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August 18, 2010

Comments

R_Alan

I hope you've also taught your son how to resist peer pressure; if you haven't, you're fighting a losing battle. The urge to gaze at the opposite sex is one of humankind's strongest urges, simply because it's so useful in ensuring the pairing of mates and the eventual production of offspring. Since nearly all of us humans had that urge at one point in our lives anyway, that means there's no decisive evidence that suggests that a gazing habit is a gateway to infidelity and sexual violence.

That said however, children should always be given the straight talk that the junk found in today's media about what makes women desirable is unrealistic, that all people should be be given respect, and as I've mentioned earlier, to resist peer pressure. "Beauty is only skin deep" sounds cliche, but it remains a useful lesson.

Cady Driver

I recognize that it is a strong urge in choosing a mate, etc....and I am not fighting a losing battle here since I am dedicated to doing my best with my children.

Nowhere in our world's history have these images been so very unrealistic and so extremely accessible as they are today. Maneuvering your son through the growing years with his respect for women intact and his ability to engage a woman's mind and not just her body is difficult, but not impossible.

That is what I'm encouraging parents of sons to think about....and you are misled if you think that viewing porn is not destructive to a man's life. There is vast evidence that it impairs their relationships, their ability to be intimate, their attitude towards women not to mention that once porn becomes old, it encourages them to act out fantasies in real life on innocent women and children.

Why do we settle for mediocrity in raising our young men? Let's come up higher and raise men of courage who will choose to protect a woman's honor and avert his eyes from the shame of her exposing herself.

Shanna

I think encouraging one's son to not objectify is a noble and good cause. But, I think at some point, not now maybe, but at some point you'll need to go over what objectifies or sexualizes a woman, and well, what's not. Classic art for instance, shows many a naked (well, nude) woman but rarely are they objectified. Some (not all) magazine/tv/whatever can show fully clothed women who are very much objectified.

.......Not all porn is created equal. A lot of mainstream porn is twisted and drive, and none of it of course is meant for a 9 year old. No legal porn encourages (or shows) any action towards children, and lumping child porn in with regular porn is rather insulting to those who participate in the legal industry and those who watch legal porn. I also disagree that porn is inherently destructive. I think it is possible to "use" it in a non-harmful way, but I will agree that many people are doing it wrong. Worse, they use it as an excuse for their own shortcomings and prejudices.

I applaud though, that you are not taking the "boys will be boys" approach. He will be subject to the same temptations and hormones that girls will once he hits puberty, and it is just as much his responsibility to stay pure before marriage. Society in general likes to exacerbate stereotypes about sex, which in turn helps no one.

That said, and I'm sure you'll do this if you haven't already, but no it is not appropriate for you to walk around with your shirt half open cause you're a guy. It looks trashy.

Candace

I always have to remind myself of how visual males are. I see a magazine cover and see the CLOTHES. A woman in a bikini would register in my mind as "oh, what cute polka dots" etc. But recently I looked at a couple photos and had myself note the skin showing instead and realized "Oh! It's a practically-naked woman!" and realized that that is probably how most males see it? Definitely an eye-opener (no pun intended). Having a son definitely makes you think about these things more. At Fred Meyer they have a "family-friendly" check out line that does not have scantly clad people or gossip magazines. It would be nice if more stores offered such an option.

Tom Babcock

Thanks, Cady, for this reminder on how to educate boys in modesty. The supermarket tabloid section at checkout does have a degree of "balance" in all those photos of Hollywood stars revealing there cellulite at the beach. In reality, there are many situationss where our sons should be taught to avert their gaze out of respect for modesty. Walking on the street, sitting on a bus, or just in day to day life there can be both purposeful and accidental displays of immodesty. The woman with the provocative outfit may or may not appreciate stares, but your point regarding the temptation, the lure or lust, and its effect on marital happiness is well founded. It is important to also respect the woman who has a "wardrobe malfunction" or who may unintentionally shows more than she realizes. It is respectful to her to avert our gaze. And the ultimate result is that when that woman or girl in perfectly normal dress passes us on the street, we are able to make eye contact with a respectful recognition in greeting, without objectifying her by judging her figure or shape, or looking to see if more than she intends is revealed. There are appropriate ways to look at others (men and women) in social situations, and good habits are formed by not looking at women differently in exploitive imagery.

Ranee @ Arabian Knits

We have discussed a child level Theology of the Body with our sons and daughters. It is never right to use another human as a means to an end. This includes images. When I ask them to avert their gaze it is not because I wish them never to look at attractive women or classical art. It is because the imagery used in magazines, advertising, film and television is designed to arouse and titillate. It is designed for someone to use another human for their own gratification, whether sexual or otherwise.

We wish our sons and daughters both to be modest, not only in dress, and to be guardians of their own sexuality because it is right, but also because we want them to enjoy a happy, fulfilling sex life with their spouse one day. Training oneself to use another for personal gratification, objectify another human or eliminate a sense of public and private will not prepare them for this.

Like your husband, my husband averts his gaze, tosses the magazine, changes the channel or removes the video/dvd. He channels all of his energy into his wife, as I do toward him.

Men are visual creatures and I don't think that is a bad thing. What our culture is feeding them, however, is distorted and a perversion of their nature. It is designed to trigger the worst of it, rather than the best. We wish the best for our sons and daughters.

We want our sons to desire modest wives, not because they are jealous of other men looking at them (while they are free to ogle and objectify other women), but because it is an objective good in another. We want our daughters to seek men who are not interested in the random half naked women in the media and on the streets, not so they won't feel bad about themselves, but because a man like that is more likely to guard his heart and mind for her as well. It shows a self discipline on the part of both sexes.

Angie

Thank you for this post! As the youngest of 3 girls, I need all the help I can get in raising our 2 young boys - a 4 year old and a 6th month old, both with beautiful eyelashes! :-)

Cady Driver

Ranee, once again you have eloquently gotten to the core of the issue. Thank you!

Shanna, if I may respectfully disagree with you on the point that "not all porn is created equal". The Latin prefix "porn" means "harlot or prostitute" and the suffix "graph" means "to write or record".

Our modern term "pornography" literally translates into the "writings of a prostitute". As Ranee wrote, it is the objectification and shameful humiliation of another human being and when we have seared our conscience enough to justify the objectification of others, then our society is in serious trouble. Even if a woman chooses to be a porn star, it doesn't make it right for her or for the people that are recording her or for the people that are watching her (or him, for that matter).

There is absolutely no good or legitimate reason that you can come up with that makes pornography a benefit to our society. It is and always has been detrimental throughout history.

It is strange that you think that there can be "good" porn and bad porn. If good and useful porn exists, then why doesn't everyone just make and use that porn? It doesn't work that way b/c pornography doesn't satisfy and you need more and more of it to get the same "high"...therefore, the people that start out watching "good" porn slide deeper and deeper into bad porn (though I still think ALL porn is bad, but for the sake of your argument) eventually, hence the tremendous market for "bad" porn and eventually child porn, etc.....Why even go there at all?

