Kids who View Pornography Have "Adult" Attitudes and Behaviors

Dec 17, 2013

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karate kid | TK watching movie on laptop

(Note: There are terms used in this blog that might be offensive to some readers.)

Pornography is highly corrosive and damaging to children, teens, and society. The impact is unveiling in homes, schools, and workplaces near you. The consequences are many and serious.

Based on fairly comprehensive research conducted by a variety of sources, porn is having a heyday with our youth. In general terms, kids are becoming more sexually active and sexually violent as a result of exposure to sexually explicit images. 

To be very specific, the following is a list of attitudes and behaviors exhibited by children under the age of 18 who have been exposed to pornography and sexually-explicit TV programming.  In other words, children and teens exposed to sexualized media show an increase in the likelihood of the following behaviors:

 

  • having intentions to engage in sexual intercourse
  • having earlier initiation of sex
  • having sexual activity more frequently
  • having more sex partners
  • having multiple lifetime sexual partners
  • having had more than one sexual partner in the last three months
  • having engaged in other explicit sex acts
  • having engaged in sexual intercourse
  • having a strong desire to conceive
  • becoming pregnant
  • testing positive for sexually-transmitted diseases
  • having negative attitudes toward using condoms
  • having not used contraception during the last intercourse
  • having not used contraception in the past 6 months
  • having used alcohol or other substances at last sexual encounter
  • having higher sexual permissiveness scores
  • having less progressive gender role attitudes
  • being more likely to see women as sex objects
  • being more accepting of sexual harassment
  • engaging in more sexual harassment perpetration
  • engaging in forced sex
  • being a juvenile sex offender

This list is shocking! 

What can parents do?  

Start by having an open dialogue with your child about the effects of pornography. Talk about the issues.  Put a plan in place to protect your child.  Accidental exposure to porn is one of the many culprits that starts a younger child on a curiosity path.

Create a plan to protect your child that includes moderation in online activity and, where possible, getting software tools in place to filter Internet content and YouTube, that keeps out inappropriate mobile apps, that monitors TV and movies viewed, and that reduces explicit music.  The resources and tools are available to parents.  Good parenting would include these suggestions, and others.

Source of Research: Mary Anne Layden, Ph D and Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania.