Opinion: Showing pornography to minors is child abuse, and not taking steps to protect them is child neglect

An argument about pornography exposure and legal child abuse/neglect..
A legal warning to minors about the risks of pornography exposure.

The last few decades have been “the great porn experiment.” We didn’t know the long-term effects of porn use, and the anti-porn movement was largely conflated with religion. Today, however, there is a large body of studies evidencing the potential risks, and numerous biographies of people who have been damaged–mentally, physically, and emotionally–by an early pornography habit or addiction (~5 minutes on r/NoFap or r/pornfree should suffice.)

Pornography is a supernormal stimuli that majorly interferes with the brain’s rewards circuitry. Routine exposure at a young age can decrease motivation to learn, grow, and connect, increasing feelings of isolation and underachievement. Arguably worst of all, pornography exposes minors to degraded norms of sexual behavior, reducing the probability that they will be able to build successful relationships in the future.

Due to the myriad risks associated with pornography use and its addictive power, intentionally exposing minors should be treated as a legal matter, as should failure to take steps to protect them from exposure by third parties. It’s no different than drugs or alcohol.

This is about minors, not adults. There are numerous reasons why I wouldn’t support a ban on pornography for adults.

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