9 Signs Your Teenager is Using Internet Pornography

As a parent, one of your top priorities is to keep your child safe and secure within reason. Unfortunately, many things in the world can harm your child or teenager. One of those things is high-speed internet pornography. 

Some of the harms associated with child or teen use of internet pornography include: 

Distortion of their view of sexuality

Higher prevalence rates of sexual aggression

Earlier sexual activity and more sex partners throughout their lifetime

Diminished ability or inability to maintain healthy relationships

Higher susceptibility to compulsive pornography use and other forms of drug or behavioral addictions.

Prevention of pornography use amongst children and adolescents is the key; click here to read my article on Top Internet Monitoring Software apps. Early detection of pornography use is key to successfully addressing the situation.

Here are some signs that your teenager may be using internet pornography:

Social withdrawal or social isolation

Does your child spend most of their time by themselves, especially behind closed doors? 

Does your adolescent lack healthy social relations with your family and any friends that they may have?

Does your teenager experience chronic loneliness?

Sudden changes in mood stability including symptoms of depression or anxiety

Is your child suddenly experiencing mood swings or a depressed mood, after having a pattern of being content?

Is your adolescent suddenly experiencing agitation or restlessness, especially after having a pattern of being calm and relaxed?

Does your teenager have difficulty concentrating, especially after having a pattern of being able to focus?

Disinterest in friends or activities that they were once interested in 

Does your child no longer want to go to their sports or music practice? 

Does your adolescent suddenly have no interest in spending time outside, after having a pattern of going outside?

Does your teenager suddenly think that extracurricular activities are uncool?

Sudden change in personality characteristics

Was your child once sweet and kind and now is cold and calculating?

Was your adolescent once outgoing and now is introverted?

Was your teenager competent at interacting with others? And now all of a sudden, they seem awkward and hard to deal with? 

A decline in or disregard for personal hygiene or physical appearance

Does your child neglect their physical appearance?

Does your adolescent shower or bath less than daily?

Does your teenager consistently have bad breath?

Increased secrecy 

Does your teenager attempt to password-protect their cell phone?

Is your adolescent very protective of their cell phone?

Does your teenager take their cell phone into the bathroom?

Excessive use of a device during the night

Does your child stay up late into the night on the computer or their cell phone?

Does your adolescent take their cell phone to bed?

Is your teenager experiencing chronic fatigue, lethargy, or tiredness?

Unusual or sudden interest in sexual topics

Is your child aware of sexual topics or activities that are inappropriate for their age?

Is your adolescent suddenly interested in obscure forms of sexuality?

Is your teenager asking about sex toys? 

Imitation or modeling of inappropriate sexual behaviors

Is your child touching or fondling themselves in common-shared spaces, such as the living room or kitchen?

Has your adolescent ever tried to hump or imitate sexual behaviors with a family pet or younger sibling?

Has your teenager ever imitated oral sex on a banana or another phallic-shaped object? 

These last two signs are also telltales indicators that your child may have experienced sexual abuse; and at the same time, most mainstream pornography contains verbal and/or physical abuse toward women. 1

If your child has experienced sexual abuse, then it is a situation that needs to be dealt with immediately and calls for the help of a trained mental health professional.

If your child has experienced sexual abuse, it increases their susceptibility to pornography addiction.

Many of these signs or symptoms are also characteristics of adolescent drug use.

If your child or adolescent displays one or two of these characteristics, it likely does not indicate a situation that needs to be addressed. If your child displays 3 or more of these characteristics, then this is a situation that you or your partner and you most likely need to address.

If your teenager is displaying a majority of these indicators, as a parent or caregiver, it seems like you have a responsibility to address the situation and dig a little bit deeper. If your adolescent is displaying most of these signs, it could very well likely indicate psychological dependency or addiction to internet pornography. 

My first book is published now, Break Free of Chains: How to Help Your Child Recover from Pornography Addiction. It is a psychology, self-help guide for parents to compassionately address their child’s use of internet pornography; it is supplemental to treatment or therapy. Click here to view the page, where the book is available for purchase. 

If your child does struggle with the compulsive use of internet pornography, please do not hesitate to contact me. I work as an Addiction Therapist and I provide recovery coaching for private clients of mine. I am here to help. 

All the best, 


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  1. Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: A content analysis updateViolence against women16(10), 1065-1085.

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