Sunday, 13 March 2016

effect of porn on kids

Pornography - The Real Danger

Rohan (given name) an 11 year old boy studying in 6th standard at a reputed school at Trivandrum, was called up by the CHILDLINE Team for a session of counselling. After almost 20 minutes of patient listening and interaction with the child, the counsellor received one of the most gruesome and appalling cases in recent history of Child helpline.

The boy was part of a six member gang (all belonging to similar age group and grade) who spent their days finding pleasure in sexually assaulting another classmate, Mini (given name)  an 11 year old girl. (Is it possible?). Detailed counselling brought out the culprit. Explicit videos shown by older boys of the school were the major influence that made the kids to experiment the abhorrent crime on their classmate. Another shocking revelation was that the acts were committed upon ‘mutual consent’ of the girl child! Detailed follow up revealed that the boys had access to porn from their neighbours, and even elder brothers.  And as always the parents had absolutely no idea that their children were involved in such heinous activities. 

Today, children are being sexualized very early, in part because they are exposed to sexually explicit material in movies, television, advertisements, internet, cell phones, music and other media earlier than ever. With widespread access to the Internet, curious teens may accidentally or intentionally be exposed to millions of pages of material that are uncensored, sexually explicit, often inaccurate and potentially harmful.
Children as young as 8 and 9 are coming across sexually explicit material on the Internet and in other media. Although research is just beginning to assess the potential damage, there is reason to believe that early exposure to sexual content may have the following undesirable effects:

Early Sex
 Research has long established that teens who watch movies or listen to music that glamorizes drinking, drug use or violence tend to engage in those behaviours themselves. More teens were exposed to sexual content in movies, the earlier they started having sex and the likelier they were to have casual, unprotected sex.

Media messages normalize early sexual experimentation and portray sex as casual, unprotected and consequence-free, encouraging sexual activity long before children are emotionally, socially or intellectually ready.

High-Risk Sex
The earlier a child is exposed to sexual content and begins having sex, the likelier they are to engage in high-risk sex

Sex, Love, Relationship and Addictions. 
Not every child who is exposed to sexual content will struggle with a mental health disorder, but research shows that early exposure to pornography is a risk factor for sex addictions and other intimacy disorders. With the widespread availability of explicit material on the Internet, these problems are becoming more prevalent and are surfacing at younger ages.

Sexual Violence 
Early exposure (by age 14) to pornography and other explicit material may increase the risk of a child becoming a victim of sexual violence or acting out sexually against another child. For some people, habitual use of pornography may prompt a desire for more violent or deviant material, including depictions of rape, torture or humiliation. If people seek to act out what they see, they may be more likely to commit sexual assault, rape or child molestation.

Preserving Our Children’s Youth
Early exposure to sexual content in the media may have a profound impact on children’s values, attitudes and behaviours toward sex and relationships. Unfortunately, media portrayals do not always reflect the message parents want to send. Here are a few ways that parents can ensure their messages are heard:

• Know what your children are watching, playing and listening to and take advantage of teachable moments to discuss any inappropriate content or behaviours with them.
• Set and enforce limits around screen time.
• Show only age appropriate contents. Filter even advertisements shown between age appropriate contents.
• Make use of Internet filters and parental controls (link is external).
• Don’t say that you are too old to learn the possibilities of cell phones. Make sure to learn all possibilities or else children will outsmart you and go astray using your own phones.
• Share your family’s values and expectations regarding sex and relationships.
• Talk to your child about media representations of sex, relationships and gender roles and teach them to question the accuracy and intent of the messages they receive.
• Model healthy, respectful relationships and self-worth.
For most families, banning media from the home isn’t a realistic option. After all, most children (8 to 18 year-olds) devote an average of seven and a half hours to media in a typical day. The goal isn’t to avoid the issue, but to approach it head-on so that your children learn about sex and relationships from their most trusted source: you.

How Pornography/Explicit Videos Harms Children?
·         Threatens to Make Children Victims of Sexual Violence.
·         Frequently Results in Sexual Illnesses, Unplanned Pregnancies, and Sexual Addiction.
·         May Incite Children to Act Out Sexually against Other Children.
·         Shapes Negative Attitudes and Values


Children process sexual and violent material differently than adults. We may not think children actually retain what they see and don’t understand. But in reality, children are paying much more attention than we think, and not always to the things we think, either.