Impact of Porn on youth

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The proliferation and mainstreaming of pornography over the last 2 decades, especially through the Internet, have influenced youth culture and adolescent development in unprecedented and diverse ways. Internet-enabled devices have indiscriminately allowed people of all ages to encounter, consume, create, and distribute sexually explicit content, and a growing body of data reveal these phenomena are increasingly common for adolescents worldwide.[1]

– Pornographic material can lead young people to develop “unrealistic attitudes about sex and misleading attitudes toward relationships”. It leads to “strong cognitive engagement in sexual issues, sometimes at the exclusion of other thoughts.” With increased exposure to SEM adolescents tend to view women as sex objects and to look on sex as recreational.

– Repeated exposure to pornography slowly leads to earlier sexual debut, and those who are already at risk for sexually aggressive behaviours are more likely to act out when they are also exposed to SEM.

– Exposure to SEM leads many young people to have unrealistic expectations concerning sexual performance (boys) and body image (girls) often diminishing self-esteem and self-confidence.

– pornographic material use could also result in the lessening of social interaction and bonding with peers, more aggressive behaviour, social maladjustment (theft, truancy, arson and forced sexual intercourse)  and clinical symptoms of depression.

– SEM has an impact on the growing adolescent brain leaving them disproportionately vulnerable to negative consequences, with a tendency to consider certain inappropriate adult behaviours as normal, etc.

[1]Eric Owens, Richard Behun et al. «The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research» in Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 19 (2012): 99-100.

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