How Porn Affects Your Child’s Future

By Danny Huerta
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Many think porn use is no big deal, but its effects reach far into the future.

Many think porn use is no big deal, but its effects reach far into the future. “Why do you think you’re here, and how can I help,” I asked 16-year old Mark. It’s how I begin all my counseling relationships. Mark’s parents wanted to help him break free from the grip of porn. But Mark didn’t see it that way.  “Guys just watch porn. It’s no big deal,” he said.  Porn is a big deal. And it has significant consequences on your kids’ future.

Porn vs. a great marriage and sex life

Mark and I talked about pornography’s effects on the brain and relationships. We also talked about his future. “Do you want a great marriage, mediocre marriage or a bad marriage,” I asked. “What about your sex life? Do you want it to be great, mediocre or bad?”  I love using the analogy of fertilizers and soil.  Many commercial lawn fertilizers provide fake nutrients that create a dependency for the plants. Without those chemicals, they’re lifeless and over time they require more and more of the chemical. On the other hand, good organic fertilizers create vibrant soil. The result is an ecosystem that allows the plants to sustain themselves and flourish. Sex is the same way. It can become dependent on artificial means of arousal or it can be nourished by a loving relationship. Pornography leaves a person thirsty and empty with the illusion that pornography is normal and feels good, so it must be right.  It alters perception and we defend what we don’t want to lose.  Look at how toddlers handle the possibility of losing a toy or how people who gamble or use drugs defend their addictions.  Just because something feels good does not make it good.  Mark had no idea porn could affect his future relationships. Most people don’t. But when he reflected, he could see his thoughts were becoming more and more self-seeking and dependent on pornography.  “Likewise, young women are often unaware of how pornography use may impact their intimate relationships.  However, a study that examined pornography use among women in the US from 1973-2010 found that young women who viewed pornography frequently had more sexual partners, positive views about group sex and casual sexual partners than their peers who had less pornography exposure. These tendencies would be likely to negatively impact the quality of future healthy intimate and sexual relationships.Wright, P. J., Bae, S., & Funk, M. (2013). United States women and pornography through four decades: Exposure, attitudes, behaviors, individual differences. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(7), 1131–1144.

We want our kids to have a great sex life with their future spouse!

Sex is God’s gift to marriage. However, great sex has a pre-requisite, which is learning how to love through God’s lens. He has designed a perfect timing to sex within a covenant/marriage relationship that has commitment, passion and intimacy. Pornography leaves kids incredibly stunted in their growth and maturity and enslaved to pleasure and consumption. The distortions created by pornography are said to be a factor in 56% of the divorces. A healthy sexuality is essential for our kids, for their marriages, for society and for generations to come. Pornography distorts a person’s ability to love another person with an unwavering, faithful, immovable no-matter-what kind of love. Remember, pornography triggers our bodies production of oxytocin, which is our bonding chemical. God created this response with purpose.  He wants sex to be a wonderful and deeply bonding activity between a husband and a wife.  The more it is used outside of its design the more confused and washed down the ability to bond. 

To protect your mind is to protect your heart

Our hearts are directly affected by our minds. Whatever we decide to put into our minds penetrates our core being and comes out in our behaviors.  The writer of Proverbs knew this when he recorded 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Protecting your heart is like protecting a military base when the security threat is heightened. At the gate, security forces thoroughly check what and who is coming onto base. In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul suggests we be just as vigilant with what we allow into our minds—by taking every thought captive—much like maintaining a fortress to keep freedom. As parents, we can help our kids learn how and why to guard their hearts—their springs of life. Because media offers an onslaught of temptation, you can help them discern what desensitizes them and lures them toward pornography. You can also come up with practical solutions and accountability to help them find victory. Help them see that there is more to life than sex.  Many times sex has replaced love instead of it being an enhancement of a steadfast loving relationship.  I picture sex as the added glue to steadfast love.  It adds glue to the glued, attached, unwavering, faithful relationship.

For discussion

Read Proverbs 2 and 4. Discuss what can be learned from God’s words through Solomon in these passages.  What does it mean to have an ear that is attentive to wisdom and a heart inclined toward understanding?  Read Proverbs 3:3. What does it mean to have steadfast love and faithfulness bound around your neck and written on the tablet of your heart?  How does pornography prevent steadfast love and faithfulness from existing in a person’s life? Danny Huerta is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed School Social Worker. He has maintained a private practice counseling families since 2004 and has written several articles in various publications. He was a contributing author in the Smart Groom’s Answer Guide: An Eye-Opening Guide to the First Year of Marriage and The First Five Years of Marriage: Launching A Life-Long Relationship. He has been a guest on the Focus on the Family Broadcast and is an ongoing contributor on the Focus on the Family Parenting podcast. He has also been a guest on many radio shows and news shows throughout the US covering various topics related to family and parenting.

© 2018 by Focus on the Family

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About the Author

Danny Huerta Media Profile
Danny Huerta

As vice president of the Parenting and Youth department, Danny oversees Focus’ initiatives that equip parents to disciple and mentor the next generation, so that they can thrive in Christ.

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