Note for Teens: When you are a teenager, you are changing from a child with a non-sexual body to an adult, with a sexual body. Everything about you – both physical and mental – is changing. Viewing pornography as a teenager can ‘program’ your mind and body to respond to the wrong things. This can cause a life time of problems.
Is Viewing Pornography Actually Harmful?
- Pornography is addictive. Extended use of pornography causes physical changes in the brain that make it very difficult to stop viewing by making the willpower center of the brain weak and the impulsive center of the brain strong.
- Viewing pornography is spiritually damaging and interferes with our ability to emotionally connect with family, friends, and God. It also severely damages us emotionally, physically, and socially.
- Pornography addiction often leads to improper sexual behavior with oneself or others. Pornography impairs our judgment: The desire for the next “fix” can cause us to make poor decisions we would not otherwise make.
- Pornography has a tendency to cause users to try to minimize, lie about, or keep their actions secret, thus undermining their integrity. They end up living “double lives.” Pornography can cause us to develop unhealthy views of others and teaches lies about human sexuality. This can lead to sexual dysfunction and frustration in our intimate relationships in marriage.
- Pornography addiction can impede our ability to succeed in life and jeopardize our career.
- Viewing pornography usually escalates to other deviant sexual behavior.
What If I Keep Viewing Pornography?
- When you stop viewing pornography, then start again, stop again, and start again, it is likely that you are addicted.
- Recognize that recovering from a pornography addiction is possible, but difficult.
- Stop keeping your behavior a secret! Don’t rationalize about whether or not you are “addicted” to pornography. If you have looked at pornography, discuss your behavior honestly with your bishop and parents. Get help so that you can experience recovery rather than just practicing white knuckle abstinence. In addition, it is important to recognize the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Learn about and accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which is more powerful than your weakness.
- For more information and help, read:
A Parent’s Guide (www.lds.org)
Where do Babies come from?(Brad Wilcox)
Beautiful Gift, Ugly Package (p. 4 – 6 in Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction Manual)