Teens Seeking Answers About Sex Turn to Porn

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By Ashby Strauch

Sex education has been controversial for years as some parents and politicians continue the fight for abstinence-only sex education, which teaches teens they should wait until marriage to have sex.

As a result, abstinence-only education also excludes teaching teens about contraception, safe sex and sexual identity.

Without enough guidance, teens are turning to one of the worst possible channels to learn: pornography, according to this piece in The New York Times.

The effects appear to especially impact women. In a study published by The International Journal of Sexual Health, 300 college-age women at similar colleges were selected showed that the American women became sexually active younger, had more partners and were less likely to use birth control than Dutch women. They were also more likely to be pressured into having sex from a partner.

The study observed that Dutch parents spoke more openly about sex with teens than American parents who generally avoided the subject or stuck to just discussing the consequences of having sex.

Thirty-eight percent of boys 16 to 17 years old deliberately sought out pornography in the past year compared to 8 percent of girls the same age, says a study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

In the digital age, it is hard to withhold information from teens so it’s really no surprise that teens are doing their own research. The problem lies with what teens are learning about “sex” from porn.

Women are hypersexualized and submissive in porn. Sex is portrayed as casual and sometimes violent while ignoring the intimate element. The portrait that porn paints of sex is inaccurate, to say the least, and damaging because it sets a false precedent of what sex should look. The New York Times even says porn is “as realistic as pro wrestling.”

While researchers couldn’t definitively conclude porn’s influence on teens, the researchers found that the students who learned about sex through porn were more likely “to view sex as purely a physical function like eating or drinking.”

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