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This Is How Porn Damages a Developing Child


It may not be news to a lot of you, but kids are watching porn at an alarming rate. What many people don’t know, however, is how scientists are consistently proving that porn can essentially warp a developing child and toxically alter the trajectory of their entire life.

Tragically, millions of young people depend on the unrestrained online world to both learn about and activate their sexuality. And while the majority of parents and schools have struggled with having a healthy, ongoing dialogue with children regarding sex, the porn industry has been more than happy to offer their perverted perspective to curious minds.

Keep in mind, violent porn content is ubiquitous. A content analysis study published in 2010 of 304 of the most popular heterosexual porn films showed that 88% of them included physical aggression by men against women, which included mostly choking, gagging, hitting, kicking, closed fist punching, biting, and bondage.

While the age of porn users is getting younger and the porn itself is becoming more aggressive and insidious, the minds and hearts of children are being poisoned. A girl named Kayla told us,

“I was exposed to porn super young because my family computer got infected with a virus. I was around 6. The videos were just piling up on top of each other. After that, I thought sex was when a man hurts and humiliates a woman until he gets tired and I think it really messed up the way I view sex. The female porn stars were also all wearing literal children’s clothing and I felt sick to my stomach recognizing several items I had in my closet at the time. I tried to throw out some of my clothes that I previously loved and my mom still doesn’t know why.”

Porn consumption among children is only adding fuel to the fire of sexual violence that’s already raging in our culture. This porn culture has infected millions of kids, as one study reveals that 10-15 year-olds consuming violent pornography are five times more likely to be sexually aggressive than non-viewers of violent porn.

10-15 year-olds consuming violent pornography are five times more likely to be sexually aggressive than non-viewers of violent porn.

Our own research has concluded a few extremely troubling truths. First, children lament their exposure to porn and attribute much pain, shame, and sadness to it. Secondly, children are more likely to act upon, in real life, what they’re seeing on screen. And thirdly, most parents and educators are ill-prepared to have this conversation with children, leaving them desperate for answers.

One example from a boy who was first exposed to porn at age 11, demonstrates this desperation.

“My first serious exposure to porn was around 11 years old. It started off as innocent curiosity and quickly spiraled into something that really sucked me in. I now see myself as a monster who can’t help but devour the pixelated bodies of women. To this day I can’t look a girl in the eyes. Holding hands and kissing scare me to death because I fear to awaken the sexual beast inside me. Porn taught me to see sex as revolting, dirty, and exploitative. I can only see sex as harmful now.”

Sign the petition to require age verification on all sites hosting porn.

It should go without saying that porn is created for profit, not to “educate.” It is fantastical and often just curated scenes void of real life dynamics, communication, or consequences. Education is meant to both stimulate and develop the brain. It can be good or bad, depending entirely on the subject matter and, of course, the teacher. Pornography’s negative impact on developing brains has been well documented. And if we are fans of “following the science,” the science is pretty clear.

As Psychiatrist Norman Doidge explains: “Pornography satisfies every one of the prerequisites for neuroplastic change. When pornographers boast that they are pushing the envelope by introducing new, harder themes, what they don’t say is that they must, because their customers are building up a tolerance to the content.”

…the body becomes gradually “numb” to healthy sexual excitement, and thus needs more explicit content and experiences to achieve arousal.

Scientists have shown that porn facilitates alarming brain function changes. It does this by triggering unnaturally high secretions of the pleasure-signaling chemical, dopamine, in the brain. This overwhelming surge of dopamine makes our bodies “unresponsive” to natural, healthy sources of pleasure.

As a result, the body becomes gradually “numb” to healthy sexual excitement, and thus needs more explicit content and experiences to achieve arousal. This of course breeds sexual dysfunctions, and an addictive sexual pallet that is never satisfied. Children exposed to pornography are literally robbed of a normal, healthy sexual development. In its place, porn instills an aggressive, super-charged sexual appetite that often turns violent.

RELATED: Big Porn Profits Off Stolen Childhood Innocence

Marco Lacoboni, a professor of psychiatry at University of California Los Angeles, has associated porn consumption with an increase of sexual violence. He says, “the mirror mechanism in the brain also suggests that we are automatically influenced by what we perceive, thus proposing a plausible neurobiological mechanism for contagion of violent behavior.”

Statistics and exposure stories only solidify his hypothesis. And as devastating as this is, it doesn’t stop there. This rewiring of the brain has clear links to substance abuse, sexual addiction, depression, and anxiety. Recent studies have revealed that people who consume porn have poor mental health, a lower quality of life, and exhibit symptoms of depression.

This depression may arise from having a desire to stop consuming porn, paired with feeling powerless to resist it. One young man, who was exposed to porn at age 11, described it to us this way, “I am tired of fighting. It’s been a long battle and I’m sick of this disgusting monster that has overtaken me. I hate how widely accepted porn is in our society and how easy it is to find. You can find it anywhere… It’s been 9 years and I’m still fighting.”

Statistics reveal that 17% of porn/sex addicts have attempted suicide and a whopping 72% have thought about it. To put those numbers in perspective, the average attempted suicide rate for the general population is 4.6%.

Viewing porn initiates an erosion of the prefrontal cortex—the decision-making region of the brain that hosts functions like morality, willpower, and impulse control. How serious is this? Well, consider that this region of the brain remains underdeveloped during childhood. This is why children are extremely impulsive and have trouble governing their emotions.

Damage to the prefrontal cortex in adulthood is referred to as hypofrontality, which predisposes an individual to behave compulsively and make poor decisions. You could say, it makes an adult brain more childlike.

Now imagine the impact this could have on a child’s formative brain, which won’t be completely developed until after age 18. This crippling of a child’s willpower and decision-making ability leaves them powerless against the forced pleasure chemicals released from their brain and subsequent urges to act out what they see online. And we’ve seen this catastrophic trend play out in real lives. Kids who are highly addicted, more aggressive, and crippled by sexual dysfunction.

The soul of our society is being put to the test. The numbers, the stories, and the facts are loud and they are clear. Porn, and the easy accessibility of porn is destroying lives and causing generational ripples of pain, depression, and violence.
Yes, porn is a toxic form of “entertainment” for adults. But for kids, it’s flat out dangerous.

Will you join the movement to Protect Children Not Porn? Click below and sign the petition calling for required age verification, with ID, on all sites hosting porn.

Sign the Petition

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