What percentage of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 do you think have viewed pornography on the internet? Twenty percent? Forty percent? Is that too high?
Here’s another. Guess what the average age of first exposure online to pornography is. It’s eleven. Your eleven year old child has probably been exposed, innocently, to porn.
The industry is very clever. They are intentionally trying to expose your children. Little Sally, 12 years old and turning 13 in a week, might be sit down at her computer. She is so excited to finally become a teenager. She googles “teen” girls to do some research. Her search results are below.
If you go on Twitter and you type in the trending topic “teen,” you will find this:
Yesterday, while doing some research for a show radio spot I was doing, I tweeted out that I would be discussing our teens and their access to pornography and asked if anyone had questions they would like answered. Crickets.
Interesting, I thought. So. I created a forum at BlogFrog and asked the same question. Surely there, where my community is only parents of teens, I would get some response. Again. Crickets.
So I tweeted out, “Is this topic something that you don’t feel comfortable talking about or that no one has dealt with?” I received responses at that point. All stating that it was a topic they, “thankfully”, had never had to deal with.
Now. THAT is alarming. Remember that statistic above? 80 percent of teens ages 15-17 have been exposed to porn online. Multiple times. You know what that means? Most of you parents out there haven’t dealt with it. However, most of your kids have.
This is a topic that needs to be added to your list of conversations. Immediately. Sex, drugs, alcohol, sexting and now online pornography. The list is, unfortunately, ever growing. It is difficult. I said on air yesterday, it feels like water balloons are being dropped at us from above and we are supposed to catch every one of them and if EVEN one drops something AWFUL will happen.
It isn’t that bad. But? You can’t afford to bury your head in the sand and pretend this isn’t happening.
You DO NOT want your child learning about sex from an internet porn site. We all know what a realistic view of sex that is. Can you imagine having sex for the first time and your idea of the way it should go is a porn. You are going to have two very surprised parties. We all need to explain the difference to them between sex and love. They need to understand that love does not look like those videos.
Here are some statistics for us mother’s of boys. According to a study done by ProtectKids.com boys who watched porn over a six week period had the following symptoms:
developed an increased sexual callousness toward women
began to trivialize rape as a criminal offense or no longer considered it a crime at all
developed distorted perceptions about sexuality
developed an appetite for more deviant, bizarre, or violent types of pornography.
devalued the importance of monogamy and lacked confidence in marriage as either a viable or lasting institution
viewed nonmonogamous relationships as normal and natural behavior
One more surprising fact for me was that 80 percent of all pornography is viewed in the child’s own home. That’s right. Our own homes. Not those “other” parents’ homes. Our own.
A few things you can do:
View your internet history often
Keep the computer in a main room, such as the kitchen where you spend a lot of time
Put parental controls on your computer
While these things help, there is ALWAYS a way with teens. That is why talking about this topic is SO important. It is our responsibility to stay educated and educate our children. Talk to them. You are all they’ve got.
For more informatin on internet safety, log on to InternetSafety101.org
Click here for my one hour radio show with Dr. Keith Kanner on this topic and the overstimulation of our kids.