Response To ‘Is Porn Addition The New Normal?’

A recent article published in Psych Central by Linda Hatch suggests that in the United States there is currently 23 million people addicted to pornography (excluding teens and children). The sex therapist (Linda) analyses pornography against the effects of drugs, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. She concludes with this statement “Perhaps the best outcome would be that we grow out of our collective fascination with internet porn and begin to see it as essentially superficial and unsatisfying in some basic ways.”

In my work with both young men and young women I have seen first hand just how hard it is for individuals to grow simply out of what Hatch suggests is a ‘fascination’ with internet porn. The medical dictionary defines addiction as a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance. Of the 23 million porn addicts that she refers to would probably appreciate the opportunity just to grow out of their addiction. Unfortunately all too often the stories that I hear from young people is that they feel trapped – with no apparent escape from the addiction.

It is crucial that parents and educators receive education on how pornography can affect the lives of children and teens. Education must include strategies on how to discuss pornography in a way that opens the door of communication with young people so that there is a safe place for them WHEN they find themselves exposed to pornography.

Research reveals the urgency of this discussion: Young people are now on average first exposed to pornography at 11 years of age. Pornography is now more accessible than it has been in the history of mankind, and unfortunately even the best parent in the world will not be able to protect their child entirely from its effects. Most parents feel completely ill-equipped as to how to protect their sons and daughters against pornography.

Even though, as parents and caregivers, we try by installing the best with filters and creating healthy parameters, all it takes, is someone at school showing them an image, or passing them a hard-drive, or texting them something explicit. The statistics suggest that pornography addiction is on the increase, and it is highly unlikely that the porn industry will cease to exist anytime soon.

So, armed with this information, our hope is that parents would present not only the superficial and unsatisfying nature of pornography but also the potential harms it can have on them and their future relationships. Most would agree we should educate and warn teens against drugs, smoking, and drinking alcohol. We must start to see the potential dangers and concerns of pornography consumption for our children also.

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