Porn: The Talk You MUST Have With Your Children

Porn: The Talk You MUST Have With Your Children

The vast majority of family homes are connected to the internet — and high speed internet at that.

Long gone are the days of slow loading webpages and videos. The floodgates have opened to readily available, streaming, hardcore porn on demand.

Our homes also contain an array of mobile devices and gaming units, making porn incredibly easy to access, in mass quantity. Anyone can flick through an endless catalogue of explicit videos that fits his or her desires, fetishes or curiosity.

What many parents do not realise is that porn has changed from what we once knew as kids ourselves.

It’s no longer a magazine full of poses or an odd video tape of a couple of people having sex.

Porn these days is heavily skewed in favour of male pleasure and domination and female humiliation — and it’s what our kids are seeing from a young age, long before we ever did. It’s very concerning to hear that even primary (junior) school students are familiar with sexual acts and terms that we weren’t aware of as children, for example, anal sex.

Porn: The Talk You MUST Have With Your ChildrenPorn: The Talk You MUST Have With Your Children
It’s surprisingly common to hear parents say that you can’t protect your kids from everything, and they’re going to learn about sex from somewhere (that’s you, hopefully). But hardcore porn is available at our children’s fingertips, and more experts are speaking out to warn parents that hardcore porn has now become the most prominent educator for children about sex. It doesn’t get more serious than that.

Why Does It Matter?

Viewing high speed porn means that our children’s brains are being dramatically altered, hijacked, shaped and wired. Between the ages of 11 to 18, the brain is still developing, and porn can make a big, negative impact.

It’s really important that we as parents educate ourselves about what happens to our children’s brains when they watch porn. After reading this article, watch the eye opening video below — ideally with your children’s other parent (it’s 30 minutes long). It explains what happens in the brains of adolescents when they watch porn, and what can happen to men in their 20s who have been watching high speed porn since they were pre-teens.

The regulation area of a child’s brain is not completely developed until around 18 years of age. In the meantime, they have their foot firmly planted on the acceleration pedal, and have no idea where the brake is. Until their brains are fully developed, they are even more vulnerable to addictions, and have trouble knowing when to stop. They don’t have the developmental tools to stop themselves on a crash course with addiction. But you can help to protect them.

The pre-teen and teen years are a time where our kids desperately require healthy role models, healthy outlets and participation in physical and social activities. This helps to form the man or woman your child will become.

It’s a time when our children would normally learn about talking to girls or boys in a healthy way. Instead, they are learning about how to treat women or how women should behave by watching hardcore porn.

A Student With A Secret

In a recent, must-read article featured in the Daily Mail, a 27 year old named Jonny opened up about how he was addicted to porn by the age of 12. An unlikely addict, he was a highly successful, polite and thoughtful student, with a painful secret. He confided:

“Porn brought me to the brink, triggering anxiety, depression and invasive sexual thoughts about every woman I set eyes on. It also had an incredibly derogatory impact on the way I viewed every member of the opposite sex. Porn not only destroyed my peace of mind. It stopped me seeing women as human beings.”

This is typical behaviour of a porn addict, young or old.

Porn dehumanises sex. It doesn’t teach connection, intimacy or love — it actually takes away from that. The more someone watches porn, the harder it gets for them to even focus on deep connection, intimacy or love.

So what does that mean for our children (and their future partners) growing up being exposed to so much porn? Are we facing a generation of even more dysfunctional relationships?

“After I lost my virginity at 16, I compared every girl I slept with to those I’d seen on screen. I’d make fun of them with my friends if their bodies did not live up to my high ideals… Sex to me was never about intimacy or affection. I saw it as the opportunity to play out what I had seen on screen,” Jonny said.

The porn culture that we have today is completely unprecedented — it’s one great big experiment, at the expense of our children’s brains.

In magazines, we never saw endless scenes of rape porn, group sex, anal sex, violent sex and other forms of non-sensual (and even non-consentual) porn. But this is all stock standard when you click online.

