Pornography views in the US
Spent on pornography
Searches for child pornography
Sexual images may seem harmless, but pornography can have very negative effects on your brain and your relationships. Watch the video below to learn more.
In a technology world where anything can be copied, sent, posted, and seen by huge audiences, there’s no such thing as being able to control information.
That’s a great question! Many people think pornography is harmless but science tells us pornography negatively affects the health of your brain, your relationships, and even contributes to the sexual abuse of others.
Watching porn releases some powerful chemicals that literally can change your brain! Some of these chemicals are good for us, like dopamine. They help us learn, pay attention and enjoy exercise or a great meal! But dopamine can also be kinda greedy. The more you feed it, the more it wants. These chemicals are what keep you coming back for more porn. You will need more and more porn to experience the good feelings, but ultimately won’t be satisfied.
This is not only frustrating, but it can be a serious confidence killer! People who watch porn struggle with all kinds of issues: anxiety, depression, shame, wanting to be alone all the time and low self-esteem.
Science has taught us that porn can have some pretty negative effects on our relationships! Over time, people who watch porn can even in themselves more attracted to the images on the computer than cute boys and girls in real life!
Not so fast, It’s not much better for those who are in relationships either! Remember the porn out there isn’t really showing what real life relationships look like. It’s fake. But it’s almost impossible not to compare the person you are dating to the airbrushed images in porn and expect them to do the things you’ve seen or fantasized about. This situation is the perfect set up for disappointment and hurt feelings, not happily ever after.
Don’t care about romance? Well porn can affect your friendships and family relationships too! How? Watching porn can make you want to be alone more often, and be less interested in people and activities that you used to enjoy. This can leave you feeling pretty lonely.
There are some things the people who make money creating porn don’t want you to know. One of those things is that not everyone participating in porn is there because they want to be. Sometimes people are forced, or tricked into it. When this happens, they become a victim of sex-trafficking which is a form of modern day slavery.
The more people watch porn, the greater need there is to make more porn. It’s like a circle that never ends. What’s the problem with this circle? Well the more porn people want the more women who are abused, tricked or forced to perform in those pornographic films. The cycle never ends, and when you watch porn, you never know if the person in the video was someone who chose to be there or not.
Remember above we said porn is addictive like a drug? The brain makes you comes back for more and more porn to get the feel good sensation? Sometimes pornography can no longer give that person a feel good high, it’s not enough to satisfy and they need more. So what do they do? They seek out sex in real life with someone and pay money for it. The problem is, this person could actually be a victim who has been trafficked against his/her will.
That’s a great question! There is definitely a lot of information out there from religious perspectives on porn use and that can be confusing. What’s interesting is both religious and non-religious people who have been interviewed by scientists and therapists actually reported the same effects of watching porn! Those were low self-esteem, trouble connecting in real relationships, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Also many religious and non-religious people claim they cannot stop porn even though they want to. What this tells us is what these people are reporting are symptoms of addiction, and not just going against their moral beliefs.
This is a popular idea that you may have heard. While it seems like porn could be a good way to deal with stress, the science actually tells us the opposite! Watching porn can actually cause more stress. Wait, what?! You heard us right, porn can cause more stress, and one of the reasons is because the person often has to hide what they are doing from friends or parents. They can feel like they are living a double life! People that watch porn also feel stressed when their relationships begin to suffer or they start to feel bad about their own body.
It’s true, most students are learning about sex from porn instead of their parents. But surprisingly it’s not actually the best way to learn about sex. Why not? Porn doesn’t really show what partners, sex, and relationships are like in real life. To put it simply, the porn you are watching is fake, and I’m not just talking about the costumes, music, lighting and makeup that make it look perfect.
Sex in real life involves the real feelings and real needs of BOTH people. Porn doesn’t show us that. Porn is usually pretty one sided. The man gets satisfied and the woman is willing to satisfy him at all times. Even if she is abused or humiliated while she does it. That’s not love and that’s not real life!
Here’s another truth bomb, Porn edits out some of the natural consequences sex and violence. No one ever contracts sexually transmitted diseases in porn. There are no unplanned pregnancies, no cervical cancer, no gross intestinal parasites and no skin tearing or bruises. What’s all that mean? What we learn from porn about sex is fiction, not fact.
Yes!!! Girls watch porn too. Culture tells us porn is a guy thing, but guess what? 60% of girls under 18 have seen porn, and girls can get addicted to it just like boys can. If you struggle with looking at porn, you aren’t alone, and you aren’t weird or broken; other girls are struggling too and you can get help here.
Watching porn affects girls a little differently than it does boys. Most of the sex happening in porn shows the female doing whatever the male wants, even if he kicks, punches, chokes or humiliates her, she has a smile on her face and acts like she is enjoying it. Girls this isn’t cool. You are valuable and deserve to be treated with respect, but watching porn can give a girl the idea that having sex means letting a man do whatever he wants to you, even if it’s painful or makes you feel ashamed. Porn tells girls abuse is an okay way to express love. Abuse is not love and you deserve to be loved.
Cringe…You probably can’t imagine anything more embarrassing than telling your parents that you are struggling with watching porn! You have to trust us on this one, it’s best that you tell them. The only way they can help you get free and healthy is if they fully know what you have been dealing with. We know it’s tough, here are some tips to help make it less awful.
If you feel safer talking to another adult you can trust, share with them first so they can support you as you talk with your parents.
Quitting porn can be really tough! This isn’t like saying no to a second bowl of ice cream, you are fighting against the physical patterns and changes porn has made in your brain. Watching porn feels really good in the moment because our brain pumps out feel good chemicals and make us want to come back for more even though we never feel satisfied. The good news is that you can change those brain patterns and heal the brain by using some smart tools! We suggest getting an app like Fortify or Covenant Eyes on your phone and finding a trusted adult who can walk you through the process of quitting porn for good!