April 2, 2015

New Survey Reveals Tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds Struggle with Pornography Addiction

Statement of National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Executive Director, Dawn Hawkins, and Fight the New Drug’s CEO, Clay Olsen

Washington, DC (April 2, 2015) – A recent NSPCC ChildLine survey concluded that a tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear that they are “addicted” to pornography. One in five of the 700 children surveyed reported to have seen pornographic images that “shocked or upset them.” NSPCC also reported that 12 percent of those surveyed, had taken part in, or had made, a sexually explicit video.

“The fact that children are sharing their fears of addiction needs to be a red flag to parents, public officials, and health experts. This study reinforces what we already know to be true about the growing public health crisis of pornography. Pornography is just as addictive as any drug. The growing body of research indicates that the younger and more often children are exposed to such content the more problematic and dangerous it becomes. Porn involvement affects a child’s developing brain and judgment centers, as well as, shapes their sexual template. Exposure to porn and sexualized media portrays sexual violence and high-risk behaviors as normal, leading users to adopt such practices in their personal lives,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE).

“For children and teens the risks for addiction is especially high, since an undeveloped brain’s reward pathway has a response two to four times more powerful than an adult brain—which means teen brains release even higher levels of dopamine. Early porn exposure greatly influences children to have riskier sex, with more partners, sooner. Fight the New Drug’s Fortify Program is a free, video-based online recovery program for teens who struggle with pornography and is available for free to anyone that needs help,” said Clay Olsen, Chief Executive Officer (Co-Founder), Fight the New Drug and Fortify Program.

Educate yourself and others on sexual exploitation and the harms of pornography here: http://endsexualexploitation.org

Learn more about Fight the New Drug’s Fortify Program: http://fightthenewdrug.org/about/#sthash.UDXTL5pt.dpbs

For an interview with Dawn Hawkins or Clay Olsen, please contact Amanda Smith at Amanda@ncose.com or (202) 393-7245.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE)
Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), formerly Morality in Media (MIM), is the leading national organization dedicated to opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, and addiction. The organization changed its name to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the scope and mission to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

About Fight the New Drug
Since 2009, Fight The New Drug has been dedicated to providing youth the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects. They do this using science, facts, and personal accounts as well as providing tools and resources to those that struggle with addictive behaviors toward pornography.

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