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

Fishing...It's really about relationships!

By Stephen C. Schultz Spring is in the air and that well known feeling of wanting to get out of the house and go fishing is surging through my body. I found myself in a sporting goods store the other day perusing the fishing lure isle. I was in the yard after mowing the lawn and realized I was walking around my small 12 foot fishing boat that is still covered from winter. I have had people ask me over the years, "What's so fun about fishing?". They usually follow that question up with, "It's so boring!". From my perspective, they couldn't be further from the truth. Fishing represents so much more than being entertained. It's time in the wilderness with fresh air and solitude. It's time to think and ponder on life's problems.  It time to express gratitude and count your blessings. There is also the satisfaction of reading the water, observing a hatch and placing a lure or fly in the perfect spot. It's the excitement of the fish

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

By Stephen C. Schultz "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;   “From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.” The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent ?” Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and manipulation