It is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Shanna

Alcohol can be dangerous to some, but most people are able to enjoy it in moderation. Marital arts practitioners don't go beyond tournament spars to cold -blooded killing. I'd argue some, if not most of the "bad" porn is bad because it's created exclusively for a patriarchal male view, and our culture doesn't exactly encourage men to think about sex on a deeper level. If anything, it teaches them to agree with everyone else, and not question it just to go along like sheep. I wouldn't recommend porn for any sort of a relationship fix, (though some people find it helpful for variety) and I won't deny that some people abuse it and take bad habits and thoughts from it. But most use it just to get in the mood or get off quicker, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

Also, there has been a rise in, uh exhibitionist couples posting videos online, which bypasses the, squickier parts of the porn.

Ktbiz

There is a prevalent ideology in modern society that "boys will be boys" and that encouraging them to curb the desire to look at women sexually is at the very least a losing battle if not out right wrong. I am glad that there are mothers encouraging their sons to use restraint when it comes to the issue of looking at a woman to lust after her. I am also very proud of the men in our society who don't bow to the pressure to engage in such acts. It take a great deal of restraint and courage.

Shanna, your perspective of pornography is certainly shared by many in our world today. We seem to debate a great deal about the viewing of porn, but I wonder if you have ever thought about what goes into the making of porn. If you are interested in this perspective, I would suggest checking out the website www.shelleylubben.com. It is the story of a woman who is a former porn star. After reading her inside scoop, it should change the benign way in which we view the porn industry.

Reardon Rob

I cannot believe or understand the comments above that are favorable toward porn of any kind! The naked adult body is meant to be seen within the confines of a healthy marriage - not on a magazine page, television or computer screen.

Thank you for this article. I have three sons - 22, 14 & 12. My 22 year old navigated through these waters virtually unscathed, but as an adult is now inundated with the mounting pressure from peers for a more promiscuous lifestyle.

We help our younger sons deal with this everyday. Frankly, I do not understand how some parents can let their adolescent daughters leave the house dressed as some do.

Brittany

I don't have a son (yet), but am very well aware of what you're speaking about in this post and I applaud you for sticking your neck out there and writing this.

While my husband and I come from decent and spiritual families, the world has educated us as well throughout our maturing years as teens and young adults. There is, and always will be, temptation via visual stimulation that women (un)intentionally engage in.

One of the aspects of my husband's current career deals with the catching of and putting away those who engage in viewing child porn. With that he's had the opportunity to meet with esteemed psychologists and they agree with you: the smallest seed starts at "legal" porn. Then it's not enough. The lust grows deeper. It inhabits itself in other, more destructive ways and eventually men (and women) may turn to child pornography or even worse and more grotesque forms which, for the sake of our own mental well being I won't blatantly write. In any case, the point of the matter is that even a few of those psychologists were not spiritual people by any means, although it's recognized that the "natural" way a human mind works can greatly spiral our habits into highly destructive ones.

As a couple we struggle with the modern press, whether it be t.v., movies, magazines or even the way men talk at the office. It all narrows down to people who decided that some battles with their sons weren't worth the fight, so they let them gaze... or they let them crack an offensive joke... because "boys will be boys". Because boys are, as you say, visual creatures.

I hope one day to have a son in addition to our daughter. That is why I found this post intriguing. What I also find so intriguing is the mass disagreements you've received. I can't disagree with you whatsoever. I'm very happy to read at least one other person, and her husband, are dutifully attempting to raise their children (not just your son!) with the proper respect and view of women. It means a lot to read these sorts of good things. Thank you for sharing this!

Shanna

I think it's great that you're not taking the Boys will be boys approach, as I've stated above, and I also think it's admirable that you're encouraging him not to look at porn. I still disagree that porn is inherently harmful. This isn't saying that its perfect. The industry needs a lot of reform.

Porn is like the violent video games debate. Normal people can play violent video games, in normal, non-fixated amounts, and not start shooting people up randomly. Normal people can watch porn, in non-fixated amounts, and not start disrespecting women more. Someone who finds children sexually arousing is not normal. That imbalance was there from the start. If someone has a genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism, healthy amounts of drinking may lead to unhealthy amounts very easily, but people without a pre-disposition won't have that problem. My problem with demonizing porn is that it overlooks the faults and weakness of the offending party and blames it on porn.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/07/15/sl-letter-of-the-day-do-all-porn-viewers-eventually-wind-up-watching-kiddie-porn#more
The above link deals with this very conundrum, and there are 112 comments on it. That said, it's from a alternative paper, the viewpoints are normally very far left, extremely explicit and, very critical to put it nicely, of the religious conservative. However, it's also around a hundred people who have watched porn for various lengths of time and have not progressed to child porn.

I understand why for religious reasons porn would be frowned upon, and multiple other reasons why it's frowned upon in a community bound by modesty. But suggesting that a healthy adult watching porn leads to a healthy adult watching child porn is naive.

Cady Driver

Shanna, did you read the link that Ktbiz posted? www.shelleylubben.com

Before you start throwing the "naive" word around, it might behoove all of us to educate ourselves on what really goes on in the world of the people behind the screen. Regulating the industry would not accomplish anything b/c it's the actual act that is wrong. It's like saying that regulating abortion will make it better. Nothing can make abortion better no matter how many rules you attach to it b/c it's the killing of an infant.

The same goes for pornography. You cannot deny the evidence in that website and I would encourage you to read Shelley's story and the experiences of the other women who have been in that world. Regulating porn is not going to improve it b/c the act of using someone in degradation can't be improved upon......the very act is so wrong and those viewing these women who are used up in this way are responsible for driving the demand and keeping pornographers in the business.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Purchasing and watching this stuff, even mild porn... and knowing what these people are going through just to entertain you should make anyone ashamed. Where is the compassion for these people?

If I can make a difference in helping parents teach their sons not to support this industry in any way....when the demand isn't there, the supplying and filming of this trash won't be necessary and literally, people's lives will be preserved from drugs, STD's, suicide attempts, alcohol addiction and even death. When you watch that screen, the people that you see are experiencing those things, without fail.

Brittany's post was exactly what I was referring to....

Shanna

Yep. Because every porn star is involved in drugs, STD's (the industry requires regular testing), suicide attempts and alcoholism (everyone dies. some die tragically soon.) Just like every modesty advocate is really just an oppressed woman ashamed of her body and sexuality.

But we all know not all modesty advocates are not like that, don't we? If you don't like people assuming such about you, why would you assume the worst of people involved in lifestyles you don't like?

Stacy

In terms of religion, it's less about religion emphasizing modesty and really about love. If people loved these porn stars as if they were their mothers/fathers/sister/brothers/best friends/children there would be much less porn usage (no matter how "moderate") and sex addiction. If someone was able watch pornography while loving those porn stars dearly without breaking down in tears then... I don't know. I just don't. I don't know about legal matters and the porn industry or any sort of "reform" but I would never approve of any man I loved to support or view pornography. "Use things, not people. Love people, not things." I don't know if one needs to be religious to really believe and practice that, but I think it's a good rule by which to live life.

