Friday, October 19, 2012

What Some Teens Don't Want You to See

It may not rot your teeth or send you out on secret late-night trips to purchase baggies full of some illegal substance, but porn addiction is a train wreck waiting to happen. And it looks like it's a bigger problem for kids than we may want to admit.

I recently stumbled on an ABC Nightline report that aired earlier this year. It centers on a 17-year-old named Nathan Haug from Utah who just happens to look and act like an all-American kid. He has great grades, a great attitude and a great family. The only problem is, he's been secretly hooked on porn for years. This average, clean-cut kid covered up his tracks on the family computer and even honed his naked pic searches to a measured science to keep his parents off the scent. But here's the thing that got me: He's been at it since he was twelve.

We parents may be cringing at the thought of our sweet kids dabbling in that junk. But it's pretty obvious that Nathan's situation is really pretty common. There's a growing number of studies—like one from the University of New Hampshire called "The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth"—that seem to suggest that kids often stumble onto this stuff and get hooked as young as 8 years old. The New Hampshire study found that 93.2 percent of its boy participants and 62.1 percent of its girls had been exposed to pornography, often well before they turned 18.


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