Certainly you should take measures to lock down your digital devices so that your young children don’t accidentally stumble into porn. However, as they go to friends’ homes and ride on school buses, they are at risk for being exposed to porn.
By bringing up the topic with your kids, you have a chance to discuss your family values and how porn fits into those values. You can let your kids know that if they are ever frightened or concerned about what they see online, they should let you know.
You can also share what researchers have learned about viewing porn. According to an article by Psychologist John Sommers-Flanagan,
“Viewing more porn is associated with:
Research also reveals that young boys who view lots of porn are more likely to be sex offenders. And here’s the most disturbing thing I’ve discovered. Over 80% of pornography includes violence towards women.”
- Engaging in sexually aggressive acts (including rape or sexual assault)
- Becoming depressed, anxious, and stressed
- Functioning more poorly in real social interactions (and ironically, becoming impotent)
You can help your children think through the consequences of porn by discussing these facts and how porn and violence against women are connected. By talking through the issues associated with porn, you help your kids develop their own internal moral code.