Ben Woolridge

I commend Cady Driver for bringing awareness to an issue of extreme importance which is the development of boys being raised in a culture of moral decline. However, I do not understand why Shanna would attempt to make a distinction between good and bad porn.

Shanna

Why do we make distinction between good people and bad people? Why make distinction between good art and bad art, between good books and bad books, good food and bad food, good movies and bad movies?

I disagree that all porn is bad. I also disagree that all or even most porn watchers will end up molesting children and/or assaulting others. Personally, I find guys who admit to NOT watching porn as either liars or creeps, because anecdotally, all the non-porn watchers have serious issues with women. This doesn't mean they all do, but thats what they've been in my experience.

I suppose as humans we see what we want to see.

Stacy

Ben, today there is a big emphasis on consent, I think. The common opinion I seem to hear is that being consensual makes things okay. Using is okay, as long as all persons are CONSENSUALLY using the other. Murder is okay, as long as it is consensual (euthanasia). There is a common Pontius Pilate approach to most things: a very "I wash my hands of it" attitude as opposed to loving another person and wanting what is best for them and hating the things that hurt them, whether or not that person freely chose it. The more one loves a person the more one will hate any harm that comes to them or any harm that person brings upon themselves.

Robin Goodfellow

To Cady Driver and all other parents reading this:

Been there, done that... kind of.

My parents are decent people. Not really religious, but not complete atheists either. They generally instilled the ideals of empathy and civillity in me. And usually, I'm a rather understanding person who cares about people besides myself.

But I do resent how my respect for women was effectively henpecked into me.

There was one occasion I remember particularly, where my mother answers the phone and tells me, "an assertive sounding young lady is on the phone asking for you." Yeah, so I wasn't at the point in my life where I could feel comfortable talking to my parents about having female friends, but... c'mon. Did she really have tell me the voice was "assertive"? Like as an "uninstructed" teengaged boy, I would assume that women shouldn't be respected, and that I needed to be told as such?

See, what I don't get is how wonderful, loving parents who set a good example at home, need to go an extra step further and effectively villify their kids' libidos before they even know they have a sex-drive. If you love them, and know they know (and respect) your values, why can't you trust them? You don't have to tell them to avert their gaze, they only need to know that even a magazine model who's effectively just eye-candy... is still a person on the other end. At that point, they'll know whether to look or not on their own accord.

Sometimes I get the impression that people on this site like to be proud of defining "black" and "white". But life's not like that. And if it is... dare I say, what are you really going to do about it? Maybe we take the easy road, treat things like porn as a kind of disease, festering in a wound, and cauterize it. But if that's the case, society is made of people, and "cauterizing" becomes like dividing people up, and preserving some (defined by your black and white values) at the cost of others, leaving them as unreconcilable damage. After cutting your losses, you then start your values and modes of reasoning on a new slate.

But yeah... that sounds pretty horrible. Because it is. It's why I don't like thinking in an "us and them" way. In the end, really still all "us". And most people get that. That's why I understand the dislike of porn. No one wants to find their sons or daughters taking part in something where those who enjoy it might go, "Yeah, I wouldn't do it, but I sure do like that they would!"

However some porn, as Shanna suggests, is not "bad". Of course, I'd label it more as erotica, but in this case, it's more a visualized celebration of human sexual sensuality. No one's being degraded, because it's just exhebitionism, and some people do actually enjoy that. I don't recommend it being available for a child to watch, but for adults who can appreciate making love, and are curious about watching others do so... I would ask, is the concept of witnessing the act of love-making wrong? It's certainly not "modest", but is it "wrong"?

My apologies for the all that.

But parents, just do me a favour and have faith in your kids. If they can sense that, that's all they'll need.

(What they really need you for is to be there for them after they get into trouble, which they enevitably will do, as you can't live their lives for them)

And Shanna,

I rather admire your ability to have differing views in these forums. You are critical, but also eloquent, I find. Feel free to find me on Facebook under the same name (I'll have the same avatar as my profile pic). I would enjoy further discourse with you :)

Cady Driver

Robin, with all due respect, teaching our sons to have respect for women has nothing to do with "villifying their libidos". You simply cannot argue with the cold, hard facts that pornography is addicting and destructive in many people's lives. Cautioning your sons in this area is preserving them.

Now, I know that there are many other addictions that are damaging, but what sets pornography aside is the fact that the money you feed into the industry enables it to continue using people as commodities. When the person is a product and his or her usefulness is used up, then they are discarded. When you see personal testimonies of the abuse that those people endure in that industry, it literally makes one sick (or it should!) How can you deny these facts?

The industry is corrupt, not b/c it needs more regulation, but b/c the very activity is corrupt and wrong. It is black and white. Watching women be abused and used is corrupt. Feeding this industry is corrupt.

If you are a father, would you want your daughter to be a porn star? Your sister? Your girlfriend or wife? If your answer is "no", then you have to ask yourself why.

A huge percentage of these young women that you watch while you sit on your couch are women who enter this industry out of desperation. They need money, they are addicted to drugs or they are runaway girls who were picked up by a producer and offered a "better life".

Our attitude towards these women should be one of compassion, reaching out and helping them, teaching them that love isn't an act that selfishly takes their very being and uses it up. Many of these women leave this industry broken, addicted, sickened with incurable STD's, unable to function normally in a loving relationship. How can anyone justify this?

My heart just hurts for these people. Has anyone on this blog actually read Shelley Lubben's story? I read through the entire thing. It is heartbreaking.

Melissa May

Wow, men who don't view porn are either liars or have issues with women? I know that that's just Shanna's anecdotal evidence, but what a slap in the face to men who've made a decision to keep porn out of their lives and out of their marriage. Sometimes the men just can't seem to get a break can they? Their cads if they watch porn. They're weird if they don't.

Here's my anecdotal evidence: my husband is neither a liar nor does he have issues with women. He deeply loves and respects me and has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He's a man of convictions and has made a conscious decision to not participate in something he finds destructive. He's always been open and honest with me about the temptation associated with porn and all of it's bastard cousins floating around on t.v. and the internet but it's that honesty that makes me respect, admire and trust him even more deeply.

I know of too many marriages and lives that have been destroyed by porn addiction. Sure not everyone becomes addicted, but the pull is so strong and the price is so, so high if one becomes hooked. Whether you realize it or not, Shanna, porn has the very real potential of destroying lives. I've seen it first hand. It's devastating to everyone involved.

