Skip to main content

Pornography - Normal Curiosity or Virtual Addiction?

By Stephen C. Schultz


This is a very interesting topic. I'm always amazed at the emotional extremes that people express as the topic of sex is discussed. Some say teenage sexual interests and experimentation are normal, while others decry it as "sin".



As a father of four, three daughters and one son, I am very concerned about what they see and are exposed to on the web. There is no question that this life's journey brings with it inappropriate and often hurtful experiences. My responsibility as a parent is to love and care for my children, help them reach their god given potential, and assist them in navigating those rough waters they will inevitably face throughout their lives. This does not mean I don't protect them from experiences or images that may be inappropriate, however, I can not shelter them either.

Within my work, I have had the unfortunate experience of assisting parents who have had their teenage sons involved in sexual misconduct of some kind. Usually these concerns involve someone else; a cousin, friend or sibling that these boys have had an innapropriate sexual experience with. Pornography is a common thread through each case. While I won't go so far as to say it causes sexually acting out, it certainly is a contributing factor.

The pain these parents and families go through is heart wrenching. The boys too, seem emotionally detached and struggle with establishing trusting relationships. It is as though they are the fragile seedling trying to grow in a parched and barren soil. These issues are affecting families at every socio-economic level with no regard to religion or race.

The focus of these discussions usually surrounds the issues of morality. There are those who decry resistance to pornography as the cause of "Bible Thumpers" and the "Moral Majority". Still others will argue it is freedom of speech and artistic expression.

While these discussions are often heated and sometimes entertaining, this narrow focus also ignores the physical and biological effects of Pornography on a developing adolescent brain. You cannot ignore the biological effects of serotonin, dopamine and the secretion of other neurotransmitters when pornography is viewed. Once a pattern is developed, "tolerance" for what was once a stimulating activity usually occurs. The next course of action is to find and view something a bit more "Hardcore" to continue this cycle.

One cannot argue that exposure to a still picture in a Playboy Magazine when you were a kid is the same as video and webcam exposure of today. The first fully integrative virtual reality video game has recently been created. This latest technology stimulates the brain in a whole new way than in generations past. At some point, for a percentage of adolescents who struggle socially anyway, the next step is acting out on what has only been seen and fantasized about previously.

If you know of someone struggling with these issues, please let them know there are places that can help like Oxbow Academy (www.oxbowacademy.net). Even High Schools around the country have recognized there is a concern.

Parents, consultants, teachers and therapists...I am interested in your thoughts?

Comments

Mamajuju said…
It causes both boys and girls to view others as sexual bodies and not as a whole person inside and out. Disassociation occurs. And believe me it is not just the male gender anymore. Porn viewing parties in high school are not uncommon.
So true Mamajuju! Thank you so much for the comment!

Popular posts from this blog

Life transitions are inevitable! I'm no exception

By Stephen C. Schultz This is just a quick email to share with you that after 20 years with the Ascent Companies, I am making a transition. I want you to know that the last 20 years have been more than I could have ever wished for. What a great opportunity I have had to not only work with, serve with and be friends with all who are a part of the RCA , DRG , DRB , Oxbow , Discovery Day PHP , Connections and Oasis programs. I owe such a debt of gratitude to the four original owners, Dane Kay, Steve Peterson, Scott Peterson and Jim Salsbury for seeing my potential and taking a risk on me back in 2002. Steve Nadauld, Brent Hall, Andrea Burgess, Clint Dorny, Shawn Brooks, Steve DeMille and the program teams have been like family and an absolute joy to be around.  I feel honored to have played a small role in the success you as educational consultants, private clinicians and us as treatment providers (working together) have had over the years on literally thousands of families.  #GRATITUDE

The Young Boy and the Rattlesnake

By Stephen C. Schultz (Editors note: This is a story used in a Wilderness Treatment Program for Young Adults . Many come to this program having struggled with substance abuse and interacting with unsavory friends.)   Many years ago there was a young Native American who lived in the very land you are residing in. He decided to seek wisdom by journeying to the top of Indian Peak. As he approached the base of the mountain he came across a rattlesnake that slithered beside him. The snake coiled as if to strike and the young boy moved back quickly in fear of being struck by the snake’s deadly venom. At that instant the snake spoke to the boy saying, “Don’t be afraid of me, I mean you no harm. I come to you to ask a favor. I see that you are about to traverse to the top of Indian Peak and was hoping that you may be willing to place me in your satchel so that I don’t have to make the long journey alone.” The young boy surprised by the snake’s request quickly responded b

The Ambush

By Stephen C. Schultz His breathing was heavy and fast.  Mucus sprayed from his nostrils and his cheeks fought the g-forces as if he were a fighter pilot leaving the deck of an aircraft carrier in an F-16. His neck muscles strained and his face grimaced as the fight or flight response kicked in. Five; six; seven now eight steps into his evasive action that was steeped in athletic prowess and natural instinct, he thought he was in the clear. Once again, he had cheated death and the angels of mercy had looked down upon him. It didn’t register right away. With each step, the distance grew larger between him and his immediate threat. It shouldn’t have happened this way. There was so much to live for. He was in the prime of his life with family and friends who loved and cared about him. He didn’t want it to end this way. The pain was quick and sharp. It penetrated right in the square of his back between his shoulder blades. His chest was thrust forward and his arms