Sylvia McCrory / 2020
Children ARE Accidentally Viewing Pornography
Modern parents are more attuned to their children, more involved with their children’s activities, yet they are more naïve about their children’s viewing of pornography. Unfortunately, the internet is moving so fast, parents cannot keep up with the multiple ways these websites are accessed, many times by accident.
Research indicates many children are exposed to porn as early as 8 years old. Below are some of the ways these sites are accessed unintentionally according to the Christian Apologetics Journal/Spring 2014 The Internet Pornography Pandemic. (Considering the dated material, assume there are more avenues for accidental access today.)
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
We’d love to hear your suggestions for topics. What questions do you have? Let us research it!
With all these accidental paths to pornography, it is no wonder children are viewing porn at younger ages. Consequently, there are three basic problems with an accidental encounter of porn;
1. What is seen cannot be unseen,
2. Normal curiosity draws children back to these sites
3.Children are believing this is normal sexual behavior and will try to imitate it.
Consider a child’s brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. The graphic images children are viewing are having a lasting impact. According to Dr. Judith Reisman, a pioneer on the harmful impact of pornography, “a child’s brain becomes psycho-pharmacologically altered and damages the child’s sense of self and reality.” Children are viewing everything from nude bodies to homosexual acts, violent sexual acts and bestiality.
With our open internet in the United States, there are some precautions parents can take, but know nothing is going to remove the need for parental monitoring and supervision. I am not an expert on technology, parents must do their own research and decide the best way to block these on their devices. I am not recommending any search engine or programs, the ones listed are mentioned by others concerning internet safety.
- Use safe or child friendly search engines – KidRex.org, KidsClick, KidTopia are a few.
- Use filtering and monitoring software. – NetNanny and Webwatcher are some of the recommended programs. Parents should investigate all possible ways to limit internet access and make educated decisions. I am not recommending any programs, only sharing information here.
Additionally, parents can take some or all the following steps to deal with the problem in their own homes.
What Can You Do?
- Limit internet use in the home to school and specific websites.
- Monitor computer sites visited and smartphone sites. Make this a weekly habit, doing it at various times to keep children off guard.
- Create family rules about internet use and adhere to them.
- Talk to your children about the dangers when using the internet. Instruct them to tell you or an adult if they see ANYTHING unusual.
- Listen to your children when they tell you they saw something SILLY. Young children are limited in vocabulary, so they may have a difficult time describing what they saw.
- Do NOT Let Your Guard Down – Every time there is a new product on the market to prevent access to these sites, there are pornographers working on ways to escape these firewalls.
- Set high expectations for internet use when away from home – many children are savvy enough to recognize friends with more open internet access and utilize it away from home. Set specific consequences for breaking family rules away from home and adhere to them.