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Caught 13 YO Son Masturbating & Watching Porn

Published: 14. November 2002
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I caught my 13 year old son masurbating and watching porn. Is this wrong? Should I correct him? Please answer - thanks!
Signed: Caught 13 YO Son Masturbating & Watching Porn

Dear Caught 13 YO Son Masturbating & Watching Porn,

Masturbation is completely normal and natural. This is especially true for teenagers, who are experiencing intense hormonal changes and may be just discovering themselves sexually. It is also normal for a 13-year-old boy to be interested in pornography. Whether this is wrong is a very personal question. Some people find porn arousing. Others find it offensive (particularly to women). While curiosity about pornography is natural, the images contained in some porn movies may be violent or send negative messages about sexuality. For more thoughts on this, check out the answer to Interested in Pornography.

 

There are pros and cons to confronting your son about this incident. He is probably embarrassed by having been caught by you, and you may decide to let the incident pass without any confrontation. On the other hand, you may want to look at this as an opening to a conversation about sex. If you do decide to speak with him, we hope you will make it clear that you understand and accept that he has been exploring his body. Beyond that, what do you want your son to know about sex and sexual relationships as he grows into a man? This might be a great opportunity to tell him.

 

If you'd like to read more about talking to your son about sex, we recommend All About Sex: A Family Resource on Sex and Sexuality, edited by Ronald Moglia and Jon Knowles. This is a terrific book to have on hand as your son goes through puberty - it has clear and simple information about sexuality, and is written with parents and teenagers in mind.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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