Seven Reasons Why You Should Talk To Your Children – Porn

My daughter, pictured above, was almost 19 before I could even come close to talking to her about porn. For some strange reason I was completely unaware of how accessible online porn is. It took a TV reality show, which I starred in, to wake me up to the problem.

Before any readers jump on to disagree that porn is a ‘problem’ do stop and note that I am talking about children under the age of 18 watching adult content. Adults can make up their minds about what they watch. When it comes to children, there is plenty of evidence about how harmful watching porn is to them.

The Evidence

Watching porn changes a child’s neural pathways in their brains. Porn is also an abnormal stimulus which leads to addictive behaviour. There are known cases of teens staying up overnight because they cannot stop watching porn. It’s an activity which causes distress should they watch violent porn.

My conversation with my daughter

I found it extremely awkward starting a conversation about porn but I was lucky because the TV show pushed me into it. My daughter and I were filmed talking about how I had been silent on such issues and the reasons for it. It was almost cathartic for me to self-analyse about why I had neglected this side of my parenting. In my defence, I wasn’t brought up in a culture or a generation which spoke freely about these things. I was born in the Swinging 60s so much of that skipped me by. There is the cultural angle too which forbade talk about anything other than school, studies and exams. However, I was grateful for the TV show which took a sledgehammer approach to curing me of my embarrassment. I fully sympathise with you if you are finding it hard to bring porn up over the dinner table.

The Reasons

Online pornography can be harmful to children for several reasons:

  1. Inappropriate content: Pornography often contains explicit sexual material that is not suitable for children. Exposure to such content can lead to confusion, anxiety, and premature exposure to sexual themes and behaviors.
  2. Distorted perception of sex: Pornography presents a distorted view of sex, often portraying unrealistic scenarios, extreme or violent acts, and objectification of individuals. Children who are exposed to porn may develop distorted ideas about relationships, consent, and sexual behavior, which can have negative consequences in their own lives.
  3. Psychological impact: Viewing pornography at a young age can have negative psychological effects on children. It can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or confusion about their own sexuality. It may also contribute to body image issues and low self-esteem.
  4. Impact on relationships: Exposure to pornography can affect children’s perceptions of intimate relationships. They may develop unrealistic expectations about sex, leading to dissatisfaction and difficulties in forming healthy relationships based on mutual respect and consent.
  5. Addiction and compulsive behavior: The accessibility and addictive nature of online pornography can lead to compulsive viewing habits, which can interfere with daily activities, academic performance, and social interactions. This addiction can have long-term consequences on a child’s overall well-being.
  6. Online dangers: Engaging with online pornography puts children at risk of encountering explicit material that may involve illegal or abusive content, such as child pornography. They may also be exposed to online predators, who can manipulate and exploit them.
  7. Impact on brain development: Children’s brains are still developing, and exposure to explicit sexual content can have a profound impact on their cognitive and emotional development. It may lead to desensitization, difficulty in forming healthy relationships, and an increased risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviors at an early age.

To protect children from the harmful effects of online pornography, it is essential for parents and caregivers to have open and age-appropriate discussions about sexuality, provide guidance, set parental controls on devices, and monitor their online activities. If it takes a village to raise a child, It is also important for schools and communities to educate children about healthy relationships, consent, and the potential risks associated with pornography. A collective response is a shared responsibility.

WARNING: Nudity featured in this video – Trailer of Mums Make Porn

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