May 9, 2012
In Australia, we have a show called Insight, where a panel of relevant people are assembled and, together with the audience, discuss a contemporary topic. The topic last night (Tue 8th May) was how easily children/teenagers are accessing porn and the effect it’s having on them.
It was fascinating and terrifying to watch, all at the same time. The panelists, consisting of three young adults (around 18-20 yrs old), discussed their first experience with porn – which was around ten yrs old for the boys and the girl said she was eleven.
ELEVEN. I have a daughter who’s nine. That’s one of the terrifying parts. One of the earliest images this girl remembers seeing, which affected her deeply at the time, was one of The Simpsons family…having sex with each other. To her young mind, this was disturbing.
Another scary part, obviously, is the explicit nature of what can be found – or worse, pop up. One of the boys said a pop-up gave him his first taste of porn, which in turn sparked the curiosity. They all said it was curiosity that kept them going back for more, as well as starting to learn ‘what to do’ during sex.
Unfortunately, due to that part of human nature that wants to be noticed/watched and ‘top’ what has already been done (plus the fact there are people out there who enjoy raunchier/kinkier sexual behaviour), what can be accessed can be anything and everything…and that’s where some kids are ‘learning’ about sex.
And kids are seeing it because, in this technologically savvy time, once one child sees it – they share it. Instantly. That’s the scariest part of all.
I’m sure there are some young people who may read this and think, “It’s OK – it’s not that bad,” but I’m not as convinced.
Mainly because, as ‘aware’ as I am about what’s available now – it’s still brand new territory for me as a parent. I have nothing to relate back to because, as I’ve mentioned before, when I was a child, the only really accessible porn was in magazines. Until the mid-80s, adults had to go to small, dingy XXX movie theatres – after that, it was in the comfort of their own home with the arrival of the video.
But now you can find whatever you want on the Internet because anyone can record anything and at any time – from something as small as their phone.
John Stoltenberg, a male feminist from the 70s, is credited with the quote:
“Pornography tells lies about women. But pornography tells the truth about men.”
This is the part that concerns me enormously because surely this would mean our boys/men will look for the level of sexual excitement they see in the porn they watch, in their real-life sexual encounters…and hope to get the hyper-sexualised woman to match.
Question #43: Does porn and images of hyper-sexualised women, affect the healthy, natural development of sexuality in both sexes?
I think it absolutely does…doesn’t it?
Worse still, how are women supposed to live up to all this? The statistic that 100% of boys have watched porn by their mid-teens is staggering. Couple this with the way young girls are dressing now – emulating this culture…it’s an unhealthy mix.
But the thing that young women may not realise, is that many pornographic films have women doing things – that most, real women don’t like.
Whatever the reasons the women being filmed have for doing it, has nothing to do with representing reality…it’s predominantly for pleasing the sexual urges of MEN.
I seriously believe that the percentage of women who TRULY want a sexual encounter with four men – with one penis in her vagina, another in her anus, another in her mouth, while masturbating the last – has to be microscopic. But I have seen an image of this – I didn’t just make that up. That woman is nothing and noone to the men she’s with.
As huge as the battle will be – we must be in our kids’ ears about the value of relationships and the wonderful connection that a sexual relationship can offer – to counteract the ‘dirty’ nature of porn.