Addiction psychotherapist Steve Pope spoke on BBC Radio Five Live on Tuesday and said in the last 24 hours he had been “amazed” by a discussion with one of his young clients.
Talking to presenter Rachel Burden, Dr Pope described the destructive nature of pornography, particularly in regards to children and their exposure to it.
Dr Pope said: “To be blunt, we have had nightmares over the effects of 50 Shades of Grey and what children now think is normal adult sexual behavior.
“Within the last 24 hours I have worked with a young man, a 12-year-old, who thought that 50 Shades of Grey was a normal part of sexual behavior with a young girl.”
He later added: “We had a young man and a young girl acting various scenes from 50 Shades of Grey in a local park.
“In my day a bottle of cider in the local park was the great experiment.”
“These days you have things like this happening because porn normalizes taboo behavior.”
“What we are moving into is long-term effects of what they think is normal behavior.”
“It is probably one of the fastest growing areas of addiction and threats to our society known to Western culture.”
A survey for the counselling service Child Line suggests that one in ten children aged between 10 and 13 are worried they are addicted to porn.
Dr Pope said: “The word addiction is a label; it is the compulsion that is the problem. It won’t affect everyone, or every child, but some will come across it who have addictive personalities and through the internet they have access to an instant hit.”
“The taboos get removed more and more and now we have 70 per cent of sex offenders using porn to pump themselves up to commit a crime.”
“I don’t think we can provide complete protection but parents must be educated.”
“Jamie Oliver did it with food and now we need to do it with this – take it into schools.”
In response to a question about adults reading 50 Shades of Grey at home, he said: “If you are leaving literature like that around you have to certainly make sure that kids are aware of why you are reading it and what the affect is.
“But 50 Shades of Grey is spoken about everywhere. It is the subject of jokes and conversation. Kids are inquisitive and their work-in-progress brains will go home and research it.”