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Pornography - Simple Teenage Right of Passage or Harmful Addiction?

By Stephen C. Schultz


There is an increasing dialogue going on behind the scenes amongst parents and educators. Over the last few years I have had increasing numbers of conversations with parents sharing concerns about their daughters "sleeping around". Many more include parents concerns about their sons viewing pornography on the computer.


Are these just "uptight" parents? No, these are parents who have struggled with competing thoughts about what is "normal" and what isn't. Thoughts like; "Oh, I fooled around a little bit when I was a kid. They will grow out of it." "Aw...every kid looks at dirty pictures when they are a teenager." etc. These parents instinctively recognize there is something different about what is happening today as compared to the "shenanigans" of yesteryear.
Here are a couple of pieces I hope you find interesting. The first is a Doctor at Princeton who discusses the physiological aspects of Porn on the developing brain. He addresses the common belief that pornography is a form of  "Artistic Expression" by saying,

"Pornography is mere “expression” only in the trivial sense that a fall from the Empire State building is a mere stumble-since it’s hitting the ground that’s fatal. Or, that cigarettes don’t cause cancer, it’s the burning smoke that’s the problem".

The second link is a therapist who started her career in Berkley, CA at the height of the “sexual revolution” and what she has learned over the years.

U.S. Senate Hearing
Testimony on Pornography
Jeffrey Satinover, M.S., M.D.
http://oxbowacademy.net/educationalarticles/senate_hearing_porn4

Out of the Shadow
What's the Prevalence of Porn Doing to Our Psyches?
Wendy Maltz LCSW
http://oxbowacademy.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Porn-Out-of-the-Shadow_1-21.pdf


I’m interested in your thoughts.

Comments

Eileen Antalek, Ed.D. said…
A generation or two ago, some young people viewed Daddy's Playboy magazine, maybe even a few times, and put it away. The problem is not looking once or twice--it is the ubiquitous prevalence of pornography, the acceptance of images of near naked people, mostly women, pandering to the salacious appetites of individuals who yearn for something different (outside of mainstream social connections). And the images are not real anyway--airbrushed photos of young men and women who can afford personal trainers, teeth whitening, etc. People don't just kiss each other in movies, they grope. Sanitizing sex is not the answer, of course, but limiting exposure and/or providing a conversation about the images is.
Thank you Eileen for your comment and insight. So well said! They are not only air brushed pictures but full video now. Many of the students we work with have been exposed as early as four years old. How does a four year old have the developmental capacity to manage that kind of information at an age appropriate level? The answer...they don't!

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