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Porn

FAQ for Youth about Porn and CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) from WhatsOK.org

Internet porn is believed to currently be a major risk factor contributing to Sibling Sexual Trauma. This is supported mainly by anecdotal evidence from parents and practitioners, as research on youth raised on smartphone-accessible porn lags behind current behavior and risks. In his 2021 book Sibling Sexual Abuse: A Guide for Confronting America’s Silent Epidemic, Brad Watts, LPC, CSOTP writes: “Many youthful offenders have a problematic relationship with pornography…in these cases, pornography has led to a shaping of sexually abusive fanatsies and a desire to carry out these acts on siblings.  In the absence of well-developed decision-making skills, and in the face of heightened sexual arousal, adolescents may decide to act out what they have seen on their computer screens.”

 

It may be helpful to think of porn like alcohol.  An adult who is not addicted can enjoy it when used in a responsible way.  But it’s definitely not for children, and it carries the risk of addiction and unintended consequences for adults.  

Facts About Porn:

Porn is closely connected to child sexual exploitation; It is impossible to know whether images viewed online were consensual and whether they depict either a child or someone who has been exploited since childhood.

 

Porn exposure starts early: Children with a smartphone are likely to encounter porn, intentionally or not

 

Internet Porn is more accessible, more extreme, more addictive–and very difficult for parents to block 

 

Porn portrays unrealistic sex: more violence, less consent, no relational context, unrealistic body images

 

Porn hijacks the body’s natural sexuality:  Men are biologically wired to be visually aroused.  Internet porn offers a new, intensely arousing image at each click, swipe, or tap that delivers a flood of naturally occurring but addictive brain chemicals

 

Porn addiction is real: and adolescent brains are especially susceptible.

 

Porn causes ED and sexual dysfunction: even in adolescents 

 

Porn addiction increases the risk of social isolation and relational difficulties

 

Porn is used as a way to groom children for further sexual abuse.  Intentionally showing a child porn is actually considered a form of child sexual abuse.  

 

Porn use easily leads the user to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM, formerly called child pornography, without any clear boundary or warning, and with severe and lifelong legal consequences. 

The Good News: Recovery from porn addiction is possible through Rebooting.

Additional Resources

Your Brain on Porn  book, database, tools for rebooting and recovery

Fightthenewdrug.org  Documentaries, Articles, Tools on protecting youthful brains from porn, created by adolescents recovering from harmful sexual behavior

Consider Before Consuming podcast

Brain Defense digital safety curriculum

Covenant Eyes accountability software and guidance

Interview with Billie Eilish: Viewing Porn at Age 11 ‘Destroyed’ Her Brain