Highly Skilled Australian Psychologists & Counselling Professionals

Most of the struggles that adolescents deal with today are the same that we would have seen decades ago – bullying, peer pressure and underage drinking to name a few. However, new ones are emerging all the time with our access to technology, such as porn use, and teenagers often are not equipped with the skills and knowledge to address this appropriately. Annika Holland is a sexologist in Perth for Lifeskills Australia and has been working in Perth high schools since 2013. Over this time she has noticed growing concerns with pornography and sexting, therefore the need for sex therapy in Perth, even more so from 2017 onwards. 

Below are three areas that are crucial for all adolescents to be learning about from a trained sexologist.

Sexting amongst teenagers

Just about every student owns a smartphone and uses social media these days. Even though they have had discussions about the dangers of online behaviour, adolescent boys and girls are still sending nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and sending sexually explicit messages. Whilst it seems harmless and fun at the time, the legal, social and emotional consequences can be catastrophic. It’s important to highlight the connection between sending sexual messages and child pornography as well as the exact laws and legal ages concerned with sending nudes. Teenagers are often surprised to learn that despite Australian law stating that it is legal for a 16-year-old to have sexual intercourse, if someone is under the age of 18 and is found to have naked photos of themselves or others in their possession, it is illegal and they can be charged with a criminal offence. 

Pornography

When talking to adolescents about sex and relationships, Annika is very careful never to bring shame or guilt into the equation. Instead, she provides them with real-life consequences that can result from excessive pornography use. The messages in this session include: 

  • Pornography is a neutral term on its own, but today has connotations of violence, aggression and abuse.
  • It is a construction of reality and everything it portrays is an embellished representation eg. Body parts, sex, power, intimacy, and pleasure.
  • Excessive porn use can lead to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and emotional detachment from real quality relationships. 
  • When children are exposed to pornography it can cause distorted views of sex and relationships. Child on child sexual abuse has risen dramatically since porn has become so easily accessible.

Sex and Sexuality 

Annika believes it is important to have open discussions with adolescents about sex and sexuality regardless of religion, socio-economics or gender. There are so many buzz words circulating regarding sexuality that young people are using them flippantly without knowing what they mean. Annika aims to define common terms and encourages teenagers to ask any questions they may have. Teens should learn from a professional sexologist in Perth rather than using Google or what they hear from friends. Most importantly, we need to demonstrate the importance of being non-discriminatory toward people with diverse sexualities and gender.

Sexology in Perth with Lifeskills Australia

Allowing adolescents to learn and talk about sensitive topics makes them feel valued and prepared for real-life situations. If children and teenagers are asking the questions, they deserve to know the answers and what better way to provide them with these answers than in a safe and comfortable environment with a trained sexologist. 

The world of sexuality is forever changing, primarily due to technology, and it’s important to keep up with these changes to provide our youth with the best possible education. When looking for sex therapy in Perth, Lifeskills Australia is uniquely equipped with qualified professionals that can help. For more guidance on these topics our resident sexologist, Annika Holland, can be booked for a consult on 1800 870 080. Alternatively, you can send us an email here.

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