My son (M20) is still studying in college and scores well in his subjects. I noticed he started befriending girls his age and driving with them on bikes, so I confronted him about this matter. He argued with me but eventually agreed to stop being friends with girls. One day, I caught him watching adult videos behind my back, so I severely reprimanded him. Nowadays, he is still scoring well in his subjects but seems dull and withdrawn from his friend circles. Will my behavior make him impotent in his married life?

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    Can you give some indication about your cultural background? Your question triggered some red flags for me, but it might be due to cultural differences. May 2 at 14:25
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    @BartvanIngenSchenau - Some red flags???? How many categories does this one tick off? May 2 at 21:26
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    Hello @K_Caitlyn. Well done for coming forward and asking your question. If we only allow questions from people who are already very educated, make no mistakes and have no doubts with their children, it's going to become unhealthy in here. And boring.
    – boisvert
    May 3 at 18:52
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    @K_Caitlyn: How exactly do you expect "Married Life" to happen if you prevent your son interacting with girls ?
    – Hilmar
    May 4 at 18:22
  • @Hilmar I am really confused about my decision.
    – K Caitlyn
    May 6 at 4:54

2 Answers 2


One might note that in many countries, cultures, and religions around the World a 20yo man wishing to and actually spending time with women of his own age is considered normal, natural, and a good thing.

One reason this would be considered a positive interaction for two young adults is because this is a very well established path for them to get to know each other and explore the possibly of making a commitment to a life-long loving, kind, and respectful relationship.

Regarding porn, it's porn, and that's not really a parenting issue, that's a society issue, except when it becomes a parenting issue because it's the only way for a young man to express his interest in women.

Rewarding your ability to make your son impotant, I admit I'm not an expert, but what I know about biology and hormones suggests that parenting does not have this effect.

Your son is 20yo. He's your child, but he's no longer a child, which suggests that it's possible that treating him like a child is no longer reasonable parenting.

You can continue to exert control over your 20yo son, and forbid him from spending time with women of his own age. I can't recommend this option, having raised my own son through his early 20's, knowing how important those years were in his life where he was forming the foundation of his future, which included finding the person he married.

I might recommend that you choose to view your son's interest in spending time with women of his own age as a positive step towards him establishing his own family, which, generally speaking, parents tend to view in a very positive light.


Your title question ("will it affect his future married life?") and text question ("will it make him impotent?"), deserve two different answers; in that order, yes, and no.

It will not affect him biologically to such a large extent (so, no impotence). But it is likely that meeting fewer women in his 20s, and fewer women before forming a family, he is more awkward with them, less able to form friendships, more sensitive to sexual attraction. All this would affect his future married life negatively.

You seem determined to develop moral qualities in your son. Moral qualities develop as we encounter situations that require judgement, not as we study them in the abstract. Where do you want your son to learn about basic interpersonal skill with the opposite sex? By reading Little Women? (he should, but he shouldn't stop there) Or by actually interacting with his female peers?

Regarding adult videos. I have bad news: he will see more of them, you cannot make it impossible. What he needs, to grow as a kind, loving young man, is to develop an ability to distance himself from it: escape the exploitation of his sexual responses, develop a clear understanding that these images are designed to hack the fascination of men for the female form, and that in doing so they stop at nothing, causing moral and physical traumas for the actors, humiliating everyone.

If he learns this, and has opportunities to grow emotionally by meeting peers of the opposite sex, he will find much more positive ways to develop his sexuality, extending far beyond genital stimulation and helping him on the way to becoming a fine young man, one that is attentive to others, able to make good decisions in relationship matters, and to show his love when and how it matters.

It is natural, as you are first becoming aware that your son has grown, and now has sexual longings, to feel he is too young, to unprepared, and that he may make mistakes. But that is precisely why you want to support him in preparing for adult life: what if, having met few women, he falls head over heels in love for the first that he has a real opportunity to meet - without paying attention to her interest or any traits that make people match? Young adult peer groups are preparation for much more serious times.

If you are unsure how to support him in this, work with professionals. Get counselling or psychologists' support, for yourself to think about all this, or encourage your son to do so. An intelligent, sensitive counsellor would help him reflect on what surely he already knows: that adult videos are certainly not healthy, yet he struggles with sexual desire and doesn't know how to live better with his sexuality.

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    I admire your optimism, truly, but I doubt the OP will ever read this answer (or your encouragement.) It appears the OP came here once to post and hasn't been back. May 4 at 11:30
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    Maybe so, but these answers are there for the record. I'm assuming this isn't the last time a confused mum comes to stackexchange.
    – boisvert
    May 4 at 13:50
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    But I would wager a lot of money that it is the first time a "mom" posts about prohibiting her 20 year old son from bike riding with girls, while forbidding watching pornography, and wondering if that will make him impotent. The line between possible and highly unlikely is pretty clear. May 4 at 15:27
  • Which is why I'm guessing this is someone with an unusual life, who needs support. But also, in Q&As like this, readers pick and choose. You don't have to need an answer to this precise combination of three points to find support.
    – boisvert
    May 4 at 17:16
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    @anongoodnurse I am busy with household chores.
    – K Caitlyn
    May 6 at 4:55

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