Why Kids Become Porn Addicts

The beginnings of porn addiction start at an early age. Children who are exposed to pornography at an early age are at risk of becoming addicts later in life. Early exposure is the first stage of addiction. Therefore, parents need to do their best to educate their children about the damaging effects of pornography and provide them with a healthy attitude toward sex and a solid foundation of sexual values.

Certainly, there is no way to completely prevent early exposure to pornography, but you can instill basic values with your children that will go a long way towards addiction prevention. Not all children who are exposed to porn at an early age will become addicted. However, children who have emotional vulnerabilities will be at high risk. No matter whether children become addicted or not, viewing pornography leads to negative ideas about women, sex, marriage and children.

So what can you do as parents to help prevent your kids from becoming porn addicts? Understand the five stages of porn addiction. The knowledge and understanding of these stages will provide you with an awareness of why kids become addicted in the first place and how the addiction develops. Once you know the stages, you will be more likely to recognize them in your own children.

According to Gene McConnell and Keith Campbell in their article “The Stages of Pornography Addiction” on Focus on the Family’s website, the five stages of addiction are as follows:

1. Early exposure
2. Addiction
3. Escalation
4. Desensitization
5. Acting out sexually

Parents need to be aware of the dangers of porn and prevent early exposure when possible. Porn is incredibly easy to access on the Internet. Porn sites can even load up accidentally while searching the web. Computers should never be placed in your child’s room. Keep the computers in common areas of your home. Installing filters will help prevent exposure to pornography at home. However, when your children are at friends’ homes or at school, it can be difficult to prevent exposure. Instilling strong values in your children may be the best defense against early exposure. You must also understand that your children are going to be naturally curious about sex.

Emotional health is the main determining factor between early exposure and addiction. Not all children who are exposed to porn at an early age become addicts because they are healthy emotionally. Children who become addicted are filling an emotional void with pornography. They come back to it repeatedly until it is a part of their life. Over time the child is addicted to porn and cannot stop embracing it.

In most cases, parents should be able to identify a porn addiction in their children at the early stages. However, it is a good idea to understand the more advanced stages of addiction as well. Escalation occurs once the addiction has progressed to the point that the addict needs to intensify the experience. The porn addict looks for more graphic porn as the addiction escalates. Porn which the addict may have found offensive or disgusting at the start, can gradually become exciting After a certain point, porn addicts become numb to everything they see. This is desensitization. Desensitization causes addicts to desperately seek out the thrill they once felt from viewing porn. Once addicts reach the desensitization stage, acting out sexually follows, because the only way that they can achieve the desired outcome is to pursue gratification in the real world. This can lead to serious actions such as sexually obscene behavior, assault or even rape.