The average age that children are exposed to pornography is 11. Many report that such exposure is not sought, but that they are bombarded by pornography via different media channels. Additionally, children tend to seek sexual content in the media out of curiosity, for ‘educational’ purposes, and to reinforce their own ideas and behaviors. Children do not always act immediately on what they have viewed, but rather they store those images and knowledge to be used when their own situations educe it. Learning about sex through pornography distorts a child’s development process and provides misinformation about sexuality and a sense of self that leaves the child damaged and changed. Simply turning 18 does not reduce the trauma and negative effects of viewing sexual acts.
Additionally, some users of hardcore adult pornography find that they can no longer find satisfaction and deviate to harder content and often to child pornography in search for physical satisfaction. It is important to remember that young men and women who are 15, 16, 17 years of age are still children and such pornography is CHILD PORN. The demand for such pornography is ever growing, posing a great danger to our children.
Pornography’s harm to children:
Pornography gives children unrealistic ideas about sex (often that violence is appropriate and women are to be subjugated) and the opposite gender, affecting their ability to develop healthy relationships. It becomes difficult to form intimate relationships beyond sexual arousal and pleasure.
With over 90% of youth ages 12-18 using the Internet, the media has arguably become the leading sex educator in the U.S. today instead of parents and school education programs.
Children exposed to pornography tend to engage in sexual acts at younger ages, resulting in increased STDs, unwanted pregnancy and many other emotional consequences.
The average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is 11.
90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online, most admit that it is while doing homework.
Additionally, here are some key findings about the links to child pornography:
Many of those convicted of child pornography started out with adult pornography and then deviated down to child stimulation.
It is STILL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY even if the victim looks older or is only 17 years old.
Many people in the porn industry (producers and distributors) do not check the age of the “performers” (victims) and make it easy for them to lie about their age.
Perpetrators and pimps often use adult pornography to instruct prostituted children, as well as act out what they view in adult pornography with the children.
A majority of child pornography offenders claim that the Internet was where they FIRST found child abuse images and that it was INITIALLY BY ACCIDENT when viewing adult pornography.
While hardcore adult pornography does not depict actual children, it does “include hardcore depictions of sex with persons who look like children and with barely legal teens.”
Leon Wirth of Focus on the Family advises, “It would be easy to just say, “Well, turn everything off. Don’t engage with media.” I would say: Know the shows, know the movies, know the books. Don’t assume the best or the worst, but get into your child’s world. Don’t be afraid to set some standards for your family and explain those standards to your family. The other thing I would say is know the devices in your home. A lot of parents, we make the mistake of thinking, “Well, it’s just an iPod; it’s just an MP3 player; it’s just a TV; it’s just a DVD player.” There are so many devices now where outbound or inbound content can be reached. TV’s have YouTube access and Web browsers on them now. Video game systems, for a long time, have had Web browsers on them. So, get to know those devices. Find the parental controls and wrestle with how to work those. Contact the manufacturer online or by phone if you need help. Just be vigilant about the fact that there are way more access points than there used to be. We used to be worried about the desktop computer and now that is the starting point — but there’s so much more. If it’s electronic, you need to understand how it works.”
Block pornography on your computer. Now. Speak to your children about healthy sexuality as God intended it according to your family and faith’s morality. Stay informed with the following websites and especially their information on internet safety, the dangers of social networks, how to talk to your kids about pornography: