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TEENAGERS AND PORN

By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on April 26, 2017 in Other

Photo: Paul Bongiorno

Photo: Paul Bongiorno

Today’s teenagers, boys and girls, grow up watching porn from a very young age. Some start as young as ten or eleven.
Sexual curiosity is healthy, but they often see hard-core images, giving them unrealistic expectations of sex. For many children, porn has become their primary sex educator.

Before porn was available online it was relatively difficult to access. Children may have found R-rated magazines or videos at home, but the Internet changed the game. Now they have access to unlimited amounts of free porn in the privacy of their bedrooms on their smartphones or iPads. Keeping teenagers away from Internet porn is practically impossible; you might think your children don’t access it, but in reality most do.

Children are being given an unrealistic vision of what sex is about. They are watching incredibly graphic re-enactments of sex, often before they have had their first sexual experience. Boys and girls brought up on a diet of hard-core porn are going to have a pretty distorted attitude in terms of their own sexual boundaries and may feel the pressure to replicate what they see.

Anal sex has become a standard part of heterosexual porn, and another new trend in mainstream porn is for a scene to end with a man ejaculating on a woman’s face. It’s a disturbing fact that it seems as if this is ‘the norm’, and young girls believe this is what boys like.

Ending a sex scene without any thought for the woman’s pleasure and satisfaction after the man has climaxed, showing her being left with semen in her eyes, should not be viewed as normal sex. Boys should be told that slapping women during sex and calling them bitches, or always expecting oral sex, is not cool either.

Sexually experienced adults may understand that porn is a fantasy, performed by professionals with unrealistic porn star bodies, but many teenagers don’t know this.

For some girls, first-time sex can be a very unpleasant and disappointing experience, and they can become anxious about the appearance of their genitals, which don’t look at all like those of the women on screen. Teenage girls get most of their sex education from magazines and online publications, but they also look at porn. They may check out sites to see what boys like, and how they should look and perform to please them.

I believe that our high schools should be encouraged to introduce discussions about pornography in their sex education curriculum. It might upset some parents, but they have to realise that in this day and age they don’t have the skills to do it themselves.

To make this task easier, in the UK an excellent resource called ‘Planet Porn’ has been created for sex educators, teachers, parents, youth workers and teenagers. It is aimed at helping young people to develop critical thinking skills so they can tell the difference between sex on ‘Planet Porn’ and sex on Planet Earth. Thanks to the Internet, you can also access it here in Australia. Just be sure to clear your search history after you order it.

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