Why Self-Generated Child Sexual Content is on the Rise in America

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Why Self-Generated Child Sexual Content is on the Rise in America

By Movieguide® Contributor

Self-generated child sexual abuse material is on the rise in America.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of children ages 9-12 years old who think it is normal to share nude pictures and videos jumped from 13% to 21%, Faithwire reports. 

Additionally, Thorn, a nonprofit fighting child exploitation, found that 26% of boys aged 9-12 years old view the illegal trend as commonplace.

Thorn’s study also found that, among children who had shared nude photos or videos, 50% had shared with someone who they had not met in real life, and 41% had shared with someone they knew was 18 or older.

This already disturbing trend becomes even more alarming in light of the speed that these photos and videos can spread around the internet. What was meant to be shared with one person can spread to millions of strangers without any say from the child who created the illegal content.

For example, in a recent high-profile case, Serena Fleites was coerced by her then-boyfriend into sharing sexually explicit videos with him while she was a minor. 

The videos she shared were ultimately uploaded to Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography sight, where the illegal videos were viewed, downloaded and re-uploaded countless times due to the site’s egregious failure to regulate content.

Unfortunately, Fleites’ story is not unusual as nude content sharing continues to rise, and the increase in children creating and sharing sexual content is rooted in the surge of pornography as a whole.

“Our children are being taught by the world, and it is not pretty, said Elizabeth Fisher Good, an expert advocate against sex trafficking. 

“Hell is systemically coming after our children, systemically dismantling the ability for intimacy, for family. If we don’t do something, in one decade, everything will be different—and we have the power as the church to speak to it,” she urged. 

As the New York Post reports, 9 out of 10 American boys and close to 6 out of 10 girls encounter porn before they turn 18, revealing why porn addiction and self-created explicit material continues to rise in America.

Because younger people’s brains are more wired for pleasure than adults, their brains release more dopamine than mature brains, making them more susceptible to addiction than adults.

“Just like a drug addict keeps looking for the initial ‘ideal’ rush, so those who are addicted to the sex and violence in films seek increasing doses of sex and violence to appease their lust,” Dr. Baehr explains in The Culture Wise Family.

Creating and sharing sexually explicit content allows these children to appease the lust they feel.

To help their kids resist the sexual pressure they experience, parents need to understand how children’s brain works, an issue that Movieguide® has addressed in the past.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Many young adults experience the long-term effects of pornography, but what exactly does it do to young and developing minds?

Porn elicits the same brain reactions that drugs produce for a drug addict. Valerie Voon, a psychiatry professor at the University of Cambridge, found that when her team showed porn to young men with compulsive porn habits, their brain scans mirrored the brain scans of drug addicts when shown pictures of drugs.

Her study also found that, for young people, porn caused “greater activity in the reward centers of the brain than the older participants when shown porn.”

This occurs because the “brain’s emotional center develops faster than the part of the brain that controls impulse.” This disparity “helps explain why teens lack the maturity to ‘suppress sexual cravings, thoughts and behaviors elicited by pornographic content,’” a review of research on the subject explained.

The accessibility of porn through the internet and other devices compounds these effects. As Dr. Baehr writes in The Media-Wise Family, “As the internet grew from being merely a service for sending text data by modem into the primary video delivery method for the mass media of entertainment, its use for spreading pornography has become ubiquitous. The quantity, and high definition quality of, pornography has exploded and one of the results has been a growth in human sex slave trafficking. As the number of men driven to the depths of pornography soars, so too does the demand for ‘something more.’”

Because of easy access, 9 in 10 American boys encounter porn before the age of 18, the average age of exposure is 11 and 84 percent of males and 57 percent of females ages 14 to 18 in the United States have been exposed.

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