(WARNING: Contains graphic language.)

If your kids aren’t watching it yet, they will be exposed to porn soon. I don’t assume this, I know it for a fact. I educate kids on the negative impacts of pornography every day.

Here are just a few examples of the conversations I'm having with kids about porn because of the inaccurate information they are exposed to when watching it.

 

  • the majority of women do not prefer anal sex
  • it's rare for females to not have pubic hair, having pubic hair is actually more common
  • the money shot (ejaculating on someone's face) is not pleasurable or preferred
  • that is not what real sex looks like
  • that is not a good place to learn how to act during sex

Kids don’t understand...

  • porn is people acting and the scenes are staged
  • porn shows fake pleasure
  • the actors in porn have unrealistic body shapes, sizes, and amounts (or lack of) hair
  • porn can be addictive
  • that isn’t how people treat each other in loving and respectful relationships
  • watching porn can have a negative impact on them long-term

Anything you can imagine (and many things you can't) is represented in online porn. If you’re not having a conversation with your kids about porn, someone else is.  Are you comfortable with that?

What You Can Do

Set limits and rules around watching inappropriate content.

Keep devices out of the bedroom and set technology curfews.

Teach kids to deconstruct the messages in porn.

If your child has been exposed to porn, ask how he or she felt about it.

Practice using refusal skills for when their peers want to show them porn.*

Let kids know how you feel about them watching porn and why.

Porn Facts*

  • The average age of first exposure to porn is 11 years old
  • The largest group of people watching porn: boys, aged 12-17
  • 9 out of 10 boys have seen porn before they turn 18
  • 6 out of 10 girls have seen porn before they turn 18
  • 88% of popular porn includes physical aggression
  • 30% of all internet traffic is porn related
*It’s Time We Talked, 2014

Porn is...

  • the new sex education for kids
  • normalizing behaviors that are abusive and degrading
  • not teaching kids about consent because it’s assumed
  • addictive, and when kids continue watching it they become immune and eventually need more aggressive porn
  • causing PIED - Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction in boys, because they become desensitized
  • the common thread between all of my clients committing hands-on sexual offenses

Remember, just because your children aren’t asking, that does not mean they aren’t curious about sex and sexual contact. Have an impact on your child’s sexual development now, ignoring it won’t make it go away.

 

*Download our technology contract to learn about refusal skills, or subscribe to the site for lots more information about refusal skills, teachable moments, and avoiding sexting.

Cheryl Kosmerl, MSW, LCSW

Cheryl Kosmerl, MSW, LCSW

I'm a clinical social worker and child advocate. After more than 20 years of working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings I created Sexting Solutions, a successful program designed to teach kids to respect themselves and others, show empathy and stop abuse. Intended as an alternative to legal consequences for kids who were caught sexting, it focuses on building skills that develop a solid foundation for healthier adolescent years and beyond. Connect with me on LinkedIn by clicking the icon directly below.