Internet Porn: An Entirely New Child’s Game

Putting such a boy in front of porn is like giving your drug-addled kid heroin.

Studies report that around 90 per cent of children between eight and 16 have watched porn online, and about half do it regularly. Parents and schools worry about party drugs but the fact that boys aged 12 to 17 are the largest consumer group for this multibillion-dollar industry suggests that porn – or the dopamine it generates in the brain – is the modern child’s drug of choice.

 

“What attracts you physically in a man?” Someone asked me recently. Naturally I replied that the sexiest thing about a man is what’s inside his head. Naturally I didn’t hear from him again. (This was almost certainly a blessing.)

But it’s amazing how determinedly we pretend that sex is a body thing – a sport, really, with all the competition and expectation so implied – when in fact it’s almost entirely mental. This is especially interesting now, since it seems our mental sex-tools are morphing, generationally, in a way that could yet wreak Gaia’s revenge on humanity.

I’m no expert. Indeed, I regard the very idea of a sex expert as faintly repulsive and itself symptomatic of just how deeply we undermine our own best interests.

Further, to be female and say anything publicly about sex, other than “more, harder, longer,” is to invite the wrath and ridicule of the trollosphere; to be labelled wuss, wimp and wowser. So I’d not be sticking my head above this particular parapet if there weren’t plenty of experts saying it too: internet porn is rewiring children’s brains away from sex and, more importantly, away from love.

A young man seeking professional help for erectile dysfunction is still likely, these days, to be given Viagra and told to masturbate with pornography, as though a few minutes in a dark room with a colourised postcard should revive the taste for a peachy bottom. But such remedies are hopelessly, 180-degrees antiquated.

Quite likely porn – internet porn – is the problem, not the solution. It likely originates a decade back, in childhood, and is likely a dysfunction not of the penis, but of the brain. Putting such a boy in front of porn is like giving your drug-addled kid heroin.

We’re so messed up about children and sex. On the surface, an adult can barely photograph a child without suspicion of paedophilia and if children’s literature even mentions flirting or nudity it will face school-and-parent lockout.

Yet in the real world every bus ad and TV soap is awash with meaningless sex and many children, especially boys, are hardcore internet porn regulars by third grade.

Studies report that around 90 per cent of children between eight and 16 have watched porn online, and about half do it regularly. Parents and schools worry about party drugs but the fact that boys aged 12 to 17 are the largest consumer group for this multibillion-dollar industry suggests that porn – or the dopamine it generates in the brain – is the modern child’s drug of choice.

Read More