BlogParents

For Parents: Understanding How Early Porn Exposure Affects Children

It’s all too easy especially for the younger generation to come across things online that are harmful without them realizing it.

kids-see-porn-young-affects-them-child-diverse

Many times, kids don’t have a choice of when they’ll first see porn.

Science and research have shown how porn has negative effects when it comes to the upcoming generation and the damage it causes to our personal health and to the relationships we surround ourselves with. But, do we really understand the power pornography can have over children who are exposed at a very early age, and typically not by choice?

The American College of Pediatricians talks about three ways that grade-school children are most likely going to be exposed to pornography in their early years:

Related: For Parents: How To Spot Online Child Predators And Protect Your Teen From Them

Do you notice a common theme here? What about the word, accidentally? This is not a choice but truly a cultural and accessibility issue.

Podcast - Wood Figures - Light

Porn’s harmful effects can be experienced at the start

Exposure to any of these experiences usually results in some form of anxiety or anxiousness, and often shame.

Children have reported suffering from feelings such as shock, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness after stumbling across these pornographic images. In some extreme cases, children under 12 years old that have viewed pornography are statistically more likely to sexually assault their own peers. Not only that, but these kids are at-risk for a broad range of things, including violent behavior.

Related: Parents: This Is How Teens Find Porn Through Social Media

This is truly impacting our culture and the generations to come whether we are aware of it or not.

Brain Heart World

Children being targeted through media

In this article, YouTube says it removed ads from 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels that featured disturbing content aimed toward kiddos.

Some of these videos could land a child in unexpected territory, like a subgenre of pornography that involves cartoon characters, like Batman or Mario Brothers, etc. with just a few clicks.

Related: Parents: What’s Better Than Internet Filters? Actual Conversations About Porn

And given the sharp rise in animated hardcore porn on popular XXX sites, it’s not difficult to imagine how an experience on YouTube could pave the way for a curious mind to wander to more explicit material elsewhere. All it takes is a few key search terms, and they’re there.

Love Can't Be Clicked - Charcoal

Most kids haven’t even hit puberty yet

Early exposure to internet pornography can have an impact on a child’s future and truly does have negative impacts on the brain.

Not only can these harmful images literally impact and transform the way children view sexuality and love as a whole, but it can transform their perspective on healthy sex and will turn it into a negative one, especially if their parents haven’t yet started talks with them about anything relating to these topics.

Related: Parents, This Study Shows Kids As Young As 7 Are Accessing Porn

Many kids truly do not have much natural comprehension or understanding when it comes to sex, and seeing pornographic images will only give them a false perception regarding this topic. Seeing pornography is often a traumatic experience in itself and can take many years for a child to recover from the images that are implanted in their young mind.

But there is so much hope through being open with developing kids through open, honest, and ongoing conversations with a trusted adult to counteract any false ideas porn has implanted in their understandings about sex and love.

We think it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about what porn is before they see it for the first time, and keep the conversation open, shame-free, honest, and loving.

Instilling a total fear of porn in a young child may work for a short while, but it’s not a long-term help to keeping the lines of communication open. If kids feel their parents are open to listening to their struggles or questions, they’ll be more likely to approach the subject whenever it comes up instead of hiding their curiosity and searching for it on their own.

Click below to explore our free, comprehensive conversation guide so you can be equipped to talk about porn whenever the time is right.

Conversation Blueprint

Keep kids safe on the internet

It shouldn’t be a secret that the internet definitely has dark places that can be harmful and dangerous, and it’s all too easy especially for the younger generation to come across things that are harmful without them realizing it.

Related: 6 Things Every Parent Should Consider Before Talking About Sex With Their Kids

We fight to educate and make others aware of the harmful effects of porn because we believe everyone should make an educated decision for themself, when they’re ready. Children, of course, aren’t ready to make decisions for themselves on porn, which is why education and awareness, as well as open, honest, and ongoing conversations with trusted adults are so important.

With the normalization of porn, there is also an increasing amount of resources available to anyone who wants to tackle this issue head-on. Keep it real, keep it factual, and fight for real love.

Send this to a friend