Why Porn Escalates from Underwear Ads to Hard Core: What Parents Need to Know

by Feb 21, 2013Addiction/Brain Science

season2_characters_carson“I do not wish to take a tour of your revolting world.” So said the head butler, Carson, in a recent episode of the popular British series, Downton Abbey.

Unfortunately, while I don’t recommend “taking a tour” of pornography, I do believe it’s essential for parents, especially moms, to know what’s out there and how easily an addiction to viewing porn can escalate and intensify.

Recently, I talked with a mom about my upcoming book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. She wanted to know what pornography actually shows:  photos of naked men and women, or are they actually filmed having sex?

Yes, yes and much, much worse.

Little boy with cell phoneI hate to do this. I know it’s ugly. But parents need to know what their kids can easily view on their cell phones or internet-enabled devices any minute of the day or night. Here’s a brief description of how depraved and violent porn has become:

“Hard-core pornography involves sex with animals, children, corpses, and adolescents, and it may involve violence, bondage, group sex, prostitution, rape, and sodomy involving weapons (such as knives or broken glass, inanimate objects, and so on) used to sodomize the victim. Also included would be sexual activities involving defecation, urination and vomit. And last, but not least, it can include hard-core torture, mutilation, and snuff films.” (Guardians of Innocence, p.2, Mary Muller)

Snuff films are when the victim (often a child) is tortured, raped and then murdered on film. And tragically it’s been happening for decades.

So sick! I certainly don’t want you to tell your 7-year -old all that!

But you need to know that porn begins at one place (even underwear ads in otherwise respectable women’s clothing catalogs) and can escalate step by step to more and more depraved and violent videos.

Why?

Dopamine receptorsBecause of the way addiction works in the brain. The porn viewer is seeking an exciting rush of neurochemicals to satisfy his or her addiction. (An addiction so strong that it creates compulsions and cravings that can keep the addict from sleeping or even eating.) Unfortunately, that excitement is harder and harder to achieve unless they up the ante and increase the intensity of the pornography. And porn makers are eager to oblige.

Adding violence to sexual arousal produces an even bigger release of neurochemicals, specifically dopamine. That’s why so much pornography is violent.

mom talking with daughter in parkNow that you know that today’s internet pornography is so much more than the nude photos of yesteryear’s magazines, I hope you’ll feel an urgency to begin talking to your kids so they can be porn-proofed!

Sometimes that first step is the hardest. I promise, it gets easier after that. Any ideas about beginning that conversation? Please leave a comment or question. And pat yourself on the back for getting informed!

Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.

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