Is he watching porn ― what should I do?

Talking to your young 'uns about pornography and sex can be tricky — and awkward — but you MUST do it.

Kids-Is-he-watching-porn-What-should-I-do

When he is caught watching porn red-handed, a common refrain from the guilty party is, “There’s nothing wrong with it because nobody gets hurt — no girl is getting pregnant and no sexually transmitted diseases are being spread through the act of watching porn.”

          But to the contrary, explicit images have a funny way of getting caught in one’s mind and can stay there for YEARS. A recent Touch Cyber Wellness survey showed that a staggering 91 per cent of secondary school boys and 35 per cent of secondary school girls have been exposed to porn.

          Hershey Regaya, programme manager at Family Life Society, explains that the Medial Pre-Optic Nucleus (MPN), the pleasure centre of the brain is capable of linking sexual excitement with explicit images. This connection is what feeds porn viewing as a habit in the long-run ― in short, your tween could face far-reaching consequences because of this habit.

           Both Regaya and Chong Ee Jay, a manager at Touch Cyber Wellness, open up on why porn won’t just harm your tween’s perception of sex and relationships, it could hurt him in other ways…

1) A smaller brain

Dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for reward and pleasure goes into overdrive when a person views porn. The downside is that the person will need to seek out more and more pornographic material to feed this “high”, marking the beginning of an addiction.

          Regaya says that research has shown that an addiction to porn can cause some parts of the brain like the striatum area (linked to motivation and reward response) and frontal lobes (responsible for sound decision-making) to shrink in size.

2) Body image and social issues

Porn negatively influences the way a person view themselves and the opposite gender: Girls compare themselves with the images and could be easily swayed to accept sexual favours and advances from boys as they may think it is “normal”. Boys may come to view girls as sexual objects — to be dominated, and “abused” as seen in the sometimes violent sexual portrayals in porn.

          Even worse, Chong says, some boys are unable to hold proper conversations with girls without mentally undressing them or have explicit images at the back of their minds (yikes!).

“Porn is also termed a marriage-killer because it can destroy the pleasure of sex with your spouse — it does not measure up to their comparisons with fantasy partners in porn.” 

3) Feeding the addiction

An addiction to porn can manifest as “acting out” or experimenting. Chong says, “In children and teenagers, this could mean self-exploration on sexuality — masturbation, sexual experiences with friends or partners — which can potentially lead to legal, social and emotional repercussions on a child’s long-term development.”

          The young person might choose to compromise on other aspects of his life to sustain the addiction — social and family life will take a back seat, as could learning to meet members of the opposite sex.

4) Unhealthy and unrealistic sexual expectations

Regaya says research has shown that habitual consumption of porn in a marriage can destroy the pleasure of sex with one’s own spouse. The spouse will lose satisfaction in having sex with a real person as it fails to live up to his mental comparisons to fantasy partners in porn. Hard-core porn could even lead to increased sexual aggression and the belief in sexual dominance, aggression and rape.

Already found questionable material on your tween’s smartphone or browser history? Here is what to do…