Today’s pornography plague is reaching around the world and impacting even the youngest children. In this edition of Three-Minute Thursdays I offer three things parents ought to consider about children and pornography. I’ve got it in YouTube and Facebook formats, then a transcript for the dedicated readers.
Welcome to another edition of 3-minute Thursdays. How does it work? I put three minutes on the clock, and in that sparse amount of time, I try to say something useful, something helpful about an important topic. This week’s topic is actually one I’d rather not speak about at all but feel compelled to. It’s children and pornography, so let’s get the timer started and here we go.
There’s three things I want parents to know about children and pornography. One of them is statistical. One of them is anecdotal and one of them is hopeful, thankfully. First statistically, average age of first exposure to pornography today is somewhere around 11 or 12 years old, and that line just keeps trending downward. Children are being exposed to pornography at younger and younger ages today. Really, they’re not just being exposed to pornography but to really hard core and baste and vile pornography. This isn’t the kind of thing their great grandparents might have seen many years ago or even their grandparents. This is a new kind of pornography that’s just, there’s so much of it and it’s so dark. It’s so vile. For many children, their first exposure to the whole notion of pornography is through this kind of pornography. They go searching for their questions online and it’s what they find. Parents, we’ve got to be aware of this challenge that our children are facing.
The second thing I want to say is anecdotal. Here it goes. I’ve been around the world speaking about this topic of pornography. I’ve been on, I guess four continents and many different countries to talk about pornography. Everywhere I go, I lay down the same challenge. If you’re male between the ages of 18 and 25 and you have never once gone looking for pornography online, just come and talk to me afterwards. I’d love to hear about it. I’d love to hear what your parents did or what you did to avoid that. I’ve given that challenge before thousands and tens of thousands of people over the years. Not one has ever come up to me and said, “Yes, that’s me.” That’s not to say every young man has gone looking for pornography, but the fact is the vast majority have. Sometimes, this was innocent childhood questioning. Sometimes, they had fallen into real patterns of sin. They were embarrassed to tell their parents if the parents found them out. The majority of young men today have gone and still are going online to look for pornography. We need to be aware of this. We need to understand that this is a serious trial and temptation.
The third thing I want to say thankfully is hopeful. I believe this plague, this porn plague will come to an end at some point in the future and it’s because parents are now aware. When we were young, my generation, the next generation, our parents just didn’t understand what would happen if they gave us all computers and an internet connection. We get it today. We understand it today. We know only one thing can come off that and that’s bad. It’s pornography, but my generation of parents, we understand it and we are set on helping our children avoid the problems that we may have succumbed to, and so we’re putting measures in place. We’re understanding that to disciple our children today means discipling them in this area of sexuality, in this area of pornography, helping them understand what it is, helping them understand how to respond to it. If they see it, honestly, helping them understand what to do when they see it.
There you go. This pornography plague is all around us. I hope that’s something that’s statistical evidence and that anecdotal evidence can lead you to hope. The hope, parents, is you teaching and training your children.