Kids Becoming Influenced by Pornography

Jun 11, 2015

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As pornography and sexting become more prevalent, kids are exposed to pornography at early ages. Not only are kids and teenagers being exposed to pornography, some are also taking pornographic images of themselves. Some may even become addicted to pornography at an early age.

According to a survey of 12 and 13 year olds, 12% of teenagers have admitted that they have made a video or taken pictures that would be considered sexually explicit. These images typically get sent to other teenagers through sexting. Sexting has become a common thing among teenagers. Many young people may receive these sexts from other young people even though they don’t want to receive them.

Also in the survey, 18% of teenagers had seen unwanted pornographic images. ChildLine, a charity that helps children that have been exposed to pornography, says it receives about 18,000 messages per month from children and teenagers who have been exposed to pornography. Almost one in 10 young people think that they may be addicted to pornography. Those that have become addicted say that frequently watching pornography makes them depressed and gives them temptation to participate in sexual activity.

One of the big concerns with young children becoming exposed and addicted to pornography at such an early age is that much of what kids learn about sex and relationships is through pornography. Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of ChildLine, says that “girls in particular feel like they have to look and behave like porn stars to be liked by boys… [Young people] are telling us very clearly that his is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them.”

Rantzen suggests parents should keep open communication about sex and relationships. They should not teach their kids that sex is shameful. Parents also should talk to young people about the negative effects that pornography can have on them.

To prevent children from inadvertently coming across pornography parents should utilize safeguards. Parents can install an internet filter like Net Nanny to prevent access to pornography. Net Nanny can block access to pornographic websites and other inappropriate content on the internet. Parents should also consider having access to their children’s electronic devices so they can be aware of what their children are doing on those devices.