Porn and Your Son(s)

January 30, 2015

in Uncategorized

According to a study1 done in 2007, 93% of boys see on-line porn before the age of 18. Half of all boys see it by the age of 14. In the seven years since the study was done, it’s gotten worse. As Internet enabled phones become common for teens, porn exposure is more likely and more difficult to prevent. One group looking to study the effect of porn on college males had to cancel because they couldn’t find men who has never viewed porn.

Boys with a computer © olly | dollarphotoclub.com 

About two thirds of teens say they were not looking for porn the first time the came across it. Many were first exposed by a friend or older brother. Once they see it, most boys go back for more. Nude images plug into their brains in a way nothing has before, and they don’t have the maturity to make the best decisions in the face of significant arousal.

If you have a minor son, this information no doubt scares you. The question is what do you do about it?

Short of putting out his eyes, there’s no way you can keep your son from seeing at least a little porn. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I’d be lying. Filters can help, and I recommend them, but a tech savvy kid can bypass most. Even if they work, they work at home, not all the other places he goes. The best option is to educate him so he can deal with it and make smart choices. Shame will only make it worse, as will anger. Initially he is a victim, and you being able to grasp that should help.

No boy wants to talk about porn with a parent, and for most discussing it with his mother is far worse than talking about it with dad. The approach I used with our son was calm, open, and honest. I let him know I’d seen porn, and I wish I had not. I explained it distorted my understanding of sex, and hurt my sex life when I got married. I told him I knew he would see things even if he tried to avoid it, and I said he would be tempted to look again. I was sharing with him a struggle common to all men, not some horrible thing he was doing. I started talking to him about this before puberty, and mentioned it casually on occasion.

Beyond the boys, porn viewing is now common for girls. The study I’ve cited found 62% of girls see on-line porn before 18, and 37% by age 14. This is where you need to get involved. Given her odds of seeing something by age 14, you need to start talking about this several years earlier. Young teen girls are more likely to see porn unintentionally, and less likely to be shown porn by friends, especially when they are younger. They are also less likely to seek it out after one exposer, but repeated exposer increases the odds they will seek out porn. In high school, things change, and her odds of seeing porn go up greatly.

How to best address this with a daughter I do not know. Our daughter is in her mid-30’s and it was not a major issue when she was a teen. If you have thoughts or links on this, please hit the comments.

One more thing (and this will be unpopular with some): I can find nothing in the Bible about masturbation. As such, I conclude it’s not inherently wrong. A boy’s odds of masturbating are even higher than his odds of seeing porn; likewise for girls. I would ask you and your husband to do some deep prayer and study on this issue before you speak to your children. If you’re convinced it is wrong, I’d approach it much like I suggested for porn. If you decided it is not always sin, you still need to talk to your kids about the issue. Talk to them about the importance of their thoughts, and learning self-control.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and the porn kids see today offends and saddens me. 

1 The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth Sabrina et al 

Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © olly | dollarphotoclub.com

Shop AmazonShop to give links page
We’re donation supported Thanks for your help!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kent "SyberSmoke" C. February 2, 2015 at 2:01 am

As a father of three I understand your viewpoint. But as an artist I find your lack of definition troubling. Porn is a very broad category describing numerous formats and variations. This ranges from the simple softcore materials to the extremes of kink.

The problem that I find with your post is that it is a generality with a number of assumptions that are not founded in reality. As is true of all things, people respond differently to different things. Alcohol for example can make a subset of the population violent, but it is a socially acceptable drink even considering the risk of abuse and antisocial behavior. The same can be said of sexually explicit materials.

But unlike Alcohol, there is a problem with sexual material…there is very little actual research determining a causal relationship between a specific type of material and the reinforcing of sexual expectations from that material. And adding to this is the general taboo nature of sex in modern society, it is doubtful there ever will be such studies.

So really the only thing we can do is to steer our kids in a direction of sexual health. To teach our children, male and female alike, that sex is not wrong. To make sure they are prepared for it’s implied meanings and that any materials they do view have a proper context of being more fantasy than reality. Much the same as we do with movies, games, books, and numerous other forms of media.

Reply

Paul Byerly February 2, 2015 at 10:41 am

The lack of good research is frustrating. Why we have so little good research is telling. Most of the folks who do this kind of research have been to busy defending porn to do an honest study. It’s like expecting people pushing for legalisation of marijuana to fund a study that could find smoking pot causes cancer!
That said, we are starting to get well done studies, and the results are telling us porn is not harmless. It changes how we think. I changes what we want. And the more porn a man views, the less he enjoys sex with a real woman. While there are those more affected, it seems everyone is affected to some degree. All this comes from a couple of recent studies.
Of course any study finding a problem with porn gets attacked. Folks suggest all manner of problems with the study, often without bothering to actually read the study.
The other side of this is the huge body of junk science produced to try to prove how horrible porn is. This was not real science, it was decide the answer than twist the science to support your theory. This just muddies the waters and makes it easy for people to dismiss any study that says there is a problem with porn.
As to the line, you have a valid point. When does art become pornographic? Is that answer different for kids and adults? When I was a kid porn was much more difficult to find, and anything with a bit of nudity qualified. Those slightly older than I will recall what a turn on the underwear section of the Sears catalogue could be.
Paul Byerly recently posted…The “V” WordMy Profile

Reply

Paul Byerly February 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Today I came across an article from the UK discussing sex crimes commited by children under the age of 10 against children. In the last three years the number of such crimes has doubled. This is not kids playing doctor, it’s unwanted by the victim, and in many cases it include some sort of penetration. The youngest attacker was just short of four years old.
Instigators say these kids learn about sex from being abused or from seeing porn.
Paul Byerly recently posted…The “V” WordMy Profile

Reply

Christina February 17, 2015 at 2:48 am

I installed The Porn Blocker (http://www.thepornblocker.com) on all of the computers in my house after catching my 12 year old viewing things he shouldn’t – it works like a charm! I feel good knowing my kids are protected from pornography.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: