'Children as young as 8-years-old are exposed to pornography'


993 days ago

Child psychologist Dr Robyn Smith claims the age in which the average child is first exposed to pornography is as young as 8-years-old.

Dr Smith says the internet has made it much easier for children to stumble upon pornographic material at a very young age.

When an 8-year-old stumbles upon that kind of material it "opens up a floodgate of pleasures and curiosity" which is overwhelming to the mind of an 8-year-old, says Smith.

Unfortunately, at 8 you don't know what you are seeing but immediately you have a sense that you are not supposed to be seeing it.

Dr Robyn Smith, Child psychologist

So we have kids being heavily overwhelmed by what they are seeing and not telling parents what they saw and not knowing what to do with the images they have seen which are often titillating - and they don't stop watching.

Dr Robyn Smith, Child psychologist

Smith says it is difficult for parents to accept that their children are sexual beings as soon as they are out of the womb, especially at the tender age of 8.

She says parents see it as something terrifying.

Their context of sex is quite different from an adult understanding of what sex means but in their bodies they are sexual beings, they can get aroused, have interesting dreams and wanting to discover what sex means.

Dr Robyn Smith, child psychologist

Smith says stats on children's access to pornography are not readily available.

South African stats are hard to find and I don't think they are very reliable, and I'm not sure if the American ones are reliable either.

Dr Robyn Smith, child psychologist

She says none of the research, however, can be verified.

What are the signs that your child could be addicted to porn:

  • Late nights on the internet

  • Secretive

  • No interest in friendships

  • Not tidying their room (which is a bit difficult because many teenagers are like that)

  • More disdain to the tasks of ordinary life

  • Withdraws into a technology-based world

  • Technology obsession

Smith advises parents to regularly check the search history on their children's devices 'just to get a sense of what they are up to'.

She says the more they watch these images the more their senses get dulled. This then results in the need for the images to be more and more intense than the initial ones. This is how they get addicted, she says.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Children as young as 8-years-old are exposed to pornography'

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