How Does Viewing Porn as a Child Impact Future Behavior and the Brain?

By Craig Gross

About This Episode

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In today’s Whiteboard Session, Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of CA, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure on-line recovery program, answers a question we get often from parents: what is porn doing to my kid’s brain? How is looking at porn during puberty impacting their future behavior?

In this video, Steve shares how the pathways to the brain are majorly shaped two times in our lives: before the age of 5 and during puberty. When teens the age of 11 or 12 or 13 use porn or drugs or alcohol, they’re reshaping the pathways of pleasure to the brain and create a dependence on whatever substance brought them that pleasure. Not only that, but they aren’t learning how to manage their emotions and communicate with the people around them.

Parents, you’ve gotta have open conversations with your kids about porn. Don’t shame them but tell them that porn isn’t a choice that’s going to make them develop into a healthier person. What kids need instead are opportunities for them to be challenged and make mistakes and to learn.

Sometimes kids turn to porn because their parents are too restrictive and don’t allow them to make mistakes. Porn is super easy, but it doesn’t build any strength. It doesn’t build any resolve. It doesn’t build any character. If I want a relationship, if I want marriage, it doesn’t just land on my lap like porn does. It’s not freaking pancakes and syrup.

Parents, to help your kids develop healthy habits give them just enough challenges that it’s a little frustrating but not so frustrating that your child can’t accomplish it. And know when to step in and when not to step in. And with adolescents in this, when to step in is to tell them “We don’t use porn.”

Also, don’t forget to check out X3christmas.com to get your free access to the Resentment video series.

Our Favorite Quotes From This Episode

  • More kids today think not recycling is a bigger deal than looking at porn.
  • We humans are in a very elegantly designed body with a lot of parts and systems. Sometimes these systems can get off track. And Porn is certainly one way to get your systems off track.
  • Physiologically speaking, porn is not good.
  • Porn affects our emotional lives. It affects how we go through the world. It affects how we feel about ourselves. It affects a lot of things and I don’t recommend.
  • There are plenty of wonderful things in life and porn is just not one of them.
  • Sex is about connection. It’s not about an object. Once sex becomes about objectifying something, that’s when sex becomes a substance of abuse.
  • Parents, give your kids spaces and opportunities for them to be challenged.
  • Sometimes kids turn to porn because their parents are too restrictive and don’t allow their child to make mistakes.
  • Porn is super easy, but it doesn’t build any strength. It doesn’t build any resolve. It doesn’t build any character.
  • If I want a relationship, if I want marriage, it doesn’t land on my lap like porn does. It’s not freaking pancakes and syrup.

Watch more WhiteBoard Sessions HERE and listen to more episodes of the podcast HERE.

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