Discussing harmful internet content with your child is strongly recommended as early as elementary school. At the very least, speak to your child before he/she gets an internet device, or spends time with other kids who have access to one (e.g. on the school bus, at summer camp, church retreats, sporting events, family reunions, etc.). If you suspect your child has been exposed to online pornography or has developed a compulsion to view it, you have some serious family discussions ahead, and many. Below are 3 perspectives you may find suitable to share with your child to help start the discussion. Additional resources follow.
From a parent:
What parents can say? https://youtu.be/7snp5-AvGQs
From a teenager:
ABC Nightline Special: Teens Addicted to Pornography
From a victim of sex trafficking:
Ex Porn Star Presents The Truth About Pornography to Students at Christian High School
Many of us do not realize all the ‘unexpected’ places where a child can accidentally come across pornography. Here are a few examples that may surprise you:
Amazon, Wikipedia, Children’s Apps (via advertisements or discussion forums), YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Video Games, Netflix, Hulu, Snapchat, KiK, WhatsApp, etc.
Most school buses are not CIPA compliant. Interested in making your child’s school bus a safe internet space? Ask your school district to invest in this technology for the buses (or reduce screen time altogether and don’t add a cellular data plan to your child’s phone):
LEGISLATION (National & International):
A number of states are proposing bills to ban smartphones from children all together, if the device does not block porn from the user (see list below). Contact your legislators today and tell them to keep our kids safe!
France Bans Smartphones from Schools (France):
Internet Access for Minors Bill 2017 (Ireland):
Porn In Your Pocket: How To Block Adult Content On Phones (UK):
Chuang, Janie (2006) Beyond a Snapshot: Preventing Human Trafficking in the Global Economy, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 13(1). Retrieved from http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol13/iss1/5
Covenant Eyes. (2013). What parents can say? (2013). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/7snp5-AvGQs
Dines, G. (2015). Growing up in a pornified culture, TEDx talks. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/_YpHNImNsx8
Dines, G., Jhally, S., & Kanopy (Firm). (2016). Pornland: How the porn industry has hijacked our sexuality. (Media Education Foundation Collection.) Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation
Fight the New Drug. (2018). Retrieved from https://fightthenewdrug.org
Fight the New Drug (2015). Hallah’s story: How porn influenced her sexual abuse. Retrieved from http://fightthenewdrug.org/video-hallahs-story-how-porn-led-to-my-sexual-abuse/
Fight the New Drug. (2018). Your conversation blueprint. Retrieved from https://fightthenewdrug.org/lets-talk-about-porn/blueprint/child-them/?to=child&about=them
Fox13 Salt Lake City. (2018). Utah teacher asks junior high students: ‘What my parents don’t know about social media is…’ Retrieved from https://fox13now.com/2018/03/09/utah-teacher-asks-junior-high-students-what-my-parents-dont-know-about-social-media-is/
Guinn, D. E., DiCaro, J., Captive Daughters Media., & DePaul University. (2007). Pornography: Driving the demand in international sex trafficking. Los Angeles: Captive Daughters Media.
Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M. and Yuen, C. (2010), Pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women: revisiting the relationship in non-experimental studies. Aggr. Behav., 36:14–20.
Hilton, D. L., & Watts, C. (2011). Pornography addiction: A neuroscience perspective. Surgical Neurology International, 2, 19.
Leonard, S. (2016). Boys adrift: Five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. New York, NY: Basic Books, 169-173.
Moffit, Mitchell and Brown, Gregory. (2013). The Science of pornography addiction. Retrieved from
O’Leary, Amy. (2012). So how do we talk about this? When children see internet pornography. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/garden/when-children-see-internet-pornography.html
Struthers, William M. (2009). Wired for intimacy: How pornography hijacks the male brain. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families (2012). Fact sheet: Sex trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/resource/fact-sheet-sex-trafficking-english
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2017). Human trafficking: North Carolina. Retrieved from http://humantrafficking.unc.edu/resources
Utah Coalition Against Pornography. (2018) Utah coalition against pornography. Retrieved from https://utahcoalition.org/
Weitzer, R. J. (2011). Sex trafficking and the sex industry: the need for evidence-based theory and legislation. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. 101:1337-1369.
Westen, John-Henry. (2015). Want to stop sex trafficking? Look to America’s porn addiction. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johnhenry-westen/want-to-stop-sex-traffick_b_6563338.html
Wilson, Gary. (2012). The great porn experiment, TEDx talks. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wSF82AwSDiU
Wilson, Gary. (2015). Your brain on porn: Internet pornography and the emerging science of addiction. UK: Commonwealth Publishing.