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"When discussing pornography with children, there is a golden rule: better an hour early than five minutes late."

University researcher Carolina Lupo analyzes the phenomenon of pornography consumption among minors.


17 | 05 | 2024

"The best option is to speak clearly about pornography. In Education sexual we have a golden rule: better an hour before, than five minutes late". So says Carolina Lupo, researcher at group "Infinity: family, love and sexuality" at Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra."When parents find out that their children consume pornography they may feel guilty and believe that they are doing something wrong. However, this status can be transformed into an opportunity for a conversation and a meeting of growth and Education", he adds.

Lupo, who has been studying the phenomenon of pornography consumption in minors for a decade, recommends not waiting to have just a talk about sexuality: "The best thing is to create channels of conversation from an early age and achieve a dialogue that allows a progressive affective-sexualEducation ". There are many opportunities provided by the environment. "It is quite common, for example, to see advertisements with sexual stimuli at bus stops. If the child reacts in any way, shocked or curious, this is the opportunity to talk about topic", she advises.

Of all the changes that have taken place in the last ten years, he says that access to the internet through mobiles and tablets has led to an exponential growth in the consumption of pornography. On the one hand, because children receive these devices at an increasingly younger age. Also, according to the researcher, because there is what experts call the "4 As" engine: accessibility, affordability, anonymity and social acceptance.

The 2020 pandemic also led to an increase in consumption, which has not diminished since then, "as it has become a phenomenon with the potential to become an addiction". When it starts at an early age, the expert stresses, the risks are even greater, as the same neurological processes are activated as for any other addiction, but with some aggravating factors: the power of the image (impossible to metabolize like other chemical substances) and the vulnerability of a child's brain, still in the process of development. "The more leave is the age of consumption, the greater the intensity of its effects," he asserts. 

Open and trusting communication

For Carolina Lupo, the training of character, the ability to manage emotions and the Education of the look are indispensable. "We must value our children not only for what they do, but for what they are: people worthy of loving and being loved, free and therefore susceptible to making mistakes. If we encourage open, attentive and trusting communication, the message we will convey to them will be 'I trust you, and if you make a mistake, I will be here to help you get back on your feet'."

The researcher explains that there are programs of study in various countries that show how the consumption of pornography in women is generating negative effects. Among them, she highlights the one derived from self-esteem problems and conflicts with their body image, etc., for which they are increasingly attending psychological consultations: "They believe that boys want a woman like the one on the screen and, since they do not look like them, they feel that they will not love them". 

He also points out that numerous studies associate the consumption of pornography with violence. "Some of the phenomena of 'manadas' in Spain have been carried out by adolescents". The researcher is surprised by the insensitivity with which many of them respond: "They have normalized it, it is the phenomenon of the eroticization of violence". On the other hand, she highlights how "boys also end up being, in a certain way, victims when they consume pornography, because they become dependent on their impulses, instead of learning to manage their desires so that one day they will be able to love with their bodies".