The Detrimental Effects of Pornography on Small Children
Dec 19, 2017
Small children typically view pornography accidentally at home by clicking a link or mistyping a Google search. Most parents would be shocked on how pornography is just 2 clicks away on some of the most popular sites and apps your child may be visiting.
1 in 10 Kids Under 10 Have Seen Porn
Most statistics on pornography use say the average age of a child's first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. New research from the security technology company Bitdefender, has reported children under the age of 10 now account for 22% of online porn consumption under 18 -years old. Particularly alarming is that the site most visited by children under 10 include porn mega sites like Pornhub. The under 10 age group is now accounting for one in 10 visitors to porn video sites, per Bitdefender.
Pornography addiction is a worry for 10% of 7th Graders
NPCC ChildLine recently released a report that found a tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear they may actually be addicted to pornography. 10% of children in the 7th grade have stated that they are watching enough porn to be concerned that they may have an addiction issue and not be able to stop. Many experts believe this is due to two primary issues: mobile accessibility and desensitization at an earlier age. “Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. We know they are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them” said Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of ChildLine.
Per Google Analytics, pornography searches increase by 4,700% released a report when children are out of school.
What You Should Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Seen Porn
If you have discovered that you child has seen pornography, it is normal to feel alarmed and protective. Prolonged exposure to pornography can have long-term damaging effects on your child. While there is nothing that can be done to help your child “unsee” what they have “seen”, the best course of action may be address their online viewing choices in an age-appropriate conversation being careful not to over react or choose language that may cause shame or guilt. For suggestions on how to have and start an age appropriate conversation on exposure to pornography click here.
How Can Parents Protect Their Child from Pornography?
- Model positive behavior you want your child to emulate. Parents know that small children mimic what they watch. If a child sees love, kindness, and cooperation, these traits are copied. If you want your child to only watch G-rated videos, make sure those around your child’s young eyes also limit the content to G-rated options on their screens.
- Take preventive measure by locking PCs, tablets, and smartphones with a safe browser or Internet filter to eliminate the availability of pornography for kids and teens. To see a list of parental controls software from a third-party review website, go to Top Ten Reviews and PC Magazine search for "parental controls" software. In this category, Net Nanny is the market leader.
- If the images they view are explicit and don’t depict love, explain to your kids that this is not a sign of a healthy and happy relationship. Explain to them age-appropriate ways to express love and affection to others.
- It is never too soon to have a conversation on what is appropriate to share with others. If your child is old enough to understand, let them know it is illegal for them to take explicit pictures or videos, view pornography, or share pornography as a minor. Most importantly, explain to them WHY sexting is dangerous behavior and the consequences that can come from it including legal ramifications.
By educating kids on what a good relationship should be like, and installing parental control software, parents are taking control of this situation. And even if their children view inappropriate content on a friend’s device, they will be better prepared to handle accidentally seeing pornography without it having a strong effect.
Kristin MacLaughlin, VP Consumer Marketing for Content Watch, mother of three and always in search of ways that technology can help simplify and connect families.