Most children are taught about the importance of personal boundaries at a young age and counseled to stay clear of people who attempt to cross personal boundaries. This includes sexual boundaries such as allowing other people to touch private parts, to talk about sexual issues openly in a disrespectful way or to attempt to view others undressing or bathing.
As children grow, a curiosity begins to develop regarding sex and sometimes the curiosity can become an obsession. For many teens, dependencies and addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. A teen can become a sex addict, for example, from viewing pornographic websites, and be trapped in compulsive behaviors that keep him returning to the sexual images. These teens feel intense shame, guilt, and helplessness about their porn addictions.
Sometimes habitual exposure to sexually explicit images can lead a teen to begin to push sexual boundaries with others. Often times, the pushing of boundaries does not rise to the level of a legal sexual offense such as molestation or rape, but can create discomfort and trust violations with others.
Violation of sexual boundary issues can also be the result of poor impulse control which is commonly found in teens who have been diagnosed with ADD or ODD. Sexual boundary issues are also commonly found in teens with Asperger’s Syndrome and youth diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum.
Treatment for sexual boundary problems can sometimes be a challenge because often, the behavior does not rise to the level of a sexual offense so the teen does not necessarily need sexual offender treatment, but the behaviors require a type of therapy that is more specialized than traditional psychotherapy services.
In cases where chronic violation of sexual boundaries in a family setting occurs, out of home treatment is needed to help the teen develop a stronger set of impulse control skills and better judgement. This time away also allows the affected family members to begin to heal from the trauma experienced from the sexual boundary violations. Wilderness therapy is an ideal option for this learning to occur.