Porn Exposure and Our Children

Common Sense Media recently released a report about teens and pornography, uncovering some heartbreaking and harrowing truths. One of the findings revealed that the majority of teen respondents (aged 13-17) have watched pornography online, some having seen it by age 10 or younger.

The report also includes information about where kids view porn (the top places being porn sites, social media and video streaming platforms) and ways teens accidentally come across it (e.g., online exploration, from friends/classmates or by clicking on a misleading link). Take a look at the full report, linked in our bio.

One of the most saddening data points is that less than half of teen respondents had discussed pornography with a trusted adult. We get it; having conversations with your child about pornography is flat-out awkward.

We recommend you start the conversation early and consider using the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures, which provides a gentle and effective way to introduce the topic to your child. Then, if or when your child shares — or you uncover — an awkward or shocking online situation, it’s critical you don’t overreact. Keep your “poker face” and remind them you are a safe harbor for conversation by responding with “tell me more” or “thanks so much for trusting me with this.”

We are our children’s greatest defenders against the hazards of the online world, and it’s never too early (or too late) to safeguard their online environment.

For more information on modern pornography and our children, check out our Pornography Parent Guide.