We write about that here because we've seen it happen and feel obliged to offer a sincere and compassionate warning. This isn't a place where us *modest-istas* get together to simply pass judgment on those who live their lives differently than us. Most of us have very busy lives and families and writing here takes time and energy away from our other responsibilities. We don't *need* anything else on our plates, but these are issues we believe in and so we take the time to share from our hearts about what we've seen, experienced and long to change.

jubilee

Porn can effect women the same way it does men... sometimes a women cant get intimante without porn images going thru her head of past exposures...when my friend and i snuck it at 12, we had the same feelings (no lesbian of course) but how the men acted

robert

Question:

Is all nudity to be categorized as porn? Is it harmful to take a male child to an art museum where there may be displays of nudity in art? Might there be some benefit to seeing female nudity?

If a child is indocrinated that it is always shameful and wrong to view nudity, might that lead to deleterious effects?

And, how about the viewing of partial nudity? Is it wrong and/or harmful to take a male child to a beach or pool where they will see women scantilly clad? Are we to worry that seeing a partially nude woman will lead to a desire to see more and ...?

Cady Driver

Robert,

You are comparing apples to oranges.....is a woman at the beach being objectified? Will she contract an STD by being at the beach in a bathing suit? Is she harmed mentally, emotionally and physically by wearing a bathing suit?

No.

It is not wrong or harmful to take a boy to the beach and we do go to the beach and the pool. It is not wrong to go to a museum, in fact, we just visited one the other day.

There is a time and a place for a young man to enjoy all of the benefits of female nudity and when that time comes, then it is right and good in the confines and sanctity of marriage. I do not keep my children in a box. However, I can give them the tools that they will need to survive in this culture.

Taking this topic and stretching it like that does nothing for the main issue which is the objectification of women.

With knowledge comes responsibility. Typically when people don't want to know the truth about a volatile subject such as porn, abortion, etc...they change the phraseology in the hopes that it will improve their argument or make the issue in question seem better.

Telling it like it is is never popular, but it is necessary. Abortion is the murder of an unborn child. People don't like that, so they say Abortion is a "Choice"....it's not a "child", it's a "product of the uterus"....Pornography is the objectification of women....it's not "fun exhibitionism". These are hurting women and these broken lives have nothing to do with a marble statue at the museum or a woman at the beach. That is blowing smoke at the ugly reality.

The entire system is corrupt b/c the entire foundation of what the industry stands for is corrupt.

Real men would stand up to this system and put an end to it. Real men would understand that that young woman on the screen is somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, somebody's mother.....

Where are all the real men?

Stacy

The point is to guide our children to grow in the virtue of chastity (which doesn't just apply to sex). To teach them that people are not to be used as means to an end. I don't foresee any deleterious effects, or negative complexes there. Like I said, it goes beyond modesty and sex. Friends are not to be used for their connections or to raise your own status, etc. Love people, and love them for their own sake.

Ben Woolridge

I respect Shanna's point of view but I believe all porn is bad. Making a distinction between so-called good and bad pornography would be like making a distinction between so-called good and bad cancer.

robert

Cady,

I do not understand your introduction of STD into this discussion. What is the connection b/w objectifying and STD?

When I view women at a beach whom I do not know, and I appreciate the "visual artwork", this is not objectification? and if it is, am I being disrespectful or acting shamefully if my appreciation does not lead to lust?

How do you explain to your son that its ok to view women at a pool in various states of undress, but its not ok to view the women in various states of undress at the magazine rack? Why is it not damaging to view the women at a pool or beach?

By going to the museum, I assume that your son was exposed to female nudity in art. Assuming that he did not know the subjects in the artwork, why isn't this considered objectification of women?

Why do you say that female nudity should only be confined to the sanctity of marriage, if it is (presumably) ok to see female nudity in art?

In my opinion, the tools a parent should give their healthy child is that there is nothing inherently wrong in viewing the nude human form. As difficult as it may be, we must teach our children that society has taken something innocent and beautiful-the human, and corrupted it and sexualized it for purposes of financial gain (sex sells). If we can be successful in understanding and teaching that nudity is innocent and even beautiful, then possibly we can bankrupt the porn industry which thrives on the mistaken understanding that nudity is equated with sex and prurience. If everyone were to view nudity as innocent, then there would simply be no allure to porn. As we come to appreciate the beauty of innocent nudity, porn would be viewed with nothing but disgust and disdain.

Shanna

I find it very telling that no one is concerned about their sons going into porn. (Well, Robin mentioned it) So much for forgoing the "boys will be boys" attitude. Yes, in my experience, men who say they don't watch porn have either lied about it or had serious issues with relating to women or for that matter respecting women. Of course, I realize that this is not true of all men who say they don't watch porn In my experience, few if any people actually had any problems relating to their partner whether they watched porn or not.

I really, really get that porn is not modest. However, i think setting up a belief system where watching porn is not only immodest behavior, but slowly going to kill you and make you a pedophile, too be a bit much. And possibly, setting up a child for an even more difficult puberty and very skewed view of sexuality.

And thank you Robin, I just might.

Ktbiz

Just a question. . .
What would you do if you saw a couple (and for the sake of discussion they are a mentally stable, unabused, happily married couple) nude/partially nude making love in a public place like the park or their place of business.

Would you stop and say, "Wow, that is so beautiful. Look at their fill-in-whatever-truly-amazing-part-of-the-human-form-here."?

Would you sit on the park bench next to them with a bag of popcorn and watch?

Would you call your significant other and say, "Babe, get down here now. You've got to see this because it is going to make our love life sooooo much better"?

Or would you be shocked, slightly embarrassed, look away, and mumble something to the effect of "get a room" under your breath?

I would venture to guess it would be the later. Does that mean that you think the couple are horrible people? No
Does it mean that you are uncomfortable with sex, the human form, or your body? Nope
Does it mean that a couple having sex is wrong or dirty? Once again, No
It would be natural to be uncomfortable publicly viewing a couple making love because the act of making love is meant to be an intimate and personal relationship between two people.

So what is the difference with pornography? Because ALL pornography is the public viewing of an intimate act.

Gina

I'm always so glad to hear about parents who are teaching their sons to avoid sexual temptation. I wish there were more of them!!

Boyd

Cady,

My wife and I have three sons. We have been doing our best to teach our boys how to live clean and happy lives in an environment where pornography and the objectification and exploitation of women and girls continues to become more visible and mainstream. I am continually amazed at how many just refuse to see how harmful porn is to everyone involved in it. As a society we have become numb. We also have a daughter. It is very important to us for her to be able to avoid the harmful effects of pornography in her life. Unfortunately she and countless other girls have to cope with porn’s effects on the young men around them. What used to be rare behavior in 12-15 year old boys has become commonplace. Unwanted groping, touching, and other forms of sexual assault are what many girls face regularly and the largest driver behind such behavior in boys this age is the increased availability of and use of pornography in their young lives.

Men and adolescent boys have a constant attraction to sensual visual stimuli. I know it’s a stretch to say it this way, but for the sake of discussion , let me say that it’s as if we men were all born with an “addiction” to looking at women and girls that kicks in at puberty. I’m not saying we’re all addicted to porn... that’s different. But the drive to procreate is there for men without any indulgences that create the drive. Other addictions require some casual use for the addiction to develop. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even the most virtuous men are tempted and feel attracted to sensual imagery. The challenge today is that porn, especially soft core porn, is all over the place - on TV, the internet, print advertising, comic books, video games. I was taught that to notice a pretty girl was not wrong, but to look twice was to invite trouble. The problem we face is that often we turn the gaze only to see another example on display. My response to those who would say that porn is harmless is to ask the question:

Would you tell an alcoholic it’s ok to go hang out in a bar?

