Why Access to High Speed Online Pornography Should Speed Up 'The Talk' With Children - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Why Access to High Speed Online Pornography Should Speed Up 'The Talk' With Children

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    This is the first generation to grow up with access to high speed online pornography, and the experts say it is rewiring the way young brains think about sex. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017)

    There are not many parents who look forward to having 'the talk' with their kids about sex. High speed technology is speeding up the time-frame to have that discussion.

    "We cannot ignore the problem anymore," said Dr. Elena Riedo, a North Texas psychologist who specializes in treating sex and pornography addiction. "I think this is the biggest change in human sexuality, I think the biggest change we have ever seen."

    Dr. Riedo says technology is rewiring the brain to change the way this younger generation, the first to grow up with high speed online access, thinks about sex.

    "The adolescent brain is really hijacked by high speed pornography. We've never seen that before," said Riedo. "You will have kids who stay hours in the room, just watching pornography, feeling the dopamine rush, and not being out there learning how to court somebody, learning how to be with another person."

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    Previous generations had access to porn in magazines like Playboy and Hustler, or adult movies on VHS tapes. Today, pornography is easier to access and more hard core.

    "When we talk about pornography today we need to remember that it's not what our fathers used to watch," said Dr. Riedo. "It's really the opposite of making love. It's really making hate."

    The convergence over the last decade of internet streaming, smart phones, and online pornography have created the perfect storm.

    "We have seen this coming for a while," Riedo said. "It's a tsunami. We've been talking about it for a while and now it's here."

    Right at childrens' fingertips, just a swipe on a phone or click of a mouse away. 

    "They talk about gateway drugs. Pictures are gateway drugs," said Lee Thompson, who is a chaplain, mentor, and former porn addict. Thompson said he started at age 8, looking at his uncles' magazines. Thompson said it is much easier today for young children to find pornography.

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    "They find the free porn sites because they're advertised on Instagram now," Thompson said. "When you don't know why you're doing something, but you know you need it, that's the cycle of addiction. We'll talk about it with alcohol an drugs, but we won't talk about it with this."

    Dr. Riedo says very often the thrill of watching online porn is followed by shame, that keeps the user silent.

    "This conversation is very difficult, but we need to have it," Riedo urged. "It's either we as parents teach the kids what healthy sex is, or we let the pornographers do it." 

    Here's some links to help you navigate "the talk" with your kids.

    Your Brain On Porn

    Growing Up in a Pornified Culture

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