Porn. Let’s Talk About It.

Porn. It’s out there and it’s coming for your kids! I’m totally kidding…well somewhat. The reality is that porn IS out there. Porn is easily accessible online and there is no shortage of it.  A simple search on the internet will allow you to find things you may be curious about and much more. Another reality is that porn isn’t some monster that is coming after your kids lurking in every corner of the internet waiting to expose itself to them. There is a lot to talk about when it comes to pornography and my hope is to talk about some of the issues and concerns we might have about it.

Before we get going, here are some stats about teens and pornography.

Infographic provided by Covenanteyes.com

Infographic provided by Covenanteyes.com

I think we need to address the difference between situations where kids are actively seek pornography out of curiosity, entertainment or satisfaction and kids who might come across it by accidentally searching something that brings them to see something they weren’t intending on seeing. These are two completely different situations and need to be address differently with each child. For the children who are actually searching out of curiosity or for other reasons we need to understand that it is natural for boys and girls to be curious about sex and body parts. Jeff Hay discovered his son had found pictures of naked women online and was taken aback before realizing that he was once a curious boy who used the Sears catalogue to look at the women’s bra section to satisfy his curiosity.

When I tired of Star Wars figurines, Atari games, and Hot Wheels, I would then look both ways for parents, then my nimble fingers would find the women’s bras section. I can’t be the only one to have done that…gosh, I feel so vulnerable right now.

The only difference from when he was a kid and now is that the medium has changed. Kids no longer have to find a hidden Playboy or search through the catalogues to find pictures. They can do a simple search and have all the images they want. Jeff provides some good advice on how to deal with the situations and like many others the advice is to not “freak out”. We need to be able to have open conversations with our kids about this. We can still give consequences, but we have to talk about our kids about pornography and why they are actively searching for it. Talking to your kids about pornography should happen at a young age and should involve discussing the messages that can be sent in different media including commercials and tv shows. I think it’s important for kids to understand the difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to porn. We need to teach them about healthy sexual relationships and expectations.

Ontario is taking a step forward with a new sex ed curriculum to help students cope with coming across inappropriate content online. As the article states, we know our students can easily access inappropriate content whether it be on purpose or not. Schools can set firewalls that will help prevent students from coming across anything inappropriate, but once students bring their own devices or access computers at home, anything can happen. It is important for us to teach students what to do and who to talk to when they see something that makes them uncomfortable. Students shouldn’t be left in the dark after seeing something for fear they will be in trouble. For some children, especially younger children seeing sexual images can be very confusing which is why we need to address the issues in an appropriate way.

Photo Credit: seansinnit via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: seansinnit via Compfight cc

There are a lot of great resources that can be helpful in having the pornography discussion with your students and kids. MediaSmarts has some really helpful information. You can also learn ways to prevent your kids from accessing porn on your computer.

I like that Ontario is taking a step in the right direction and think that more provinces including ours should jump on board. What do you think? When is to young to talk about porn? Is it ever to early to talk about? I think there are different conversations that can happen at different ages, but we must have these conversations to help our children develop healthy sexual habits, relationships and expectations.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Porn. Let’s Talk About It.

  1. I also enjoyed the article, and agree that Ontario is taking the right step in being proactive with students accessing porn. However, after reading the comments below it seems that lots of parents are outraged that this is happening. One comment reads: ” This is another example of the schools taking the raising of children Away from the parents. Between government and schools the parents have no power. It’s wrong and should not be accepted by parents. What have we allowed to happen to us?” Pretty Harsh…but I do think we need to address this issue as teachers but parents must be part of the process. What are your thoughts?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s