We have all heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out”. A man is a product of his thoughts. Realizing this, one begins to appreciate how porn affects men and the women that have to be around them. We are all a product of what’s on our minds.

Self Control: What It Takes To Be A Man

The absolute most important thing a boy can learn is that if he is to be a real man, he must learn to control his emotions, desires, and passions. If he fails in this he fails as a man. Opposable thumbs are not enough. He must develop self control. Unfortunately this is a nearly lost concept today. Immediate gratification and conquest seem to be all that society values. As evidenced by the earlier post where it was commented that guys who did not view porn were “liars or creeps, [and] have serious issues with women” (Did that mean they were gay?), society tends to ridicule the noble, and elevate the base. So it is challenging as a parent to teach self control, but it’s not impossible.

It is absolutely essential to set the example and model the principles as you teach them. “Do as I say, not as I do” will not work.

The first thing we teach our boys is who they really are, that they are children of God. The women and girls around them are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who would have them treated with respect and compassion. They will one day be held accountable before God for how they have cared for His daughters. To abuse them in any way is an affront to God.

The second thing I emphasize to my own sons is that the attraction they feel for girls and the desires they experience are natural, and in and of themselves are essential and good. By nature these are feelings that are strong and mostly constant, but they become stronger when indulged. These feelings drive young men to choose a partner and create a family, and there’s nothing that can bring them more joy than to be a husband and father.

Next, we have tried to teach them the sacredness and significance of their bodies and sexual intimacy from a religious perspective. In our religion (LDS) there is deep significance in the connection of the physical body with one’s spirit. We view our bodies as sacred and significant gifts from our Father in Heaven. Our bodies house our spirits and together they form our soul. To us, the mis-use or abuse of the body also is an abuse of the spirit and soul. We also believe that the power to participate with God in the creation of life is extremely important to God’s plan for us. God cares a great deal about how His children are brought into this world as well as how they leave. We believe that sex is also intended by God to enhance the relationship of the married couple, to help them continue to find joy, romance and fulfillment in their union, enjoying the most intimate expressions of love and desire between the themselves. Understanding this, one can appreciate why mis-using procreative power offends God, and causes harm to the soul.

We teach these things to our sons so that they can gain their own appreciation for how important chastity is to God, them, and their ability to experience true happiness and joy in their lives. Choosing wrong when it comes to chastity has damaging and potentially permanent consequences that can affect not only their futures, but the lives of loved ones even for generations. Disease and other health problems are also significant risks. The stakes are high, so teaching our youth concepts like modesty and avoiding pornography are key points of emphasis for us.

As I mentioned earlier, sexual desire is by design, strong and basically constant. These facts require men to exercise self control if they would avoid becoming enslaved by their passions.

I try to teach my boys that controlling their thoughts is essential for taking controlling their passions, actions and words. If they can do this, they will be in full control of themselves in even the most stressful situations.

There is nothing anyone does without first thinking about it. Destructive moral choices are not made out of the blue. They begin as thoughts. Someone said that at the end of our lives we will find that we are the product of the sum total of all our thoughts. The proverb says “As a man thinketh; so is he.” The most important thing we can teach our sons about self control is to take control over what they think about all day long.

The human mind is extremely powerful, especially to the sexual experience. Viewing pornography places images in the mind which of course will weaken the resolve to stay morally clean. Over time, sustained use of pornography will addict its users and eventually will lead to destructive behaviors which can establish harmful habitual sexual patterns that hamper the user’s ability to perform sexually and enjoy the intended blessings of a healthy sex life. It has been shown that masturbation, for example, can lead to an inability to climax during intercourse, affect a man’s ability to delay climax long enough for his partner to experience climax, in addition to the spiritual damage that occurs as a result of habitual self abuse. The objectifying nature of porn endorses the idea that women exist and are to be used for gratification; and that anything but exaggerated body proportions on display are. It also promotes the idea that women and girls want to be objectified. This is one idea that is encouraging younger and younger users of porn to assault the girls they associate with. Porn also creates all kinds of unrealistic expectations. Like other produced media, nothing viewed is as it seems and nothing about porn is “real”.

Because of the moral seriousness of misusing the body and sexual intimacies that are intended to be sanctified by the commitment and fidelity of the man and woman sharing the contact, the production of the porn is spiritually damaging to those involved in its production, as well as risky to their health, and damaging to their own ability to enjoy healthy relationships. For these reasons, to patronize the production of pornography or encourage it’s use or distribution is also morally depraved. You cannot view pornography and not be stained by that depravity in some way. Being a party to the abuse moral destruction of one of God’s children (especially one of his daughters) is spiritually perilous. Pornography is one of the worst abuses of women there is. using it encourages more to be produced and is similar to patronizing a strip club and could be considered a form of prostitution because it is the marketing of the souls of the women and men involved. Imagine how God must feel about seeing the virtue of so many of His daughters consumed and destroyed in this way.

In addition to the teachings of these principles which gives our sons the reasons why, they will need more help in taking control of their lives and staying free of the effects of pornography in their lives. Cable TV and the Internet are the biggest sources of porn. Take a close look at the cable programming that is available in your home. Then you need to decide what is acceptable for your sons to watch. Every rating that is not acceptable needs to be blocked. Decide what movie/DVD ratings are acceptable and monitor what movies are viewed by your family. Monitoring internet use is extremely important. Remove computers from bedrooms if they have internet access. Move internet enabled computers to visible common areas so content can be monitored. Porn blockers of various types are available, but they are not completely effective all the time, so monitoring is still necessary.

After all this, they will still see porn. Friends will show it to them. It may get sent to them on their cellphone. One of the most important things my wife and I teach our sons is the belief in a forgiving God who will help them when they fail. Even the most serious of sexual sins can be forgiven. For us, this is made possible through Christ.

Best of luck to you and your family Cady!

Boyd

Shanna,

It's true... we have largely left out men in the discussion of the porn industry when it comes to their participation as actors or models, but this thread was begun addressing the challenges that exist for parents who wish to help their boys avoid the pitfalls of viewing pornography. Naturally it could be assumed most of the boys would be interested in looking at women.

Otherwise, we do tend to be less sympathetic to men involved with the production of porn because we assume their roles as being more predatory and less as victims of their situation. That could certainly be an erroneous assumption where youth are involved, and the risks are not less for men healthwise, but I agree that we tend to be much less sympathetic to the men involved.

