The Truth About Porn Moms Need to Know


truth about porn

 

So what is the truth about porn? Is its rising availability the hallmark of a liberated society? Or is it a massive crack in the wall of our culture that crumbles more by the day? Some would have you believe that the porn industry is a no harm, no foul business proposition and that those who oppose it are just religious zealots with an agenda.

But there’s an ugly underbelly to this cultural shift, the full extent of which we still don’t even know. Curious young people go online looking for answers about sexuality and fall off a steep cliff in just a few clicks. My husband jokes that when tween boys were curious about women in his day, the lingerie section of the Sears catalog was the most informative thing available. Today, the images thrust before them are far more graphic and far more damaging.

The curiosity is natural. But pornography presents such a distorted, unnatural take on sex that it undermines a young person’s ability to enjoy a natural, loving sexual relationship within the long-term bond of marriage one day. It cripples them in ways we’re only beginning to understand and creates a need that will never be satisfied in a healthy way.

So when you’re tempted to giggle and dismiss your child’s desire to seek out pornography, remember that we’ve never raised a generation of boys (and girls, for that matter) with easy access to this level of unnatural stimulation. Children need your help to be protected from the ugly downside of porn. {Tweet This}  Here’s what you need to know.

1. Your child has probably already seen porn online.

Hopefully, you’ve safeguarded your home computers, internet-streaming TV apps, and mobile devices to prevent access to inappropriate content in your home. But every time your kids leave the house, they’re surrounded by other kids with their own devices — many of which aren’t filtered at all. Researchers tell us that 90% of teen boys and 60% of teen girls have seen pornography by age 18 and that the average age of first viewing is 12.

2. Pornography is so readily available in such massive supply online, it’s considered normal to many Americans.

More than 30% of all downloads from the Internet were pornographic material. Porn sites collectively garner more hits than Internet giants such as Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon. Over time, this tsunami of material serves to desensitize our culture and normalize what was once taboo. This means parents must be that much more intentional in drawing the moral lines clearly for their children and making them aware of the costs of crossing them.

3. A significant number of porn sites promote things far more disturbing than consensual adult sex.

A startling number of young people are being exposed to things like bestiality, child pornography, bondage, and physical violence in a sexual context and other damaging images in their search for porn. They get much “more than they bargained for” in the worst possible sense. Once those images are seen, they’re very difficult to forget.

4. Sexual addictions, including addictions to online pornography, are having a negative impact on marriages.

Matrimonial lawyers say that pornography is playing a role in a rising number of divorce proceedings. Whether it’s a habit which becomes an addiction or an on-ramp to real-life marital infidelity, it can and does erode relationships. Check out these thoughts on the effects of porn on marriage.

5. Teens who view porn are much more likely to be sexually active.

What’s more, these teens are far more likely to suffer depression and low self-esteem. Graphic sexual context disorients teenagers during a key developmental phase in which they’re learning how to handle their own sexuality and the moral values associated with it.

So what’s the bottom line? The stakes for your children are higher than they–and possibly you–even realize. Experts tell us that the most frightening thing about the societal impact of constantly available pornography is that we haven’t even had a chance to see the upper end. The first generation to come of age in a culture saturated with porn is only now entering adulthood, and we won’t know the long-term sociological costs for some time yet. The answer is not to feel frightened or overwhelmed. But resolve to be intentional about shaping your child’s thinking related to these things so that he or she understands right from wrong when temptation presents itself. And keep that temptation away from them as long as possible through practical means. You can do it, mom! But you’ve got to get your head in the game.

(Here’s help for another important discussion you need to have with your child: Waiting for Sex TALK Conversation Starters.)

Statistical Resources:

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In The Comments

What safeguards do you have in place to protect your kids from pornography?


Comments


  • Worried mom

    This is a great article. More needs to be done about the easy access kids have to porn. You never hear about this scary epidemic on the news. We tell kids “don’t do drugs” and “don’t text and drive” which are equally important, but I believe there needs to be a campaign more widely advertised to protect our children from online porn. I have restrictions set on my 13 year old sons phone and only I know the code. I have his internet search settings on so he can’t access adult websites. He doesn’t like the restrictions but to me it’s necessary. I’m so afraid of what will happen with this generation of kids with iPhones and tablets etc whose parents haven’t set any restrictions on them.

  • drrichardnorris

    Every parent needs to be vigilant if they truly care about the growth and development of their kids. We also need to be engaged with our kids daily life including their friends etc.

    I cannot fathom how some people see porn as okay when it causes so much harm in marriages and denigrates intimacy between man and a woman into something purely physical not to mention the men and women who are lured into the industry.

    Thanks for reminding me to pray about this for my kids, my family and society as a whole.

  • Wife

    Its overwhelming how vigilant we have to be and discouraging trying to keep up. Technology is changing so fast as a working mom I am not able to keep up with the many ways kids can go around the blocks put in place.
    I know that throwing away all the technology is not the answer, but sometimes I’m tempted.
    I feel like I need constant advice in the many areas I need to watch out for. I don’t have cable tv, but I have netflix, and when placing restrictions, I found some of my teenagers just went around me and visit websites that show all the tv shows that I would not allow in my home. I can’t keep up. That avenue is worst then having the cable stream through your living room. I shut off the internet in my home when I go to bed to eliminate internet browsing at night when everyone’s asleep. That helps. Even my teenager who has openly confess struggling with porn admits that was something he needed however what more can I do when its open all around them any hour of the day, by anyone in their lives.
    This is really a problem.

    • Janette

      I disagree with you on throwing away technology isn’t the answer. I think a nice cheap flip phone is good enough for any kid. If homework is a concern, there’s always the library. Sometimes you have to be a little “extreme”.. but I don’t even consider this extreme. Addictions to technology and pornography are a big deal. If your kids were drug addicts you wouldn’t say that throwing away drugs in the house were extreme. You have to do what’s really in the best interest of your kids.

  • Tina Davis

    One of the best things I have found to share with your boys is session #2 of Andy Stanleys – New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating. It is available free as a download to view and listen to through his ministry. It says that when you view pornography you are going to school. You are being taught that 1. A real woman’s body is not enough 2. Your wife’s body is not enough and 3. that one body is not enough – it is powerful and one of the best teachings to explain the damage that pornography will do long term.

  • Becky

    I would love to see a follow-up article to this that would lay out methods for how to set up protections on phones/computers/tablets/Tvs. Something in a step-by-step format would be extremely helpful.

    • Wife

      That’s a great idea, I would love to see that too. My kids are smarter then me when comes to technology . I need help.