I’m not sure why, but I get such a thrill when I talk to moms about the dangers of pornography! Last night was no exception. A group of about 25 concerned moms came together at a local church and for 90 minutes we talked about brain science, addiction, and how we can “pornoculate” our children to keep them safer.
My neighbor Nicole came with me. She’s worked as a social worker and has powerful story of an 8 year old girl who received an i-Pod Touch for her birthday, about the same time her parents gave her the S-E-X talk. And those three letters are what she typed in to learn more about the subject on the internet. After nearly four months of daily viewing of hard core pornography, she was finally (mercifully!) caught.
Most mental health counselors assume that children who start viewing pornography do so because they are being coerced by a sexual predator that uses the videos as a type of tutorial for the child. But in this case, and most likely in many others, the child is simply curious. Curiosity plus the internet minus a lack of “pornoculation” equals a dangerous equation when it comes to pornography.
Her story underscores the new reality that it’s not just a problem for boys. In fact, there is a growing female audience for internet pornography and recent trends indicate that 30% of internet pornography consumers are female.
We need to teach our daughters that they should expect better than what pornography offers. Dr. Jill C. Manning reports that those who view pornography begin to objectify women, meaning that women are seen as valuable only for their physical parts, not for their personalities, talents, intelligence, dreams, interests or feelings. This process of objectification decreases sensitivity towards women, going so far as to diminish the seriousness of rape in the porn viewer’s mind. It’s no wonder that “[w]hen humans begin to objectify other humans, we lose part of our humanity and diminish our divine ability to love and care for others.”
Pornography is really a double threat to women.
- First, it can convince them that they are only valuable for their physical parts and ability to perform sexually.
- Second, it can make men more insensitive to them, believing that women enjoy the type of violent scenes portrayed in porn.
Unfortunately, porn can lead both men and women to see sex as some kind of rough, smutty spectator sport instead of a sacred, private way to bond to another human being in a committed relationship.
Thankfully, the girl in the story above got professional counseling and support from loving parents. Her happy, bubbly personality has returned. She may need more counseling as she approaches and navigates adolescence, but for now she is one of the lucky survivors.