Kids as young as 8 years old have become addicted to pornography.
Pornography has been the bane of many American communities for
decades. With the advent of the Internet the problem has become
exacerbated. Most parents are aware of the dangers of pedophiles, but
other dangers lurk online that are just as potentially damaging to
children--especially children between the ages of 8 to 12 years old.
Although the trend only surfaced a handful of years ago, research has already been done that draws very ominous conclusions. What has become apparent is the fact that if this new addiction among children is not addressed and quickly halted it can not only destroy the child's life, but destroy the American culture and society as well.
This article will present a very brief synopsis of the efforts of some of the people leading the charge to counteract this trend towards self-abasement, destruction and ruined lives. From learned psychologists and family counselors to esteemed neurologists and the clergy, the lines have been drawn and the battle is beginning for the hearts an minds of America's children--not to mention their souls.
Addictions are an insidious thing and often involve an insidious process. Neurological studies of children who have become addicted to Internet porn (including brain scans) has revealed that the physiological changes in the brain of a porn addict almost exactly match those who are addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Dr. Kimberly Young was the first to research and address the Internet addiction that began emerging in the mid-1990s. In 1996 she presented her paper, "Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Disorder" at the American Psychological Association's annual conference held in Toronto, Canada.
Since that landmark presentation, Internet addiction has spread across the world to countries and cultures as diverse as Australia, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan. Even Iran has faced the growing health concern of Internet addiction!
Stanford University's School of Medicine has estimated that 1 in 8 Americans exhibit telltale signs of Internet addiction. Addiction affects both adults and children. For adults it runs the gamut from gaming sites and chat groups to pornography websites.
For almost a decade, addiction amongst children was rare. Those that were discovered to be addicted to the Internet were mostly addicted to chat groups and game sites. That all changed about 2005. Two trends began almost concurrently: explicit sexual behavior over the Internet involving chat groups, web cams and pornography sites, and sexting (overt, explicit sexual text messaging and transmission of nude photographs and sexual acts) amongst friends and sometimes complete strangers.
The dangers from pedophiles was obvious. But as experts dug deeper into this rapidly growing behavior amongst children 12 and under the data was alarming: the rampant use of the new media tools for early sexual expression was leading to physical sexuality, an increase in the spread of sexual diseases including syphilis, and a sharp spike upwards of unwanted pregnancies by very young teens and tweens (age 10 to 12).
This is exactly what researchers found happening to young boys and girls who had become addicted to Internet pornography. At first is was primarily adults, then young boys, and finally young girls.
Early exposure to pornography, especially those under the age of 10, can be devastating to emotional development and to the development of a healthy sexuality. Such children can develop sexual perversions that become permanently imprinted in their brains. The actual physical structure of their brain changes as a result of the addictive exposure.