Shanna

Boyd, here's my problem with your rant on porn, which actually justifies my stance. You are blaming porn for a unproven rise in teenage boys groping teenage girls. Not their parents for failing to teach them self control, or that touching someone without permission is assault, or for failing to teach them anything about sex and sexual conduct. Not society for encouraging that some women "deserve it" or were "asking for it" by how they are dressed. But porn. Fantasy. Just like Harry Potter makes kids wizards, video games make kids killers and musicals cause people to burst into spontaneous song and dance routines in the middle of the street.

Way to avoid the actual problems and find an easy scapegoat.

Stacy

Shanna, by guiding our sons to control their thoughts and avoid pornography that IS teaching them self control, respect for other persons, and about sex, and sexual conduct.
Cady, I did listen to Shelley Lubben's story and what really touched me is how she lamented "All this time no one ever reached out to me..." How very sad. Just how many of these girls have families that are totally absent and no one to help them? They must really feel like no one cares.

Cherie

I have been following the discussion, although I haven't posted anything, yet. I disagree, Shanna, that Boyd is using porn as a scapegoat. I do believe porn has created an atmosphere in which inappropriate behavior is becoming more commonplace - why? Because it's everywhere. Turn on the television, simply flip through the channels, and you're likely to come across something sexual and inappropriate for children. According to Sex on TV 4, a Kaiser Family Foundation study (November, 2005), the number of television sexual scenes has almost doubled since 1998. 70% of all shows have some sexual content -- averaging 5 sexual scenes per hour compared to 56% and 3.2 scenes per hour respectively in 1998. This increase in "sex on TV", I believe, is a direct result of the increase in popularity and acceptance of porn by our society. It's no secret that films, television, and peer pressure influence children profoundly. Parents can and should teach their children strong values - but because of our porn-saturated society, many children will go against their parents' values, because they see it on television, they see it on the internet, and all their friends are doing it.

I don't think anyone is saying that every person who views porn will turn into a pedophile. But I certainly do not believe someone can look at porn and not be harmed in one way or another, because of the essence of what pornography IS ... as much as the human body is something beautiful and a gift from God, the objectification of it can never be called "good" because it goes against the very purpose of our God-given sexuality.

It's scary to raise a child in this kind of atmosphere. My son will be born in less than two months, and I shudder to think the kind of temptations that will follow him as he grows older. I will do everything I can to pass on to him my values and teach him to be pure. But I agree with those who say that pornography is a huge part of the problem in our society, and I don't ever think there is a situation in which it could or should be viewed.

Brian Jones

Hi Everyone! I thought I'd jump into the discussion an give a manly man's perspective on teaching boys about woman and modesty.

First, let me start off by saying that I'm not in anyway trying to attack modesty, and I completely agree with you all on it. However, I'll try to say this with a lot of gentleness, but I think when it comes to teaching your son to "avert his gaze," you got it all wrong. Also, I don't think that spousal dissatisfaction, infidelity, pornographic addiction, and sexual violence has anything to do with "a simple look, a tiny thought, a small seed of lust." This is a myth that woman believe about men, and nothing could be further from the truth.

If you want your son to value woman with honour and integrity, certainly he should follow his father's example, but not specifically the "averting the eyes" example. For men, it's not a matter of "don't look," it's so much more.

Here's another myth about sexual addictions and sexual problems: that they're caused by a man's sexual desire, hormones, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sexual problems actually have nothing to do with sex. They are caused by other things, such as loneliness, power and control issues, shame and guilt, and other non-sexual (but maybe sexualized) things. Here's a quick video by Dr. John Townsend that kind of explains it better:

http://cloudtownsend.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=townsendA1612

The problem I have with teaching your son to "avert his gaze" is that what you're really doing is building a guilt trap inside of him that is one day going to explode and fill his soul with so much guilt that will lead him to the very sexual problems you don't want for him.

Instead here's what I think you should be doing:

Teach your son the truth that he's stronger and more manly than Chuck Norris and Old Spice Man combined. When your 9-year-old saves you and his sisters from aliens with his very own spaceship, be sure you all give him a kiss and acknowledge his bravery. Playing role playing games like this is definitely a must! Whenever you are in trouble, your 9-year-old son is the hero you turn to! Tell him he's your hero, and mean it!

One of the most important tools you can give your son is a well defined set of boundaries. Teach him where he begins and ends as an individual. That he has the power to say no, that he's not responsible (he doesn't own) other people's feelings, but that he is however, responsible for his own feelings. Good boundaries will give him strong control over his life, and give him the power to choose to live a life of honour and integrity.

When your son is older and he gets cut from the team of his favourite sport, surround him with the most incredible amount of love when he becomes addicted to video games and plays them twenty-four seven. Go easy on how much you criticize him, it's more important to show him how much you love him. Perhaps you can let him show you just how good he is at his favourite video game (hint, hint). And then when you do take his Xbox away from him, remind him of the time when he was little and saved you and his sisters from the aliens with his space ship.

As for your role in all of this, be the woman he should value. Show him how a real woman treats her husband, with respect (this is a whole other topic). Then when it comes time for him to find his princess, he's going to remember how his mom treated his dad and look for a woman just like you. Of course he'll never admit to his mom that he's captivated by her... but you'll figure it out when you meet his wife.

Your son will turn out to be just like Mr. Darcy--he might not have all the smooth moves, but he'll make all right decisions, like helping Elizabeth Bennet's sister, and protecting the ones he loves.

I hope my response clarifies why I think the whole "averting your gaze" approach is wrong. The "don't do it, look the other way" approach will just lead to guilt, and likely cause the sexual problems you want to avoid. Instead, show him how strong he is, teach him good boundaries, surround him with love, and be the woman he should value.

Oh... and here's a secret, and probably something that will be very hard for you to do if it should ever happen. If you ever catch your son, or even your husband for that matter, looking at porn, don't criticize! Instead love. Remember what I said about sexual problems and addictions having nothing to do with sex? I can certainly guarantee that it has nothing to do with how you look (in the case of your husband). Likely it's something like stress at work or school, maybe loneliness that he feels, or maybe some relational thing between you and him (in the case of your husband) or your son and his girlfriend. Likely it's probably something about not being good enough. Certainly they are responsible for their actions and feelings, but love is much more powerful than criticism in changing their behaviour. (And in some situations a loving response can mean having a certain consequence for certain behaviour) It may be hard for you to do this, but if you want the power to respond in a loving way, then think ahead of time of how you would respond and what you would do if you caught your son or husband looking at porn.

Jay

Shanna's true feelings:

"Personally, I find guys who admit to NOT watching porn as either liars or creeps, because anecdotally, all the non-porn watchers have serious issues with women. This doesn't mean they all do, but thats what they've been in my experience."


Why are you so fascinated by pornography? Post after post after post. At first you appear to be reasonable and profess respect, but as the objections to your reasoning pile up, you grow angry and begin to belittle and attack those who disagree with your point of view. You tell one poster his well-thought-out comment is a rant. Really, this is too much. I encourage you to search for "the pink cross" or follow the link posted above, so that you can at least try to understand that your consumption of porn is supporting an industry that absolutely destroys the lives of its "employees." Do you determine whether or not the individuals in your pornographic media have been used and abused? There is no equivalent to a conflict-free diamond in the porn industry (although arguably there can be no such thing, as the system is inherently debasing). If for no other reason than that, you should be a little more respectful of others' objections. Their motives are pure. Examine your own, and see if you aren't valuing your own pleasure over the well-being of others.

