Adolescent thoughts and pornography. Studies confirm brain effects and a message for parents

Before the advent of the internet, pornographic content was limited in distribution and access can be difficult, especially for teenagers, but now with the advancement of technology, the segment of this content has become bigger, and access to it is easy.

A report published by the Wall Street Journal reveals what this content can do to teens’ minds in the long run, and how the harm can be reduced.

And a study conducted last year by researchers at Indiana University showed that about 80 percent of American teens watch pornography, many of them starting to do so after reaching the age of ten.

To see the impact of pornography on teens, imagine a 24-hour candy store where they can eat sugar 24 hours a day. ?

Impact on the brain

If we look at the “brain chemistry of adolescents”, research shows that their brains are more associated with pleasure than adults, especially with the activity of the neurotransmitter “dopamine” that makes them feel happy.

The paper notes that many researchers believe that adolescents and young adults are more likely to view pornographic content “compulsively” as it can lead to the construction of “unrealistic” views of sexual practices.

Psychologists say it is important to talk to children about pornography without feeling ashamed, and to explain to them that exposure to pornography can be a normal part of development.

They note that it should not be treated as a “taboo”, but also recommend the use of technical aids “to reduce the opportunity for young children to see content they may not be ready to see. “

compulsive pornography

Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, Valerie Vaughn, conducted the first major study on the effect of pornographic content on the brain in 2014, while examining the brain activity of people who had a “compulsive habit of pornographic content” look “, as she found that” brain activity “in this case is similar to brain activity in” drug addicts “, which activates the” reward “centers.

The ‘younger’ study participants had more activity in the ‘reward centers’ than the older participants when exposed to pornography, and those with compulsive viewing habits reported seeing internet pornography for the first time at age 13.

But this study did not answer an important question, whether excessive porn use caused these brain changes? Or do these people have characteristics that make them prone to use “compulsive pornography”?

Several studies on the effect of pornographic viewing on adolescents have found that “the emotional center of the brain develops faster”, which may explain adolescents’ “lack of maturity” as they do not “evoke their sexual desires, thoughts and behaviors evoked by pornographic content” can be suppressed “. . ”

Pornographic content .. a warning of “destructive obsession” and “red line” disorders

Over the past few days, statements by the well-known American singer, Billie Eilish, about her addiction to pornography since the age of 11, have raised several questions about the reasons for the psychological dependence behind some people to have pleasure in sexual content. to watch, and the effect of children watching this content at a young age.

Nicole Prause, a researcher at the University of California, USA, expressed concern to the Wall Street Journal about what parents tell teens about pornography.

Prause conducted a survey among adults who were on specialized programs to abstain from “compulsive pornography”, as about 30 percent of them reported feeling feelings of suicide, not to mention a feeling of shame in their communities do not.

The researcher advises parents and says: “If we refrain from engaging in dialogue … and just say, ‘Do not watch pornography, and if you do, it’s addictive and will damage your brain. It’s scary … it’s some of the messages that make it worse. “

Technical tools to block “pornography”

The newspaper article recommends using methods to filter and block “pornography” from the home’s Internet, limiting the content to children’s and teenagers’ devices.

Parents can control the settings of the devices, especially the different Apple devices, where you can restrict the appearance of pornographic content, and you can specify a list of sites that are allowed to browse, or set restrictions by categories based on of age to specify what viewing allows. movies, shows and even books and music.

porn addiction (2)

“Pornography addiction is a real pathology”

The report said that it is possible to set limits and bans on pornographic content using various “Google” devices through the “Family Link” application, which prohibits those under the age of 13 from accessing this content .

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