Porn Proof Your Child

Porn Proof Your Child

Spotlight on Porn
© 2010 Teresa Cook

Spotlight on Porn
Ten years have passed since our teenage son admitted he was addicted to pornography and asked for help. At the time, I could find little published about the effects of sexually explicit material on adults—let alone youth and children. Since then, however, the porn industry has skyrocketed. Lives destroyed by easy access to its wares have proliferated to the degree that many families, both Christian and not, are affected. Today many studies spotlight pornography and its consequences. One important outcome of these studies is a better understanding of who might be more likely to become addicted to porn.
In December 2009, Dr. Patrick Fagan with the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, DC, released a synthesis of available research material entitled "The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family, and Community." While the report does not focus exclusively on children, it contains chilling facts parents would be wise to heed.

Most parents recognize that the Internet tempts kids with convenient and covert access to pornography. Few know what factors predict which adolescents will be most attracted to using porn. According to the FRC report, teens who watch porn more frequently tend to:1
  • Be high sensation seekers
  • Feel less satisfied with their lives
  • Have a fast Internet connection
  • Have friends who are younger [than themselves]
  • Spend large amounts of time on the computer
In addition, two other statistics herald a wake-up call for parents. According to a national youth survey, adolescents who seek out pornography online (compared to those who do not) are three times more likely to:2
  • Have parents who do not monitor their behavior at all (or very little)
  • Give a poor rating of their attachment with their parent(s)
Sadly, many unsupervised youth grow up to become sexual addicts who are 23 times more likely to state that discovering online pornography was the worst thing that ever happened to them. Think about that. These adults feel porn has had such a devastating impact upon them that no other tragedy compares with the moment it first entered their lives. Not surprisingly, Internet pornography users are twice as likely to experience severe clinical depression as non-users.3

While filters and other protection measures are important, the most effective deterrents to pornography use are much more basic. According to Dr. Fagan's key findings, a parent's main defenses are:4
  • A close family life
  • A strong marriage
  • Good relations between parents and children
  • Deliberate parental monitoring of Internet use
The FRC study highlights a simple but vital truth. An engaged parent who puts God and family first already has a head start on porn.


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