How to Discuss Pornography with Your Child

Discussing the subject of pornography with your child can be quite tricky and incredibly uncomfortable. It is even difficult to discuss the topic with many full-grown adults. Unfortunately, pornography is so commonplace in our society that our children will likely be exposed to it or hear about it from their friends at an early age.

If you are the parent of a young child between four and seven years of age, bringing up the subject of porn might not be very prudent. At this age, you may have not even had the “birds and the bees” talk with your child. If you do decide to speak with them about the topic of pornography, it will likely be in response to them stumbling onto something X-rated on the Internet or because one of their friends brought up the subject. You don’t have to go into detail when discussing pornography with a child so young. You can explain to them that sex is an expression of love between two adults and that the pornographic videos on the Internet don’t represent true love. Wait until your child is a bit older to delve deeper into this touchy subject.

Those who have a child between the ages of eight and 12 will likely have had the “birds and the bees” talk by this age. A couple decades ago, it seems that parents wouldn’t have dared discuss pornography with their children, especially ones this young. You should absolutely bring up the topic with a child in this age range. It will help them establish a healthy mental foundation for their perspective of both pornography and sex. Communicate to your child that there is a significant difference between love and pornography. You should also explain that pornography presents women in a negative light. Many of these videos contain acts of violence against women. Explain that the porn industry is all about objectification of women. Instead of valuing women for their intellect, personalities and character, this industry portrays them as toys for men to play with.

Parents of teenagers will have a more challenging task on their hands. Teens have raging hormones and they will no doubt find porn one way or another. Whether it’s on their web enabled mobile devices or through their friends, they can get their hands on porn if they really want to. The key is to shape their outlook of the subject early on. This way, they won’t fall into the trap of viewing women (or men) as merely objects. Young boys who watch porn often end up perceiving women as females who are only worthy of superficial praise. This isn’t healthy. It doesn’t foster deep emotional connections between partners. As a parent of a teen, it is imperative that you open the lines of communication about this delicate subject before it is too late. Your teen will soon be dating, if they’re not already, and they should be treating their partner with respect.

If your teen asks you questions about why women and men engage in lustful acts in front of a camera, explain to them that many have succumbed to social pressures. The media and other agents of socialization constantly present the public with images of beautiful women and men who are only valued for their looks. Also, tell an inquisitive teen that many women or men engage in on-camera sex simply for the money. It’s a dark career path that provides fast cash.

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