Pornography and children - ThatMate

10 things to remember when talking about porn to your kids

Exposure to pornography among adolescents has become so common that it’s been described as a normative experience by experts in child safety and child development. Although boys are much more frequent consumers of porn, many girls check it out at the request of their boyfriends or just out of curiosity. That means all kids need to hear the truth about pornography and how it’s affecting their emerging sexuality.

Conversations about pornography are awkward, no doubt. But it can be part of a larger discussion about  healthy sexual development. As with other “sex talks,” this is not ONE conversation, but an ongoing dialogue throughout adolescence. On average, children first see porn (intentionally or unintentionally) at age eleven (yes, 11). So it’s wise to start these conversations no later than 5th grade. We present our ten conversations as “scripts” that you can use to guide your own chats. We start with simple topics, then move onto more complex conversations that require as much listening as they do talking. By no means are these topics everything you need, but we hope they serve as a springboard for other conversations that will help your child as they navigate the challenges of adolescence.

  1. “Curiosity is normal. There’s nothing wrong with wondering how your body is the same or different from other peoples’ bodies, or even with wondering how sex “works.” Unfortunately, resources are limited, so your go-to is probably the Internet. But if you look online for pictures or videos about sex, you will see things you weren’t expecting—stuff that looks weird, gross and even scary. Some of what you see is called pornography, which is very close up and unrealistic pictures or videos of actors and actresses doing sexual things. It’s about as realistic as pro-wrestling, and most if it is violent and totally NOT the way most people look or behave when they have sex. I want you to have accurate information about bodies and even about sex, so that’s why I don’t want you going online to learn about it. On the Internet, there are no fact-checkers to make sure what’s there is accurate or even appropriate, so you are more likely to get wrong information and see pictures that people put there just to shock or distract people – or really just to make money. I will find some books for you, or show you some pictures that are more realistic, safe, and appropriate.”
  2. “Seeing (and even looking for it) doesn’t make you a bad person. By the end of middle school, most kids have seen porn. Seeing something that gives you “bad” feelings (like guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear) doesn’t make you a bad person. That just makes you a person who did something that didn’t feel “right.” The important thing is that you think about it and decide what’s right for you. That may mean not looking at porn at all, or that may mean looking at it a lot less.”
  3. “Once you see it, you can’t UNSEE it. The creators of pornography know that they have to make porn more and more extreme and weird and twisted to keep people coming back, so you need to know that it will continue to suck you in, if you let it. It’s like watching a scary movie and not being able to get that gory scene out of your head; once you see it, those images will be with you, and they can affect the way you think, behave and experience sex in the future. Those are probably not the images you want to carry with you.”
  4. “When you saw it, how did it make you feel? (breathe & listen…). I think it makes people have mixed up feelings. It can definitely make you feel excited and aroused (horny), but it also makes people feel ashamed, confused, embarrassed, scared, angry, grossed out. Those mixed up feelings are common and that makes a lot of people want to keep their porn viewing a secret because it feels “dark” and like it should be hidden. I don’t believe that’s who you are. Do you?”
  5. “Trying to hide it from me doesn’t do you any good because getting caught is the least of the bad things that can happen to you from watching porn. It can change the way you view women and violence. It can create problems for you sexually. It can become an addiction that consumes your time. It’s more important to me that you learn that it’s not accurate nor helpful, and that you figure out how to stay away from it – especially while you are young and learning about your body, sex, and relationships.”
  6. “What can you say to remove yourself from watching it with friends? If a group of your friends are together and one suggests that you all watch some porn, would you be able to say no or walk out of the room? That’s a hard thing to do especially when your friends may think it’s cool, but let’s think of some things you could say to keep yourself (and maybe even your friends) away from it.”
  7. “It is NOT a “How to” lesson. A lot of teens look at porn just to figure out what they’re supposed to do when it comes to sex. Unfortunately, porn is so inaccurate that it makes you approach sex in a way that isn’t healthy. In fact, mimicking porn pretty much takes the magic away from exploring your sexuality. The truth is that great sex requires sharing your likes, dislikes and boundaries with your partner, and respecting their likes, dislikes and boundaries. There shouldn’t be pressure to “perform,” but to enjoy each other. And that means communication. Sex is supposed to feel good and be enjoyable for BOTH partners. Porn makes it seem like  screaming, violence, and abusive behaviors are normal. Believe me – they’re not the norm; sex is better than that.”
  8. “It can affect how you feel about your body. Just as with models and movie stars, porn stars have bodies and body parts that are not like most people’s and are often surgically or digitally altered. Most porn stars have no body hair at all, super large penises or vulvas that look like a little girl’s. If you’re watching porn, you may believe that your body parts or your body hair are abnormal. Do you realize that pubic hair grooming and “manscaping” was uncommon before porn became widely available in the 1990s? Once again, normal bodies are not what you see in porn, but those altered bodies make people feel less satisfied with their own appearances, especially their genitals.”
  9. “Porn desensitizes you when it comes to violence and promotes the idea that women are playthings or property. That’s because the more you see violence and women being mistreated or even abused, the less bothersome it becomes to you – that’s called desensitization. Men who watch a lot of porn are more likely to think rape is ok and that women enjoy being mistreated. Women who watch porn often find themselves more focused on “performing” and accepting pain during sex rather than expecting to be pleasured and treated respectfully. The ideas & behaviors that come out of porn, can ruin your own sexual experiences.”
  10. “It can become addictive and affect your sexual function. The addictive nature of porn can cause it to consume a lot of your time and your thoughts. If it is preventing you from spending time with friends or family, doing your school work, or other things you used to do, then it’s become a big problem. As a guy, when you masturbate to porn, you’re conditioning your sexual response and performance to be dependent on the extreme things you see in porn, so when you want to enjoy sex with a real person, you may have problems getting an erection and having orgasms. It can be devastating and embarrassing to find yourself with someone you care about but unable to have an erection without the assistance of porn. Getting better usually requires therapy and takes a lot of work on your part. It’s much easier to get help as soon as you recognize that porn is consuming a lot of your time. I will never punish or shame you if you’re asking for help. I’m here to help you.” 

Source: www.girlology.com

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