Has your child viewed porn?

If you think your child is not at risk from being exposed to internet pornography think again. Just type one of the following into Google: what is pornography, sex, pussy or naughty girl. It gets far more explicit once you actively seek it out.

Research has found that the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. By the age of 15 years, 100% of boys have viewed it and 80% of girls. (McLean, 2014)

In the adult world viewing pornography is an informed choice. Whilst many may view these choices inconsistent with their own morals and values, it is a form of sexual expression. Growing up in our generation it consisted of naked images in a magazine. For children growing up in this generation pornography is readily accessible on the Internet and contains explicit images of sexual acts that do not convey normal, healthy sexual experiences.

This is creating havoc for the wellbeing of our children. It has become the new sex educator.

Children’s natural and healthy curiosity to learn about their body and sex is being met with graphic images of hardcore pornography. These images and videos of sexual acts condone and promote abusive behavior and attitudes. Furthermore the sexual acts are met with neutral or positive expressions and encourage young viewers to establish an unrealistic and harmful understanding of relationships and sex.

There is light at the end of this tunnel! It’s YOU.

Parents play a critical role in shaping their children’s perception of healthy relationships and understanding of sex. Firstly inform yourself. Understand that it is not a matter of if your child is exposed but when. Don’t wait or hope to be approached, have conversations about the risks and equip them with tools to know what to do. Many children’s first exposure is accidental. It is not realistic, nor healthy to supervise them all of the time. Children need to develop a trusted independence with devices. After all they are here to stay and will be an integral part of their lives.

It was very heartening for Rani and I to attend the Porn Harms Kids, national symposium in Sydney on Tuesday. Present were a collection of very passionate and committed people researching and speaking out on a number of different fronts.

Educate and empower! If we can equip ourselves with information and tools, we can be positive and informed about supporting our children to grow up with positive sexualities that value intimacy and healthy relationships.

Thanks for reading and enjoy chatting – I’d love to hear your comments below.

Let’s Chat Education offer programs in schools to support and educate children about the effects of media and pornography.

Useful resources:

FOR CHILDREN

“Not for Kids!” by Liz Walker

FOR TEENS

“The Secret Business of relationships, love and sex” by Heather Anderson, Fay Angelo, Rose Stewart

“Faking it” (magazine) by Selen Ewing

FOR PARENTS

“Sexts, Texts and Selfies” by Susan McLean

“Big Porn Inc” by Melinda Tankard-Reist and Abigail Bray

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