Early Porn Exposure

child running toward fog

The Rise of Early Exposure to Pornography

Pornography continues to rise as the first exposure has taken place by 11 years old. Does this bring up a cause for concern?

There is a wide array of how exposure takes place. As child therapists, we continue to dig into the harsh reality that our children are not as protected as we would like to believe.

Porn is at the fingertips of anyone, as young as three. Did you hear that? Let me state this again, children as young as THREE years old are reported to have been exposed. 

The fear of this statement is unsettling, but thankfully the Lord is concerned more about purity than he is about perfection. Purity is committing to the standards God has set for sex, one man and one woman after marriage. God already knows who will be exposed and how they will respond.

Isn’t it incredible to have someone we can turn to who already knows the ending of our story and who knows the redemption that can take place? brain replica

Statistics Say You Aren’t Alone

Our brains are programmed to produce dopamine when something seems to be pleasing. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends pleasurable sensations to our brain. These sensations are communicated to our feeling brain. The feeling brain (or limbic system) is strong and is attracted to risks and rewards. This part of our brain drives us to continue to follow our curiosities.

Our prefrontal cortex (or executive brain) does not fully develop until our mid-20s. This leaves us vulnerable at the time of any type of porn exposure. The underdeveloped prefrontal cortex makes decision-making more difficult especially when dopamine is rushing through our system.

Statistics from 2016-17 show nearly 22% of all porn users (18 and under) are under the age of 10. Studies have shown that 90% of males and 70% of females will be exposed in their lifetime. These statistics show that 80% of all adults have been exposed to porn, this includes Christians.

So why do we cover it up and keep it in the darkness?

We stay in the dark because it is a scary topic that is uncomfortable.

We do not bring the topic up with our children because there may be a fear that if it is brought up in conversation then the child(ren) will be more curious. There might be a thought that if it is not brought up, then the child(ren) won’t be exposed.

This unfortunately is not the reality, and as we continue to leave the conversations in darkness our children are left to fight this terrible path alone. In order to bring this to the light, we have to feel safe and understood. This requires a trusting relationship and time. It is hard to find a safe space in our busy world.

As a Christian Counseling practice, we understand the fears and hesitations that come along with sharing about areas in our life that cause shame to rise up in us. When you are ready, we are ready to talk with you and support you as you begin this road of how to talk to your kids about sex. We have clinicians who work with children who are ready to explore this area with them if it has become a roadblock. We support you. 

Children’s Books for Resources:

Good Pictures, Bad Pictures

Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr

God Made All of Me

Additional Books

Sex, Jesus and the Conversations the Church Forgot

 

 

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