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One of the things a parent can most dread is seeing their child view pornography, or fearing that they cannot prevent this from happening. If you either discovered your child watching or being exposed to porn or you’re dreading that this may happen and you are looking for ways to prevent this, read on.
Most of us vividly remember when we were first exposed to some sexual stimulus: a stash of magazines (if you are an older parent) in your friend’s garage or you may remember how you came across pornography on the internet (this means you must be a younger parent). Either way, sexual stimuli that are evoked through a visual image create powerful memories in the brain, which is why we can so vividly remember our first exposures.
The power of that memory can be compared to the power of a memory your body creates in response to food poisoning. You don’t have to train your body to remember that you ate food that was rotten and it will remind you to never eat that fish or return to that restaurant again. That same stream of learning happens when we are exposed to visual sexual stimuli because it elicits a comparable arousal response in the body. However, it is typically more complicated than that. When we are young we have confusing feelings surrounding the stimuli because no one sits us down and explains to us what the physical response is that created the memory in us. Now, as a parent having witnessed your child being exposed to such a stimulus, this situation could trigger the exact same memory of the response you felt when you were first exposed (e.g., disgusted, ashamed, avoidant, or “frozen”).
This page will help you deal with that bodily sensation. I want to assure you that even reading this will help you make sense of these highly confusing events that may have shaped your outlook on life, sexuality, or fear and inhibition surrounding sexual stimuli.
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