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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Teen

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

My 16-year-old son has been spending about 30 minutes per day, five days per week for the last four weeks visiting sites on-line that are related to sexual topics, particularly erotic mind control. This seems to be occurring after he has visited wrestling sites or read wrestling newsletters. He is not going out with his friends much, but is doing okay in school and has displayed no other unusual behavior. Any advice?

Answer

My first reaction is to wonder if there are links from the wrestling sites to these other sites. Or perhaps they are both book marked, who knows? The two may be totally unrelated, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were linked. As I am sure you are aware, sex and violence are not uncommon bed partners, pardon the pun. However, it is unsettling to think that the two may be linked on the WWW, considering the impressionable youth who are interested in wrestling.

My other reaction is that 30 minutes per day is not really that long for teens to be on-line, so he may be visiting a chat room or message board to keep up with an ongoing dialogue. The fact that he is interested in sexual issues does not surprise me at age 16, and his interest in domination may well be related to the wrestling mentality. As far as erotic mind control and hypnosis are concerned, without knowing more about the specifics I would be afraid to even venture a guess.

There are some popular actors who have been discussing the benefits of having intercourse without ejaculation and other intriguing issues that interest young people. So, there may be a strong pull toward those kinds of things right now that will eventually be replaced by the next unusual phenomenon that comes around . . . who knows?

As long as your son is doing well in school and shows no other signs of distress or abnormal behavior I would recommend that you just continue to monitor his on-line activity. If the amount of time he spends engaged in these activities begins to increase, or he shows any signs of unusual behavior you may need to talk to him about these activities. Pay close attention to how he relates to girls and refers or infers to women in general. If you begin to see changes in his normal attitudes in these areas you probably need to talk to him about these changes.

You may also consider ways to positively influence him with regard to how he perceives women, sex role stereotypes and relationships between males and females. One of the most damaging influences of wrestling (besides the organized violence) is the way they portray these situations. Usually scantily dressed women are cast as sex objects who are viewed as trophies which can only lead to an unhealthy perceptions of women and relationships in general.

3/12/98

LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
Author of Growing up Sane (in uncertain times)
Seminar Leader Growing Well Adjusted Kids
Editor-in-Cheif Person to Person: Strengthening Youth & Families
Telephone Counselor Affinity Counseling Center
Affinity Books & Resource Center: Your Source for Emotional Wellness

 

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