Studies highlighting men as young as 20 years old are reporting erectile dysfunction due to excessive pornography consumption as teenagers.
As young males reach puberty, physical changes occur that bring a new curiosity about sex and sexuality. Newfound urges and an interest in sex leads young men to seek information and education to provide both knowledge and gratification.
Historically, young men would have sought information to fulfil their urges and interest via advice from their friends, maybe family members and the limited pornography available. Today’s digital world provides an abundance of porn readily available, with this content representing 4% of the world’s total websites and 14% of total web searches.
Cyber Experts David & Katie Kobler from Protect Our Kids advise that, 'When a teenager is first exposed to the concept of sex via pornography, they begin their education and experience with a total misinterpretation of reality. The representations of sexuality, relationships and sex acts in pornography are fabricated to appeal to an adult audience. The expectation is that an adult should be able to separate the reality and fantasy to understand that what they’re watching is staged. An adult can also understand the basic concepts of relationships and sex and will have their own values towards these, such as gender equality and mutual respect.'
Pornography more often depicts relationships as meaningless and sexual gratification as the priority. When young men compulsively watch pornography, their brains become wired to perceive that sex and relationships are separate to each other. They also expect that the sexually exaggerated appearances of the actors in the videos represent reality, which can not only result in body shame, but also a failure to become aroused by the appearances of others. The ongoing impacts of compulsive pornography consumption include relationship issues and inability to enjoy real life sexual experiences.
What can parents do?
The Koblers suggest that communication is key to educating your son on developing a healthy sense of sexuality. ‘Talk to him - as embarrassing as it’ll be for him, it’s vital to ensure your kids feel that they can talk to you about sex and pornography,’ David explains, ‘Developing healthy attitudes and values towards sexuality and relationships will only come from education by parents and in schools.' ‘Second to education, parental controls on their devices go an extremely long way in reducing the amount of pornography consumed,’ says Katie.
2 tips from Cyber Experts, Protect Our Kids
1. Talk to your son
2. Install Parental Control software
Installing Family Zone on your child’s devices will significantly reduce their ability to consume pornography. The software blocks all pornographic material on their devices, which frees you to educate them about relationships and sexuality, so they can develop healthy attitudes and values. We know it's difficult to navigate this journey but the good news is that you're not in it alone - our team of Cyber Experts, including Protect Our Kids, are here to help.