What I want you to know about teenagers and pornography
What I want you to know about teenagers and pornography First of all, why I am writing this blog about teenagers and pornography? I work with teenagers and families. I have worked in the area of sexual assault with recent assaults, and sexual abuse in children, and adults who were sexually abused as children. Over […]
What I want you to know about teenagers and pornography
First of all, why I am writing this blog about teenagers and pornography? I work with teenagers and families. I have worked in the area of sexual assault with recent assaults, and sexual abuse in children, and adults who were sexually abused as children. Over the years, I have watched the increase in access to pornography, the speed in which young people can navigate their way through computer locks, filters, and any other means to be able to access pornography. Don’t think that your child or the one next to them can’t access pornography, because THEY CAN. Gone are the days of the magazine under the bed which in today’s terms, would be judged as harmless, though the magazines are still showing a particular representation of women.
I am very worried about young people and the warped view they are receiving of having sex; of the warped conditioning that leaves them with attitudes about sex without the resources to be able to deal with what they are viewing whilst they are developing as sexual beings.
I am worried about the sexual bullying and harassment that many young girls are experiencing as part of their daily life; of the pressure they are feeling to perform certain acts that adolescent boys are seeing in the pornographic material they are viewing.
I am worried about the impact pornography viewing is having on young men who develop a habit or addiction to pornography, and when they actually start to engage in meaningful relationships, they will have problems with sex and real experiences. Many studies show that there are huge differences between the sexual relationships with committed partners and an individual and the pornography they watch.
What’s the difference between having sex and what you see in pornography?
As humans, when we have sex, we are designed to produce certain hormones that influence how we feel and our attractiveness to our partners, emotional bonding, calming and relaxing influences, along with producing a hard wiring in our brains with our partners.
When we view pornography, the same hormones are released that then associate attractiveness to objects and images, images become hard wired that then become addictive. Connections and bonds we had with people turn into using pornography to escape from any stresses in our lives. The calming hormones when paired with pornography create a dependency for it. It can become an easy release and ‘quick fix’ for many viewers and so much easier and more accessible than learning other calming and self-soothing strategies.
Reality versus pornography
• Most people in reality do not look like porn actors;
• The men often use Viagra to maintain erections;
• Male actors are chosen for their larger than average sized penises;
• There is no body hair in pornography;
• Breasts do not stay upright in real sex;
• Breasts are enlarged in pornography;
• Labia-plasty and vaginal surgery occurs in pornography;
• Female actors in pornography are paid to ‘fake it’ whether it hurts or not;
• You will see certain acts in pornography that are violent, rough and often non-consensual;
• Real sex is messy and ‘bits’ don’t stay in the same place when you’re having real sex.
The above points are a few of many that create a view of sex based on performance such as how young teenagers’ bodies look, whether a girl can provide pleasure for the boy and not whether the girl is enjoying the experience, girls worrying that if they don’t perform in a certain way, or send an image of their body parts, then the boy won’t like them or take them out. We see and hear in the media of women being ranked on their physicality.
If this shocks you then I have gotten my message across. If this shocks you that you as parents of teenagers will probably know a young person who is experiencing this epidemic movement that is teens accessing pornography, then I am glad, because if it was your last breath on the earth, and you had the opportunity to put your unease and discomfort to one side so that you could talk about this stuff to your children, then I would be thankful.
What can I do as a parent?
• Acknowledge your own embarrassment or discomfort of talking about pornography;
• Acknowledge your own feelings of sadness if you know that your children are being exposed to this world;
• Talk about the differences in pornography and real sex;
• Encourage helpful connections and bonding experiences with your teenagers;
• Teach your children about sexual consent (a person who is under the influence of alcohol or other substances cannot consent to having sex) and mutual intimacy http://au.reachout.com/what-is-sexual-consent;
• Don’t rely on the child locks or filters on your internet, or school internet filters;
• Tell your children that pornography is a commercial product;
• Find ways to support your teens to learn how to have those uncomfortable thoughts that they don’t look a certain way, or feel good about themselves;
• Teach your teens that pornography is a film industry and as like other filming industries, they are edited to show only the most appealing parts of the film; you can’t edit real life sex;
• Teach and model ways that your teens can learn calming and self-soothing strategies;
• Seek specialist support if you are concerned.
If you are worried or concerned about how to talk about pornography to your teens, how to teach and model calming strategies, or have been triggered by any of the information in this blog, seek the specialist support you require. I have been supporting children, teenagers and their families with sexual development, sexuality, consent, protective behaviours, self-image, calming strategies, and resilience building.
I am available for individual and family sessions, and parenting and school presentations.
You can contact me via my website at www.claresillencecounselling.com.au or via papillonwellness.com.au or 0403 848 398.