With the advent of the Internet, pornography is only a click-away and more kids are falling prey to sexual addiction than ever before. Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to shield their children from pornography.
The problems of teenage pornography and sexual addictions are real, devastating, and increasing. According to some studies, nine in ten teens have been exposed to pornography. Some of those casual exposures result in deviant sexual behaviors or sexual violence for some, while others are susceptible to sexual addiction or perverted behaviors in the future.
Another study among nearly a thousand sex addicts revealed that, 90 percent of men and 77 percent of women attributed pornography to be the main cause of their addiction. Research has shown that males, who are exposed to erotica before the age of 14, are more sexually active and engage in varied sexual behaviors than those not so exposed. In the USA, the largest group of Internet porn viewers falls between the ages of 12 and 17, totaling to over 12 million.
These days, one doesn't need to go looking for it, it comes flooding into our inboxes without any solicitations. The ubiquitous spam mails with adult content are freely floating around everywhere. Unsupervised access to broadband Internet has only aggravated the problem for teens. Pornographers solicit young girls to start careers as porn stars or encourage them to expose themselves over instant messaging sites.
The growing interest of teens in social networking sites also poses grave danger. Kids divulge far too much personal information; seeking virtual relationships can put them in dangerous situations. Not to mention obscene and sexually explicit images and videos they "accidently" run into can get them hooked forever.
When faced with their teen's struggle, most parents don't know where to begin to seek help. Parental inability to discuss such issues openly with kids and cultural taboo on the subject of sexuality makes it even harder. Our delayed action only puts kids deeper into this addiction and further from recovery.
Many parents tend to trivialize the experience and claim that children are merely "exploring" human sexuality and virtual experimentation is better than real ones. Coupled with a greater moral decay in the culture and the formative stage of children's minds, addiction can happen easier and quicker than parents like to think.
Parents must take responsibility to guard their children from all harmful effects of pornography. Parents cannot delegate sex education to school systems or popular culture. In all likelihood, they might prescribe to an entirely different sexual ethic and might not pass on your values and conviction to the future generation.
Parents must discuss with their children the dangers of porn images kids might see on the net and television. Setting clear boundaries and empowering teens with sexual ethics are vital in order to protect children from future sexual problems.
Parents must establish parental control or filtering technology to block access to dangerous sites and images. Keep computers in a public area instead allowing children to go online in their bedrooms. Parents must establish some ground rules of Internet use at home and outside of the home. When parents fail in this crucial responsibility, kids end up having distorted perceptions of sexuality and permanent addictive behaviors.