Pornography addiction doesn’t affect only adults. The average age that a child first views pornography is 11 years old. Your child’s brain is particularly susceptible to pornography for the following reasons:
- The part of the brain that allows a person to make rational decisions is not fully formed until age 25.
- Testosterone levels are highest when a boy is 19 years old.
- The brain of a teenager is naturally low in dopamine, which is the ‘excitement’ neurotransmitter of the brain. This means that teens crave stimulation on an ever-increasing scale.
- The teen years are a time when the brain is deciding which neural pathways to strengthen and which to allow to atrophy. That is why education is so important during this stage, but it is also why viewing pornography is dangerous – because the brain is still forming. Pornography use at a young age can set a child up for addiction as well as significant difficulties with forming healthy relationships.
Times have changed. Kids aren’t looking at so-called “dirty magazines” anymore. They’re accessing hard-core pornography on the Internet with frightening ease and speed. A child with a smart phone can have pornographic images called up on his cell phone in 20 seconds.
A healthy home environment used to insure immunity from porn addiction, but that is no longer true. Today 79 percent of child exposure to porn happens in the home, and 98 percent of boys have viewed hard core porn by the time they are 18 years old.
Having a child who is addicted to porn doesn’t make you a bad parent – unless you choose to ignore the problem. Is your child at risk?