Back in the day, searching for porn took a lot of work. Teens looking for some excitement needed to locate one of their parents’ hidden collections of Playboy magazines, hoped to inherit a magazine or two from their elder brothers, or pay a visit to their local gas station and raid a magazine stand.
Even if once in a while teens would get lucky, it was probably due to finding some old porn videos in their neighbor’s garbage can. In short, the options available for teens back in the day were quite considerably limited. Nonetheless, the sheer amount of effort the job took was enough to keep adolescents from trying.
Not too long ago, the possibilities of a teen living in the suburbs getting addicted to porn were relatively as small as the same kid getting addicted to heroin, i.e. close to nothing. The most important factor was the lack of access or the limited options to pornography or even heroin which kept the kids away from addiction. However, this was all back in a generation where teens weren’t equipped with all kinds of gadgets that kept them merely a couple of taps away from every possible thing in the universe.
In the age that we live in currently, anyone looking for hardcore pornography can easily and almost instantly find it. In fact, the people not looking for it are bound to bump into it as well. This is all thanks to the advent of the internet which has brought about every piece of information, including everything explicit, to the palm of our hand. As such, to question why things such as pornography addiction are extremely common among the young generation these days is probably a foolish idea. The reasons are all there in front of you.
Consider this example, if a teenager today gets curious about any question regarding sex, all they have to do is visit a porn site, simply click “I am 18 or older” and they have all the answers in front of them. All kinds of pornography and explicit content you can imagine are easily accessible from your teen’s smart phone or computer! And mostly, it’s all for free so your kid doesn’t even need to worry about stealing your credit card.
If you find that your child has developed an addiction to pornography it is important to be proactive and seek professional help right away. The harsh reality is that most teens that become addicted are not able to break the addiction on their own, despite repeated efforts to do so. Parents to need to avoid the common mistakes of assuming it is a ‘phase’ that their child is going through or that it is a ‘normal’ part of sexual development. Failure to intervene can have devastating long-term impact as addiction to pornography often leads to an inability to maintain a healthy, long-term relationship as an adult, not to mention that variety of additional issues that often times accompany pornography addiction including mental health and legal problems.
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.