Experts claim Indian kids watch pornography as early as 13 years of age, warn severe consequences
One alarming revelation is the link between children's attachment styles with their parents and their susceptibility to pornography addiction. Those with insecure, resistant, or avoidant attachment styles face a higher risk. Moreover, the quality of family environments also plays a pivotal role in pushing children towards porn addiction.
In India, a troubling trend is emerging as children are increasingly exposed to pornography at remarkably young ages, with the average age of first exposure plummeting to just 13 years old. Despite attempts to block access to explicit content, consumption continues to surge, often fueled by the very curiosity the ban sought to suppress.
One alarming revelation is the link between children's attachment styles with their parents and their susceptibility to pornography addiction. Those with insecure, resistant, or avoidant attachment styles face a higher risk. Moreover, the quality of family environments also plays a pivotal role in pushing children towards porn addiction. A poignant example is a seven-year-old boy from Bengaluru who turned to adult content as a coping mechanism to deal with the emotional trauma of a broken home.
Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, a clinical psychology professor, and coordinator of the SHUT (Service for Healthy Use of Technology) clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), shared a heart-wrenching story of a young boy who sought solace through explicit material, attempting to fill the void left by unmet emotional needs.
Impact on the Brain and Pleasure-Seeking Behavior: Experts delved into the detrimental effects of pornography on the adolescent brain during a panel discussion at a national clinical psychology conference. Dr. Nitin Anand, an additional professor of clinical psychology and consultant at the SHUT clinic, explained how excessive pornography consumption disrupts the brain's dopamine reward system. This disruption can lead to dysfunction, causing the pleasure center to derive satisfaction solely from high-arousal experiences, ultimately driving individuals to seek novelty due to saturation from similar stimuli.
Contributing Factors and Recommendations: The pervasive issue of underage pornography consumption is attributed to the lack of comprehensive sex education and the ease of internet access. Experts emphasize the urgent need for sexual education to be incorporated into school curricula to combat this mounting concern. Additionally, they shed light on the "weekend effect," where nearly 80 percent of weekend internet traffic is related to pornography, often used for relaxation and pleasure.
Impact on Relationships and Intimacy: The influence of pornography on relationships was also a point of discussion. Having a partner who consumes pornography can strain long-term relationships and lead to intimacy issues. Dr. Sharma highlighted the potential consequences of this phenomenon, underscoring the necessity for open and honest conversations within relationships to address these challenges.