Did pornography destroy Billie Eilish’s brain?

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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

In this blog post, we will answer the question “did pornography destroy Billie Eilish’s brain?”. We will also define pornography and how it becomes an addiction and the effects it has on our brains and bodies. We will then look at strategies parents can use to help their teenagers quit pornography.

Did pornography destroy Billie Eilish’s brain?

Yes, Billie Eilish opened up that pornography destroyed her brain. She also said that it negatively affected her sex life when she got into a relationship. She was concerned about what it teaches men and women how to act when being sexually intimate.

Who is Billie Eilish?

Billie Eilish is a 21-year-old American songwriter. She gained the public eye in 2015 through her song “ocean eyes” and has seen been a force to reckon with in the music industry. Her songs have been on the top UK and US charts.

Her accolades include 2 Guinness world records, seven Grammy Awards, 2 American music awards, golden globe award and an academy award. During an interview with SiriusXM, she revealed ‌she started watching pornography at ‌11 years which destroyed her brain and make her get nightmares. It also affected her sex life when she started dating.

We will look at various issues relating to pornography. The story of Billie Eilish will help us understand the effects of pornography on our brains and how we can overcome pornography addiction.

What is pornography?

It refers to printed or visual material that is intended to cause sexual arousal. The materials can be films, pictures, books, statues, and other media.

History of pornography

The word pornography was coined from the Greek words “porni” which means prostitute, and “graphein” which means to write. This defined all literature and art that depicted the life of prostitutes. Throughout history, some statues and images which are ‌pornographic are merely erotic or religious symbols in other communities.

An example is the display of intercourse representation in the Hindu temples. For people in other communities, this might be depicted as pornography, but for the Hindus, these are religious symbols. The same interpretation can be given to some American films that other people see as pornographic material. To the creators, however, this is a symbol of eroticism and love.

As the world evolved, pornography gave people the freedom to explore ideas that were objected to by the church and also the state, i.e., abortion and the use of contraceptives. Photography and motion pictures were invented in the 19th century. This, together with the emergence of the internet, made it possible for people to access pornographic material privately.

Amateurs were also encouraged to post pictures and videos of themselves that were arousing. It became one of the most profitable businesses, as many people enjoyed watching them and using them to give them ideas for their sexual relationships. Currently, pornographic material is just a click away.

Many people are exposing nudity and explicit material such that some have to be banned from being labelled as pornographic material. This has been justified by claims that the materials corrupt the morals of young and old people and its consequence is sex crimes. Many artistic and religious works have been put under scrutiny for being deemed pornographic material.

Some countries and states have legal laws preventing the distribution, possession and production of pornographic materials while others have allowed it. The only thing the whole world seems to agree on with pornography is disapproval of child pornography. This attracts heavy punishment globally.

Did pornography destroy Billie Eilish's brain?

Teenage exposure to pornography

Research done showed that there is a high likelihood that teenagers from ages 9-16 have been exposed to pornography in their lives. Among this group, part of them has been exposed to people engaging in sex while others have seen people’s genitals. The research also states that the most common reaction the children have to pornographic material is shock and feeling distressed and upset.

Billie was exposed to pornography at 11 and this made her get nightmares and sleepless nights. Many male teenagers tend to seek out pornographic material more than girls. The reaction of boys is excitement or arousal while the most common reaction for girls is shock and distress.

Effects of pornography on teens

Permissive sex attitudes

Exposure to pornographic material increases the likelihood of teenagers engaging in premarital and casual sex. This is because ot makes them curious to try out what they are watching and reading.

Influence expectations about sex

Pornographic materials have an exaggerated practice that many young people want to try. Eilish says that she watched violent sexual content that made her believe that was right/ it was supposed to happen that way. These materials shape a young person’s expectations of their partner and vice versa.

Some common unhealthy sexual content that young people watch and try to do includes deep fellatio, anal intercourse, multiple partners and facial ejaculation, among others.

It promotes unsafe sexual practices

Pornographic materials promote unsafe sex practices like sex without protection (condoms), unsafe vaginal and anal sex, sex with multiple partners and the use of objects for arousal.

It promotes violence

Evidence has shown a link between watching pornography and an increase in harassment by boys. Some sexual content promotes violence, especially towards women, and they might grow up believing that the acts and behaviours are normal and right.

