable in large quantities. The images of mainstream pornography they encounter within one minute of searching are violent and graphic. The images are burned into their brains forever. The pornographers are telling them that this is the sexual experience. Deep down they know they have seen something they shouldn’t have seen, but their brains can’t make sense of it. They are excited and embarrassed, but they don’t know why. They feel ashamed and guilty, but too scared to talk to anyone for fear of being in trouble.

4. Addiction

Little do they know what their developing brains have been doing while viewing porn. It’s released large amounts of dopamine, which gives the feeling of pleasure in the rewards center of the brain. This gives them the urge to come back again and forms a connection with the image (a connection meant for a person). This causes an addiction, which is more powerfully ingrained the younger their ages when they’re introduced. Since the feeling of euphoria helps them forget about their problems momentarily, porn becomes an unhealthy coping mechanism to distract them from the feelings of shame, guilt, and stress. Unfortunately, it only leaves them feeling emptier so they watch more and the cycle continues.

5. It Fuels Disconnection and Disrespect

Ultimately, porn leads to relational disconnection and degradation. They draw expectations of what sex will be like. Rather than sex being about connecting intimately with someone in the safety of commitment, it becomes a selfish pursuit of getting off. Sex gets cheapened to a physical act and people are reduced to objects of fantasy. A good and rich life is found in relationships. Sadly, this porn culture is leading our sons and daughters far from them. The best thing you can do is educate your kids about the lies and the dangers of pornography. Start early rather than later. At some point, they are going to encounter it and will need you to help them make sense of it. Keep the line of communication open and engage them in conversation so they don’t go it alone.

Sound Off

How do you think porn is affecting our sons and daughters?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Dharmic tachikoma

    There is no need to depict an exaggerated videodrome-like reality when things aren’t by far necessary “violent and degrading” .Ass a matter of fact most sites allow you to customize your own “pornfeed” depending on what you like. That can vary from a naive armpit fetish to things less light than that. It all comes down to what you chose to see.

    • Pastor Martin

      Spoken like a true degenerate!

      • Dharmic tachikoma

        Come on, if you can’t make a constructive criticism. Please don’t bother me with that childish attitude father.

    • BJ_Foster

      Stating that porn has gotten more violent and degrading is not an exaggeration, it’s common knowledge. Anyone who states otherwise is in denial. The things kids are able to find within 30 seconds of searching the internet is far darker than anything we were exposed to while growing up. You may have the ability to set limits to what you allow yourself to see, but a teenager and younger doesn’t have that ability. And since their brains are still developing the risk of potential damage is higher.

      • Dharmic tachikoma

        First of all you can’t put out of your sleeve that “is common knowledge” ad populum fallacy. Second why you assume that Im not a” teeneager or a younger” when as the matter of a fact I am?. I’m gonna tell you why, it is because your ageism don’t let you acknowledge that neither your children or I can be beings capable of a higher understanding, furthermore you need to patronize us. That is the root of everything wrong nowadays in raising children. We need to teach our sons how to set their own limits in what they want to allow themselves to see instilling in them risk perception and other resources.,not making them rely on us to guard them from “Putting a fork in the outlet”. If the younger ones grow up exposed to a euphemised version of reality they won’t have the abilities necessary to face problems that do not appear on the muppet show. Rather than help them, this overprotective parenting is spoiling them. We need to allow develop as independent and free individuals.

        • BJ_Foster

          Fine. If you don’t want to accept that porn has become more violent all it takes is a little bit of research and an objective perspective. I’m not trying to win an argument here. Second, perhaps it’s not ageism that drove me to assume you were older, but the fact that you were commenting on All Pro Dad. We don’t receive a lot of comments from teenagers. I apologize if you felt like I was patronizing. As someone who has spent a lot of time with teenagers, and defending them in many cases, that is the last thing I would want to do. However, it sounds as though you are not a parent. I think some of your philosophy may change when you get some firsthand experience. Teenagers are capable of many things, but the reason teenagers still need the protection of parents is because their pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain that helps them evaluate cause and effect) in most cases is not fully developed. Most neuroscientists accept that this part of the brain is not fully developed until around age 25 or maybe even 30. That’s why many teenagers act impulsively. That’s not said to be patronizing, but a scientific and sociological observation. Now you and others may be an exception to the rule. Perhaps your brain finished developing well before the averages. But for the majority this holds true. As a parent, when you have a baby and a toddler, you put protectors over the outlets because when a child puts their finger in one he/she could die. When they are teenagers you do gradually release them into the world (and they do need to learn how to create and hold boundaries), but you still have to help them think through consequences and keep them from things that could be truly detrimental to their health. I believe porn is detrimental to a persons health and there is a lot of research from neuroscience, psychologists, and human rights organizations to back that up.

          • Dharmic tachikoma

            I really don’t understand how a person who doesn’t watch porn can have a objective perspective on the subject. Either you see it only “in the interest of research”(Thing that I would find hilarious) or you really don’t have a real basement for your standpoints. Beside other inconsistency is that you can’t have this uber-victorian attitude toward porn while reading to kids a book that because of his explicitly depicted obscene scenes should be called “50 shades of christ”. Answer me honestly! Which one of these verses would you proudly read to your children before go to bed?”Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Isaiah (13) : 16. or “And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.” Ezekiel (23) : 3. And i’m telling you this because of your mindset is typically made at the own image of going to much sundays to church. i don’t want to turn this into a religious debate don’t get triggered. Getting back to the pedagogy issue,I mention the outlets as a parable to the dangers of life. I probably wasn’t clear enough to make that obvious. And of course as long as a toddler don’t understand the dangers of electricity they need us to intervene in their behalf (I would be not only a fool if denied that but an irresponsible caregiver too) but my point is when they proof to themselves to be capables of self management that’s when we need to stand back from that area of personal freedom-responsibility they conquered not keep overrunning them for “their own sake” disguised as protection. Our main differences lies that I don’t think that we should control the process of “release them” at our own phase… I’m sorry if what I said upset you. I know that you are a good parent, perhaps better that the one i had. I apologize if I was insensitive to you, a person with the better intentions I can imagine.I hope we can continue this debate in a more friendly way . Getting back to the porn affair. I have not argue you back properly your Five statement wait for it.

          • BJ_Foster

            You didn’t make me upset. In answer to assumption, I’ve had plenty of experience with porn, several decades in fact and the day I stopped watching it my life got a whole lot better and more free.

  • Dharmic tachikoma

    (3). It is important to teach our kid to not feel embarrassed about their own sexuality if we don’t do that they are going to develop psychological problems that even Sigmund Freud could never cure. That’s the root of that terrible feelings: The repression of the libid. To illustrate how absurd this “self-rapeing” mindset is just take a peek to the image below
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6e140a579bf75d39876a9e1c5ea5e4710a305cb5afdf8ff8dce7146a4319b79.jpg

    • BJ_Foster

      You can teach a child not to feel embarrassed about their sexuality without proclaiming porn proclaiming porn to be good or okay. Porn distorts sex and sexuality.

  • Dharmic tachikoma

    (4).I fought everybody knew that the porn addiction myth was already debunked.check this article of Psychology Today out! https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201307/your-brain-porn-its-not-addictive.

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