Shanna

Actually Jay, I've pointed out, many times that there are alternatives to mainstream porn. Thousands of people upload clips to "porn youtubes" like x-tube. These are usually people in some form of relationship, and is done with the permission of both partners. Some married people do it to add a little spice to their lives. There are "feminist" porn flicks out there to, which are less commodity based, and less objectifying of women. There's also Hentai which works for some people, and being animated, doesn't "debase" anyone. At no point have I defended the porn industry, and many times, I've commented on it's need for reform. But as for my tone? Dude. This post equated watching two adults going at it watching an adult rape a child. Yeah, I'm a bit insulted at that, as someone who occasionally watches porn. I try to keep a respectful tone, but sometimes I falter.

And yes, in my experience men who admit (key may be admit, someone who doesn't watch porn and is secure with that probably doesn't go around advertising it) they either lied, and get busted for it later, or they have social interaction/respect issues with women.

I also pointed out that one of my main issues with porn debates is that porn is used as a scapegoat for other issues because it's easier to claim porn did something bad then it is to admit that a loved one cheated/is sexist/not-interested-in-you-sexually/etc. If anything, porn is used after these issues have already started, and people blame an external source for an internal error.

Jay

And why are you insulted, Shanna? Why do you keep going, post after post? You don't even know the pornographic material in question. It's hypothetical, yet here you are, standing athwart it. You were victimized. I get that, and I wish I could change it. But consent itself is not the gold standard of non-victimization. The original post deals with the inherently destructive nature of pornography. It warps human sexuality from an act of giving to an act of taking. It has demonstrably negative effects on those who view it, yourself included. Again, your lack of respect for people who believe these things is hard to take. You seem to want very badly to make it about them, and not about the objective arguments. I'm not sure why that is. In any case, I've said my piece, and you are certainly entitled to have the last word if you feel that's necessary.

Shanna

Why are you so obsessed with perceived fixation on porn? Look, I'm sorry I derailed the topic a bit, but seriously you come in, hand wave away my points, assume the effects of porn on me, despite not knowing anything about me beyond what has been posted here, or the kind and content I've watched, (and you do that right after you feel the need to point out that *I* don't know the material in question) and then finish it off a completely non-objective argument accusing me of being non-objective with smug superiority. Either I just got trolled or you have a poor grasp on irony.

Alison

Thank you thank you thank you for this blog. Finally, some people out there who have similar worldviews as me...what a relief to hear your writings and opinions. You're also all excellent writers too - a bonus!

Boyd

I've been away (daughter had a baby, son got married) but I wanted to post some more info in reply to some of the comments about my earlier post in this thread.

If my comments about the influence of porn on adolescents and children had been made in isolation, there might be some merit to the accusation that I am excusing the responsible persons involved with abuse, and/or enabling the exposure of young people to pornography. It’s pretty clear that this thread is about parents taking responsibility for what their children see at home, and teaching their children to be responsible themselves in taking control over their what goes into their minds and the environments in which they live, study, work and play.

My statement blaming ‘porn’ may have been a bit lazy, but the intent is pretty obvious. It’s no different from blaming Big Tobacco for the increase in cancer rates, or gun manufacturers for creating increased risk of violence and accidental injury. We’ve all heard the phrase “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, which is of course true - but only in isolation. To ignore the corollary and causal factors surrounding that truth would of course be ridiculous.

Some seem to want to absolve the porn industry from responsibility for the effects of what they produce on their patrons and those who are close to them. That to me is akin to excusing Big Tobacco of its role in addicting millions to nicotine. Or, maybe it’s more like the drug cartels around the world who thrive on creating addiction to their product and supplying the demand, caring little for the damages their products cause. It’s true, users of porn, nicotine, heroin, cocaine, crack, etc. are ultimately responsible for their own actions, but nevertheless, their indulgences and resulting addictions affect what they can choose, what they do, and when they do it.

My assertion that porn contributes to the rise in sexual assaults by adolescents could have been stated better. It’s pretty impossible to “prove” causal relationships where human behavior is concerned without irresponsibly causing harm. Imagine exposing kids to porn to see if it affects their behavior. This would be the only way to definitively ‘prove’ causality, which would be completely irresponsible.

So, how are links established between porn exposure and adolescent behavior? They are established by examining corollary relationships. If you establish enough corollary relationships, causality can be assumed pretty safely. It’s like circumstantial evidence in convicting criminals. If you can establish enough of it, it is considered as weighty as direct evidence.

So, as to whether there is a rise in sexual assaults by adolescents, the following facts exist:

The number of total reported child sexual abuse cases fluctuates but is basically steady.

The number of substantiated abuse cases by adult offenders is going down

The number of substantiated abuse cases by adolescents and children is going up

The data shows that this rise is due to the increasingly early exposure of children and adolescents to sex. This happens in a few different ways. Porn is one way, witnessing sexual activity is another way, being directly sexually abused is another. In fact most consider the exposure of adolescents and children to to sex in any form (including pornography) to be child sexual abuse.

Again, abuse case numbers are not rising, but the number of adolescents being exposed to porn is on the rise along with a correlating rise in the cases of child on child abuse.. How is this proven? Well, I didn’t make it up. Some of what I know is anecdotal, and the rest is what I’ve observed in the news reports over the years. You don’t have to take may word for it. See the following reports:

http://www.obscenitycrimes.org/HarmToChildrenJan2010.php

S. Garfield, “Porn addicts, sex offenders, rapists, pedophiles…,” Observer (London), 11/23/08 (“Increasingly, perversion is not just a problem for adults. In a basement room [of London’s Portman Clinic] I met John Woods, a specialist in young people’s perversions…When he trained as a psychotherapist he began working with boys who had committed sexual offenses…His patients range in age from 9 to 21, and the majority are male…The clinic’s most recent survey of adolescent referrals showed that ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ dominated the caseload, with more than 50 percent of patients committing some form of sexual assault… [I]ncreasingly, Woods has found that Internet pornography is almost as serious a problem for adolescents as for adults. ‘I do think it has profoundly corrupting effect on youngsters, and leads them into all sorts of wrong thinking, sex is instantly available, all these glamorous people…’”).

G. Lower, “Mothers urge action on child-against-child sex abuse.” Weekend Australian, 10/18/08 (“Dianne thought she was doing the right thing when she picked up the phone to report what had happened at school to her little boy…Dianne’s son had been confronted improperly by a fellow 5-year-old in a school toilet. The case has triggered impassioned debate over what is to be done about so-called ‘sexualized’ intrusions on children, committed not by adults but by other youngsters. Such incidents are becoming increasingly common, according to Freda Briggs, one of the nation’s top experts on child protection…Professor Briggs attributed the sexualisation of children to ‘a more highly explicit society than 10 years ago.’ ‘There’s much more sex on TV, (Children are) accessing the Internet...,’ she said. ‘What we are seeing is the replication of pornography, sex abuse or where they (children) have seen sex. We’re paying a high price for sexual freedom; our children are being damaged.’”).

