Children and Pornography

  • Pornography steals the innocence of children and sets them up for sex/porn addictions as teens, unless there is intervention.
  • Addiction happens quickly.  Internet exposure has such a strong impact on young people that a single exposure could possibly create sexual addiction.  Without intervention, addiction comes quickly.  (Dr. Rick Hawks, quoted in To Strengthen the Family, JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton, Positive Values Publishing, 2002 or http://strengthenthefamily.net)  
  • Through just a bit of curiosity, children and teens may find themselves in a position where they are unable to stop their involvement without help—and they are embarrassed to get help.  
  • If parents use pornography, their children will eventually find it.
  • Children are profoundly affected by what they see, learning false concepts of sexuality and how to treat women and children.  
  • Soft-porn images and legal porn are also a big problem, because they desensitize adults and start children on the path to addiction.  This is what children are seeing in advertising in movies, television, magazine covers and video games, shaping their attitudes, acceptance and beliefs.  
  • Children are not emotionally prepared to make sense of the porn they may see, and do not know how to deal with their feelings.
  • Even though children are not developmentally ready to evaluate sexual images, society no longer protects them from premature exposure.  Parents must pay attention to what their children are viewing.
  • Exposure to porn as a child or teen causes the part of the brain that involves self-control to decrease and the part that controls physical desire to increase.   Now the teen makes decisions based on cravings and feelings, instead of good thinking and judgment.  It has been proven that the brain continues to develop and change until about age 25.  (Dr. W. Dean Belnap, A Brain Gone Wrong –Hope for the Troubled Teen, Meridian Publishing, Fairfax, VA, 2008)

Statistics
  • 70% of all pornography produced ends up in the hands of children.
  • 62% of parents of teenagers are unaware that their children have accessed objectionable websites.  (Mark B. Kastleman, The Drug of the New Millennium, PowerThink Publishing, 2007, p. 6)
  • 95% of children under age 10 in the U.S. have been exposed to pornography in movies, videos, checkout lane magazines, and the Internet.    
  • The average teen sees 50 R-rated movies a year, which shape their thinking, values and behavior about sexual intimacy.  
  • Today (2011) 47 percent of families in the United States report that pornography is a problem in their homes.   (National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, an Ohio-based nonprofit organization working to promote Christian values)
What You Can Do
  • Every child who has any access to the internet and digital world can be taught about the dangers of pornography in a simple way they can understand.  Parents and grandparents can teach very young children to recognize pornography, how to respond, and how to help a child forget bad pictures.  Read Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, Jr. - a Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds, by Kristen A. Jenson, MA. 

    By age 6 or 7, read your child the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures:  Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids, by Kristen A. Jenson, MA and Gail Poyner, PhD.  Children will learn 5 powerful lessons:
  1. How to recognize pornography by the way it makes them feel.
  2. How looking at pornography can become a real addiction, like drugs or alcohol.
  3. How to keep their thinking brain in charge of their feeling brain to stay safe.
  4. How to keep their attraction center from being tricked by pornography.
  5. How to use the CAN DO Plan to effectively reject every exposure to pornography.
Additional Resources