Internet Porn Is Accessible, Affordable, Anonymous, Addictive, and Aggressive

In case you hadn’t noticed, pornography is so popular that practically everyone with a computer has watched it.

Oh, I know you’re thinking, “Nobody in my house would watch that stuff.” But, you’re probably wrong. The average age for a person to first view Internet porn is age 11. That’s when curious youngsters become interested in their developing sexuality and seek information about sex.

And, it gets worse as young people get older. Studies indicate that 20% of male teens in college are watching porn nearly every day. It beings with the freedom they experience being away from home and the availability of broadband Internet in their dorm room. Unsupervised, they can watch porn any time they want. From curiosity to pastime to a regular habit and then to addiction, the progression is well known.

Adults are no better off. Half of the men at a recent Christian Promise Keepers conference admitted to having watched porn in the week before the conference. Surveys indicate that two-thirds of young men and nearly half of young women feel pornography is an acceptable way to express sexuality.

Addiction to porn occurs like any addiction: in the brain. Neurons become wired together and neurotransmitters start exciting the brain’s pleasure center. This produces a strong compulsion to watch porn and masturbate as the primary means of experiencing pleasure. It becomes the main way of soothing stress and disappointment. And, it can become more important than homework, family responsibilities, or a job.

Internet pornography has become a major problem in the last few years because Internet porn is:

Accessible: It’s available on any computer at any time
Affordable: Soft porn is free but the desire for more intense porn typically requires a subscription
Anonymous: You can find lots of porn without creating a log on or giving your name or email address
Additive: It changes the brain to depend on porn for pleasure
Aggressive: Popup ads follow you around the Net enticing you to return to watch more porn

The primary way of keeping porn out of your home is to use filtering software programs. There are a number of programs that can block porn sites as well as sites that involve violence and hatred. Even if a search engine returns links to these sites, they will not be displayed when the links are clicked.

Filtering software is helpful for young people who, out of curiosity, might go to a sexually oriented site. But, older children can easily access Internet porn at a friend’s house or at a library. And, some filtering software programs can be “hacked” to permit access to porn sites even while the software is active.

Help for people already addicted to Internet porn is readily available. There are a number of organizations similar to Alcohol Anonymous with 12-step programs designed for those addicted to porn. Some mental health professions now specialize in helping people addicted to porn with individual sessions or group sessions.