“Web is blamed for 20 per cent leap in sex attacks by children,” Evening Standard (“This is London,” UK), 3/3/07 (“Internet pornography was blamed yesterday for a dramatic rise in the number of sex offences committed by children…Experts said the behavior of youngsters was being changed by ready access to sexual imagery…A shocking 143 cases involved 12-year-olds... Kevin Gibbs, co-chair of the charity's sexually harmful behaviour group, said the Internet had let everybody access pornography more easily...He added: ‘Five or ten years ago it would have been time-consuming and involved...money. But these days it's easy to access pornography online and it's also often free. A child can get at these images within five minutes...’”).

T. Sheehan, “Young rape offenders on the rise,” Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), 7/12/06 (“An apparent jump in the number of youngsters accused of raping other children is concerning local authorities. Three boys ages 11, 12 and 14 were in...Juvenile Court this week facing delinquency rape counts in separate cases involving children who are all younger than 10. Last year, juvenile authorities handled 33 rape cases, with 12 involving defendants between 11 and 13 years old…Assistant County Prosecutor Melinda Seeds thinks easy access to pornography through the Internet and elsewhere is a factor in the number of youthful offenders. The average age for juvenile rape offenders has been 14 or 15, she said. ‘I think we are going to see it get worse. What we are seeing is pornography. Some parents have it in their homes. Everybody with a computer has it’ available, Seeds said.”).

Staff Reporter, “Teenage Rape: The hidden story,” Irish Times, 7/9/05 (“When a children’s support agency revealed this week that it had been asked to help deal with ‘many cases’ of gang rape among teenagers during the past year, even rape crisis professionals were taken by surprise...‘We are very concerned that more and more boys are accessing their sex education from pornography,’ says Fiona Neary, [Rape Crisis Network of Ireland] executive director. ‘Yet there are no programs to combat these messages from pornography, and other media, which are now very powerful…’ Teenage Tolerance, a survey of 14- to 19-year-olds conducted by Women’s Aid, found that 94% of teenage boys and 68% of teenage girls have seen pornography, mostly at friends’ homes...Young men in particular see pornography a major source of information about sex,’ states the report. One teen interviewed confessed to having sexually abused a younger child as a direct consequence of viewing pornography, while another said that pornography had taught him how ‘to have better sex.’”).

N. Wallace, “Net helps children start sex attacks,” Sydney Morning Herald, 11/26/03 (“Internet pornography was helping to spawn a new generation of sexual predators as young as six, child protection experts warned…There had been an alarming increase in children under 10 sexually abusing other children over the past few years, most of whom had used the Internet specifically to browse porn sites, the Child At Risk Assessment Unit based at Canberra Hospital said. Cassandra Tinning, a social worker at the unit, said abusive behaviour by children included ‘oral sex and forced intercourse with other children or forced intercourse with... animals.’”).

If these are too obscure for you, how about this quote from “Behavior: The Porn Factor” published in Time magazine:

“Recent studies show a correlation between increased aggressiveness in boys and exposure to pornography, and a link between childhood use of porn and sexually abusive behavior in adulthood.”

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,993158-1,00.html


http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/07/19/new.study.challenges.stereotypes.adolescent.sex.offenders


"If you walked into a typical group treatment for adolescent sex offenders, you might notice a lot of focus on social skills, like how to approach a girl, how to deal with conflict and understanding non-verbal communication," said Michael C. Seto, PhD, lead author of the study. "Our research suggests that social skills training is not what young sex offenders need most in order to be rehabilitated. Discussing sexuality -- early exposure to sex or pornography, sexual fantasies, and sexual arousal -- would likely get us closer to understanding why the offenses were committed and prevent similar ones from being committed again."

Seto, of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, and Martin Lalumiere, PhD, of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, conducted a meta-analysis of 59 independent studies comparing a total of 3,855 male adolescent sex offenders with 13,393 male adolescent non-sex offenders between ages 12 and 18. Their research is published in the July issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association.

"Researchers in the adolescent sex offender field have focused on sexual abuse history (more than half of the studies we reviewed reported data on this variable) but have paid relatively little attention to other aspects of sexuality, focusing instead on nonsexual factors (e.g., parent-child attachment, social skills deficits, psychopathology)," the authors wrote. "Our results suggest promising directions for research on the roles of exposure to sexual violence, exposure to sex or pornography more generally and atypical sexual interests."

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/JuvenileSexOffenders.html


“Internet porn has caused the number of underage sex offenders to double in just five years, shocking new official figures have revealed.

“A new study by Switzerland's Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says that children under 16 have been turned into potential rapists by brutal Net websites featuring aggressive group sex, roastings and extreme violence.”

"These practices become role models for young people who imitate them and are often not even aware of the pain and fear they cause their victims.”

"They have become so brutalised by what they have seen they cannot empathise with the victims any longer," said centre spokeswoman Dr Cornelia Bessler.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255856/Teenage-boys-watching-hours-internet-pornography-week-treating-girlfriends-like-sex-objects.html


“Dr Michael Flood, a sociologist based at the Australian Research Centre for Sex Health and Society, is at the forefront of international research into how exposure to internet porn is influencing the behaviour of teenagers.

“He has just completed a study examining the impact of porn on the young people who watch it.
'Boys who watch explicit sexual material develop an increasing belief that all of their friends and peers must all be highly sexually active,' he told me. This, he believes, is desensitising them and putting them under pressure to be doing the same.”

“A recent survey carried out by the NSPCC revealed that one in three teenage girls aged 13 to 17 had been subjected to unwanted sexual acts while in a relationship, and one in four had suffered 'partner violence'.

“The NSPCC's head of child protection, Christopher Cloke, has described this as evidence of a 'culture of confusion about what is acceptable among girls and boys living in today's highly sexualised landscape'.”

“John Carr agrees. He has for years been campaigning to put in place better measures to protect children from this deluge of pornography, and now, as the generation which has grown up exposed to such a deluge of porn reaches sexual maturity, he fears the consequences.”

“We now have girls who have grown up in such a highly sexualised environment that some have been left feeling frightened and unhappy. This, just at the time when they should be falling in love for the first time and learning to trust the opposite sex.”

“We have given our daughters the education and aspiration to be a prime minister or an astronaut. But we haven't protected them from the sexualisation that makes them so scared to be alone with a boy that they've quietly brought back the chaperone.”

For a professional study of the effects of pornography on adults and children:

http://mentalhealthlibrary.info/library/porn/pornlds/pornldsauthor/links/victorcline/porneffect.htm#people

For a study on the “The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial
Pornography” go here: http://www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/brain.pdf

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