Teen sexual behavior problems and the developing brain

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Teen sexual behavior problems and the developing brain

For many parents, the discovery that their teens is struggling with a sexual behavior problem can be devastating. Certainly, parents recognize that at some point, many teens explore their sexual curiosity either through porn, masturbation or sexual experimentation. However, we now exist in a society that is becoming increasingly “sexualized”where casual sex is often the unquestioned norm and the internet provides a virtually limitless supply of sexually explicit websites to view porn and find “hook-ups” accessed through the teen’s smartphone. Curiosity and experimentation sometimes occur, but too often teens travel further down the path and become involved in dangerous, wreckless and addictive sexual activities. Sadly, many teens are unable to recognize the problems until it is too late.

The risks are elevated for young adolescents because their brains are not fully mature; several brain regions in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and in the hypothalamus important for self-control, delayed gratification, and risk analysis and appreciation are not fully developed. The creases in the brain continue to become more complex until the late teens, and the brain is not fully mature until age 25. Partially because of this, young adolescents are generally less equipped than adults to make sound decisions and anticipate consequences of sexual behavior. Increasingly common issues related to poor decisions by teens and sexual behaviors include:

  • Pornography addiction
  • Cyber-sexual activity
  • Sexting
  • Revenge porn
  • Sexual abuse
  • Dangerous encounters with adults seeking on-line sex
  • Sex trafficking and prostitution
  • Hypersexuality
  • Fetishes
  • Voyeurism

Star Guides Wilderness is designed to assist teens and young adults whose sexual behaviors have become self-destructive and assists parents who are unsure about how to respond to their teen’s poor choices involving sex. Call us today 800.584.4629 for help with how to deal with teen sexual behavior problems.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment:

Call Now Button