Media Monday – Protecting Our Children From The Porn Industry

The age recently published this article about children becoming addicted to internet porn. I know this topic offends our sensibilities but this is something we HAVE to be aware of as parents.  The internet makes porn accessible in a click of a button and there are far reaching consequences for children who view these images be it accidental or intentional.

In fact porn has wide-reaching consequences for all people, men and women, but especially for children whose sexuality is still emerging. It awakens something inside a child that’s not quite ready and can lead to a multitude of sexual and relational problems. More and more research is discovering exactly why and how porn harms children.

The writer from the age makes continual reference to the fact that schools need to be teaching this subject  and teachers must take responsibility for this very personal, sensitive topic. What about parents? Once again this reflects how as a society we are relinquishing so many of parenting responsibilities to other people including schools. It is not creepy Mr Humphrey who should be teaching our kids about this topic – it’s us!

The organisation kids free to be kids made the comment that it is important to speak to your kids before the porn industry does. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be addressed in a generalised school sex education program but something this important should be up to parents. Afterall, we are the ones who need to proactively police this in our homes to ensure that are children are protected from the temptation of the porn industry.

Believe it or not the Porn industry DOES target children. Playboy bunny merchandise anyone? This is not some harmless cute bunny. This is a symbol that reflects the global porn industry – an industry founded on the objectification of women.

playboy bunny marketing to childrenThe playboy bunny isn’t cute and innocent. The symbol introduces the idea of porn (obviously not porn itself) in a way that appeals to children. It’s not JUST a t-shirt or JUST a pencil case it is planting a seed in a child, creating familiarity with a brand that sells porn and normalises the porn industry. Playboy use very clever marketing techniques and as shown clearly, they ARE targeting our children.

As we know, just because something is well known, mainstream or normal it doesn’t mean it’s good for us. In fact, in many cases such as this one – it’s quite the opposite!

Did you know that Playboy has even had involvement in the making of the children’s films?

As parents we need to be super vigilant especially now with so many portable devices like smart phones and ipads. I hate to say it but I do think our children are going to be exposed whether we like it or not either intentionally at school or friends houses or accidentally at home.  Therefore, I believe we need to teach our children to know what it is and to know how to deal with being exposed to it.

We need to equip them and empower them with strategies for when they are exposed to these images. We also need to create an open, honest culture in our home where topics (even ones as sensitive as this) are okay to discuss.

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