When we think of people who are consumers of online porn, we automatically picture grown adults. However, with access to pornographic sites becoming increasingly widespread, a large number of tweens and teens are believed to have viewed some kind of online porn.  

How Many Children Are Watching Porn?

Today, it's reported that at least 90 percent of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have watched pornography online at least once. Not only have most tweens and teens seen porn, but boys ages 12 to 17 are actually the largest consumers of online pornography. With this statistic, pornography has even been compared to being the drug of choice for youth.

The amount of kids accessing porn truly is alarming. In fact, the statistics keep rising every single year. Right now, statistics are showing that kids first gain exposure to pornography at the age of 11. This shouldn't be too surprising, though.

Easy Access

Since pornography is attainable online, it's often easy for children to get their hands on it. Sure, there are some types of pornography online that kids would have to pay for, but the majority of pornographic materials can be found for free. With the simple click of a mouse, kids can have access a whole world of pornography for absolutely no charge. Then, they can download this pornography onto their computers, so they can watch it whenever and wherever they like.

How to Know If Your Child is Watching Porn?

Do you believe that your kid may be watching porn, but are not 100 percent sure? Here are some warning signs that should give you a pretty good indication if they are or not:

  • Is your child very curious about sexuality for a very young age? Do they seem fascinated by the thought of sex and their genitals? 

  • Has your child showed any early signs of sexual activity? Do you have reason to believe that they have indulged in sexual contact before?

  • Are there charges popping up on your credit card that you have no clue where they came from? Is your child constantly asking to borrow your credit card, but never gives you a straight answer on why they need it?

  • Have you noticed that now your computer has been getting a lot of pop-ups and that you are receiving an alarming amount of inappropriate e-mails?

  • Do you feel your child is going through any obvious changes in behavior? Are they acting way more defensive or secretive lately?

If you start seeing any of these warning signs, this should be a red flag to you that something's going on with your child. At this point, you need to step in and start watching your kid's online actions.  

Suspicions of Porn Addiction

A pornography addiction is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The National Council on Sexual Addiction Compulsivity has estimated that in the past an average of 6 to 8 percent of Americans suffer from a sex addiction. Other organizations are even stating that the number is higher, at 10 percent. Either way, it seems sex is something that is hooking people left and right and it seems our children are now not strangers to this. 

It's one thing to find out your child has watched porn once or twice, but it is another to discover that they show signs of porn addiction. You cannot simply brush off suspicions because it makes you feel uncomfortable to confront your child about it. If you are certain that your kid has a pornography or technology addiction, you will need to start monitoring their online activity to put an end to it. Besides this, here are some steps you can take:

  • Talk to someone about it. Look into hiring trained professionals that you can trust to help get your kid through this addiction. You might consider signing your child up for therapy. Therapists often discover other underlying problems that lead to addictions and are able to give people the tools they need to overcome them.

  • Educate yourself on pornography addiction. Learn exactly how this technology addiction impacts your kid and their life. Once you know more about it, you can be better equipped to help your child.

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Steven Woda
Steve Woda is the co-founder and CEO of uKnow, and a leader in the Internet safety and security field for over 15 years. He frequently speaks on the topics of Internet and mobile security, ecommerce and information economics. You can follow Steve on Twitter or on his blog.