When you try to imagine a sex addict, the image that most people will come up with will be a sleazy guy in his basement or a hyper-sexual, provocatively dressed woman. The reality is much different; there are no stereotypes where sexual addiction is concerned. This is exactly why you, as a parent, should be concerned about the latest sex addiction trend, which is teen cybersex addiction.
We treat porn and cybersex addiction in teens with our unique Wilderness therapy program, so we see a lot of adolescents – both girls and boys – that are dealing with compulsive sexual behavior, the cause of which is addiction to porn or cybersex. The statistics relating to teenagers and pornography alone are enough to worry any parent. Pornography acts as a gateway for more extreme addictions like cybersex and sex addiction.
There is a whole industry behind the world of cybersex and pornography–people that are making a profit out of entrapping young children. It is believed the teens are the biggest viewers of online pornography. This fact, coupled with the unprecedented increase in the revenue that the pornography industry rakes in, is a clear indication of a rise in cybersex addiction in teens.
Because of the myriad of devices that can access the internet and the lack of restrictions placed on explicit sites, teenagers can access any site they want. There are no limitations on how many sites they can access and the type of material they can view. A simple click can take a teen from an ordinary porn site to a site that is dedicated to cybersex.
After the initial exposure to cybersex sites, the teen may return to it any time they want. When they get sucked into this danger filled virtual world, they can be exposed to individuals that could cause them harm. In their search for the ultimate thrill, they can be persuaded to give out their address or meet someone outside their home, putting them in a seriously dangerous situation.
If you have discovered that your child is addicted to cybersex, then you need to take immediate action. Don’t just put restrictions on them and expect the problem to go away. You need to have a conversation with them and offer them help, so they can fight their addiction. Most teens are unable to break free from this addiction without professional intervention.
With the help of our Wilderness therapy program, teen cybersex addicts can learn to control their compulsiveness and return to live their life ‘offline’.
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.