Children have the first contact with internet pornography at the age of eight

There are many studies in recent years that have analyzed the impact of pornography consumption by children and adolescents. A 2020 Save The Children report states that “the majority of adolescents have seen pornography at some time, either accidentally or on purpose. In addition, we see how the age of first contact with this material is very early, 12 years on average, although 8.8% of those who participated in this study had already seen it before the age of 10 ». However, experts assure that during confinement due to covid-19, screens and the internet took on a greater role among young people, one of the reasons that responds to the fact that a recent investigation carried out by the Youth and Inclusion Network and the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB), places the first experience with this type of content at the age of eight.

On this, Enriqueta López, a clinical psychologist from Tarragona, explains that adolescence is a time when people are very curious and want to discover the field of sexuality, and think that "young people access porn, more than for the morbid fact, to know and take tools, but it is a bad source of information, because it shows bad practices and it is a model of sexuality that has nothing to do with sexuality as a couple ». Likewise, and starting from the basis that "consuming porn is not good for anyone", López points out that it can have worse consequences in adolescents than in adults, "since mature people may be able to differentiate what is good and what is what is wrong, as well as what is close to reality and what is not, while «in young people it can be very harmful, both at a maturational level and in the behavior in the relationships they have in the future.

Lara Castro-Grañén, a psychologist-sexologist from the Col·legi Oficial de Psicòlegs de Catalunya (COPC) and director of Placer ConSentido, also speaks about this issue, as well as the author of the book 'SexFaqs' on sexual education that is about to be published. She comments that pornography affects adolescents in the sense that “the images they see will form part of their construction of sexuality, with the gender stereotypes and sexual myths that this entails. If they can't contextualize it because they don't have a good base of sexual education and a strong self-esteem, all these scenes can cause them a lot of discomfort when they have their first sexual relations and believe that this was the model to follow.

Boys consume porn to satisfy themselves and girls to learn what is expected of them

At the same time, Castro-Grañén maintains that the consumption of pornography does not affect boys in the same way as it does girls because, with a view to future sexual relations, "it can create performance anxiety for them and develop certain problems such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, while for them, the vision of their body as an object of desire for men (in heterosexual relationships) and, therefore, disconnect from themselves living a sexuality alien to their being. What favors, for example, the difficulty in experiencing orgasm or pain during penetration.

The psychologist-sexologist considers that the pandemic and isolation during confinement caused a greater consumption of pornography among young people and advanced the age of first contact with this type of content: «The online world monopolized all the attention and when pornographic content is at a click, adolescents with a lack of sexual education are not prepared to filter all this bombardment ». A sexual education that Castro-Grañén considers key during childhood. «It is very important that professionals in psychology and sexology teach sex education in schools and institutes. A subject that talks about sexuality, values, self-knowledge, emotions, relationships, etc., and where teachers and families are also involved. This would give us a lot of well-being as a society”, concludes the COPC expert.

learn to relate

"Sex education is fundamental and its objectives are to learn to know each other, to accept each other, to relate and to enjoy erotica in the best possible way." That's how clear Vanessa Rodríguez is, an expert psychologist in sex education who teaches workshops for children, adolescents and their families, professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and vice president of the Galician Society of Sexology (Sogasex).

In this sense, Rodríguez points out that sexuality "is not a subject in itself, and when workshops are given, they are usually proposals that come out of the AMPA and it is specific training, specific topics and that are often taught by people who do not they are experts, because we must remember that sexology is a science». Likewise, he regrets that "when they are carried out in institutes they are focused on the risk and danger of sexual relations, when adolescents should be told about the pleasure and care of their own and others' bodies."

Another of the conclusions that the UIB study puts on the table is that some 30,000 young people in Spain are in treatment for their habitual consumption. Regarding this, Núria Cónsola, a psychologist specialized in addictions and director of the Center Benavet de Sant Pere i Sant Pau (Tarragona), explains that “we do not treat adolescents, but many of the people who come to us for other addictions have distorted sexual behavior and relationship problems.

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