Increase sexual aggression

Sexual aggression is more common among people who watch pornography than those who don’t. This happens as they try to emulate what they watch from the materials.

Addiction

Billie Eilish said that it got to a point where she could watch nothing else apart from pornography. Just like any other addiction, a preoccupation with pornographic material can lead to addiction. Some people use pornography as a negative coping mechanism for stress and other negative feelings. Some people get addicted to violent content, i.e, name-calling, choking, gagging and hair-pulling. 

Cause gender stereotypes and sexual uncertainties

Billie Eilish could not differentiate between expectations and reality. She was a virgin when she started watching pornographic material, and her first sexual experiences were characterised by her going along with some bad things because she thought that ‌was supposed to be done.

Some beliefs and practices lead to dissatisfaction during sex, fear, or anxiety. Most men who view pornography are more likely to view women as sex objects and have sexist attitudes towards women.

Strategies for your teens to quit watching porn

Limit their use of technology

Unrestricted use of technology can be harmful to teenagers. Technology in itself is a good thing, but it has its downsides as well. As a parent, allowing your children to have technology devices adds responsibilities to you.

It can be tiring but it is necessary to keep monitoring and educating your children on technology use. Always be in control of materials being watched, set limits on when the devices are being used, and monitor what they are watching. You can set up internet filtering software on their devices and home computers to prevent them from accessing pornographic materials.

Teach your teens positive coping mechanisms for stress

Some teens end up watching pornographic material as a way to relieve stress and distract themselves. A teenager’s mind is not fully developed, making them develop unhealthy habits when faced with challenges. Help them know when to say no and yes, exercise, important relationships and ‌create a safe environment where your teenager can talk to you about anything.

Help your teen be wise on decision-making and risk-taking

Teenagers are wired to make rush decisions and take a lot of risks. It is a good thing as this is how they learn to become independent. They particularly like taking risks on matters that are forbidden, like watching pornography and engaging in sex.

Help your teenagers to pause and think about their actions and consequences. Make a list with them of the pros and cons of their behaviours and how they will affect their future. Through this guidance, they will ‌make decisions, not based on their emotions, but also putting into consideration what is at stake if they engage in the behaviour.

Encourage a close relationship with God, you (parent) and others

A firm foundation of faith and close relationships with parents will help teens be open about their challenges and help them avoid pornography. Teens are naturally inquisitive and curious, and those with a close relationship with God and others can seek and be given the right guidance.

Conclusion

This blog addressed the question “did pornography destroy Billie Eilish’s brain?”. We have also discussed what pornography is, the history behind it and the effects it has on the brain and bodies of teenagers. We have also listed tips to help your teenager quit pornography.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask questions in the comment section below. 

Frequently asked questions: did pornography destroy Billie Eilish’s brain?

What does Billie Eilish say about pornography?

She confesses ‌she started watching porn when she was 11 years old and that it destroyed her brain. She also expresses her anger towards people who watch pornography and says that as a woman, she believes that watching porn is a disgrace.

How does pornography destroy your brain?

Just like drugs, pornography stimulates the overproduction of dopamine. Over time the brain develops tolerance to the excess dopamine and starts requiring more access to extreme content ‌to achieve the same level of pleasure.

Does pornography affect children?

Exposure to pornography at an early age can lead to severe mental problems, sexual violence, engaging in reckless sexual activities, objectification, and sexism.

Citations

Huerta D., (2018, August 14). How to quit watching porn: 7 strategies for your teens. Retrieved from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/seven-strategies-to-combat-teen-porn-use/

Huerta D., (2018, August 14). Effects of porn addiction on a teenage brain. Retrieved from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/effects-of-porn-addiction-on-a-teen-brain/

Jenkins, J. Philip (2021, August 31). pornography. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/pornography

Sky news, Billie Eilish says watching porn from the age of 11 ‘destroyed my brain’. Retrieved from https://news.sky.com/story/billie-eilish-says-watching-porn-from-the-age-of-11-destroyed-my-brain-12496090

Quadara A., El-Murr A., Latham J., (2017). The effects of pornography on children and young people. Retrieved from https://aifs.gov.au/publications/effects-pornography-children-and-young-people-snapshot

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