Jones, M. (2018). What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.

Jones, M. (2018). What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.

Thank goodness you were out of bed or I would probably be watching this film and rolling around naked on the floor. “Peeping Tom” and “X-rated” are just some of the terms you should use to describe “Asperger’s Disease” in college. In the 2019 HarperCollins Books release, “Asperger’s: The Consequences of Learning Disabled People in College” (HarperCollins Publishers), scholar and neuroscientist Jane Jones discusses the hidden importance of adolescent sexual exploration.

Jones’s study of a friend and his friends engaged in fantasy and other “harmless” activities online brought to light the concept of “asperger’s Disorder” that there is not just trouble with interpersonal communication, but there is an introverted sexual side to those on the autism spectrum who find it difficult to connect verbally, despite multiple diagnoses of the condition. Such characters on TV shows such as “The X-Files” or in movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” where it’s obvious that the protagonist has difficulty with introspection.

Jones interviews 42 teenage boys who were able to be involved in anonymous online life, and then turns to their 21-year-old partners who had learned the same; she discovered that “asperger’s is made worse by sexual activity.” This can create paradoxical messages that conflate struggles with friendship, which can be helpful, and relationships, which can be dangerous. The nature of the social relationship, the tone of communication and the poor levels of self-disclosure of such a person lead to deteriorating attitudes towards intimacy.

Jones, a medical doctor who is also a PhD neuroscientist and linguist, conducted initial interviews with young women. Most of these teenage girls now have the comfort of parents or mentors or have control over their future where they can say no. But what about their partners? “They are forced to wrestle with the emotions that earlier, older partners avoided – often the very emotions and questions they learned to avoid. They also experience the often-unexpected consequences of their impulses. In some cases, the resulting difficulties lead to painful life changes.”

Some of the talking points mentioned are the male view that it is “useless” because “she’s ‘doing what she wants’,” that she “wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t so exciting or ‘off-limits’”, and “I shouldn’t have to talk about my sexuality since it’s only between me and her”. Jones’s conclusion is that the way out of having sexually immature teenagers who struggle with creating healthy sexual relationships, adult ones, or sub-par relationships, is that they have to understand their relationship with their peers.

It’s OK to develop a sexual interest on your own, but you should not expose yourself sexually to someone you consider too immature. Do not share photos of yourself. Jones believes this adult men’s view of youngsters is hard to change if they are already emotionally immature themselves. But for the young girls, Jones uses several case studies:

“Addictions are ‘hidden’ in vulnerability, not the behavior of the addict. Once teenagers identify or figure out the ‘fix’, they may feel unable to change. This is true whether the addiction is physical, sexual, or financial. It is likely that a young man in love with a partner who is sexually immature will have to stay with a woman, even if the relationship proves to be destructive and draining, because he is not in a position to leave her.”

You may consider that Jones is being simplistic and dismissing the issue of addiction in males. She actually skips over the issue of preoccupation with pornography and the positive parts of the narratives she writes. But then again she is a girl, and you can’t refute her conclusions in a book that is filled with her academic arguments. If your kid falls into the group she describes, then I hope that your discussions with your teen are as much about raising boundaries, knowing how to protect your privacy and making sure that their lover feels safe and appreciated as much as you do. When relationships mature, the choices become easier, and you both just might enjoy the romance.

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