Before a porn viewer even realises it, they can end up hooked. It’s such a slippery slope. Porn use (similarly as drugs and smoking) triggers a rush of dopamine in the brain. Over time, it can become overstimulated. Just like your adrenal glands get exhausted if you keep abusing them. Porn changes the brain.

Porn addiction quickly escalates, requiring more intense, shocking images to create an arousal. Unfortunately, on the extreme end of this is child porn. Porn users can also be faced with anxiety, porn induced erectile dysfunction, social withdrawal, performance and concentration issues, and more.

Porn – Our Generation’s Next Biggest Challenge?

Although many people don’t realise it or even believe it, porn is going to become a major concern for our generation — it already is. However, many men have no idea what porn is doing to their brains and their relationship. Women are confused at their partner’s behaviour, and some women are also becoming addicted to porn in growing numbers.

With boys as young as 10 or 11 having already been exposed to porn, we don’t know what lies ahead — but we do know what science is telling us.

As a parent who cares for their son and daughter’s wellbeing and future relationships, you need to be informed about what we’re facing. I highly recommend watching the below series with your partner, and then sharing it with your children, so you can open the topic for discussion. This is our best defense against the problem with porn.

Visit the websites Fight The New Drug and Your Brain on Porn, which have loads of resources, help and information. You’ll also find a heap of studies, many recent, backing this all up with science.

Where possible, it’s a great idea to ensure that the father is involved in this process, as sons (particularly of specific ages) may feel more inclined to discuss this topic in more detail with their father. If either of you are unsure or uncomfortable about the topic, kids can feel uneasy too.

Hopefully, with our education and guidance, boys will be more likely to appreciate and enjoy women in real life, and our girls will grow into women who have boundaries around what is acceptable and what is not.

  • So our children grow up to crave real life experiences over those on a screen.
  • So their fantasies are about real women — their woman.
  • So their actual ability to have sex isn’t taken away.
  • So that they don’t suddenly find their loving partner boring or unattractive.
  • So they don’t hurt their partner.
  • So that our girls grow up confident and secure, knowing they don’t need to behave in certain ways to get boys to like them.
  • So our children don’t grow up engaging in dangerous, risky, unsafe or uncomfortable sexual acts, because it’s what they see.

This is what we KNOW porn can do.

Porn Education For Our Kids

The below educational video series was put together by a teacher, for parents to share with their children. It explains porn to children in a simple way, without graphical content or portraying sex as dirty or bad. Have a watch, then share it with your children (aged around 10 and older).

 

 

 

 

What Next?

Many of us strive to make sure our children can access the internet safely, for example putting their computers in a place of high traffic or where they can be seen using it. You might even install a software program on the family computer and so on, but because there are so many different devices in the family home that can access the internet, other things may also help, including:

  • If your child has an ipod touch or iphone, you might like to read our article on making your child’s ipod safer to use
  • OpenDNS which basically filters what goes through your router and is updated in realtime as the database is contributed to.
  • Keep your kids active and physical. Plan family outings. Buy outdoor toys for presents instead of more games or game consoles. Get them into sport. Find healthy outlets for them.
  • Expose them to healthy role models. Boys especially will seek out male role models outside of the home as they get older. Steve Biddulph talks about this in his brilliant book, Raising Boys.
  • For more information, read the book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality and you can view an eyeopening documentary called Porn On The Brain which is free to view via that link.

The most important thing is education, make sure both parents are educated as well as the children. We have never lived in an era where kids brains have been so hyped up on electronics, screens and now high speed internet porn. The end result — many people may just not know it yet, but for those of us who have had porn addicted partners in the past, our children growing up with the same problem from a young age is frightening. Its becoming a modern epidemic, and as parents, we can help to reverse or stop it.

Screens, porn and kids — scary combination for the future. Let’s make change. Please share this article, and help more parents to get informed.

 
Last Updated: December 16, 2015

CONTRIBUTOR

Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.


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