Would you ever consider talking about the risks of porn with your pediatrician? Do you think pornography is a kid’s health issue?

Female doctor in lab coat speaks out on risks of porn

Asking the doctor

I was curious if parents do talk to their doctor about the risks of porn, so I called my brother-in-law.  He’s been practicing pediatrics for over 20 years.

Let me tell you, having a doctor in the family can come in pretty handy! I’ve taken full advantage of Dr. Ryan’s vast knowledge of children’s health in the past. He’s been kind enough to accept several frantic phone calls from me over the years. Why not ask him about pornography now?

He explained that part of his wellness care includes helping parents come up with strategies to limit screen time, keep kids active, and shut down devices at night to encourage proper sleep habits. He admitted that warning parents about pornography had not been a part of his discussions. However he thoroughly believes that protecting kids from the risks of pornography falls within the scope of his practice.

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds is now available! CLICK HERE to learn how to protect kids ages 3-6 from the dangers of pornography.

Gaining momentum

Over the past few years the movement to declare pornography a public health threat has been gaining momentum. Several states in US have already passed resolutions to this effect, with other states soon to follow. Canada and the UK are currently debating this in their respective parliaments as well.

While politicians debate legislation, one medical organization has come forward with its own declaration. A recent publication from the American College of Pediatricians outlines the risks of pornography on children. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Feelings of disgust, shock, embarrassment, fear & sadness
  • Symptoms of trauma including anxiety and depression
  • Distorted views of sexuality and personal relationships
  • Increased perception that everyone is having casual sex
  • The belief that abstinence is abnormal and unhealthy

Dr. Pat Love explains why pornography is so harmful to the brains of children and teens in the following video:

Minimizing the risks of porn

Although it’s impossible to eliminate ALL risk of exposure, parents can do much to minimize its harmful outcomes.  Knowing how to prepare a child to reject pornography is a good first step.

The American College of Pediatricians recognizes that parents shouldn’t have to do this alone. They are calling upon healthcare professionals to follow these 3 recommendations:

  • Communicate the risks of pornography use to patients and their families
  • Offer resources to protect children from viewing pornography
  • Offer treatment referrals to individuals suffering from the negative effects of pornography

Breaking the silence

In the examination room at our doctor’s office there are two posters that catch my attention. One warns me that smoking in the car with children is against the law. The second illustrates the symptoms of heart disease. I’m impatient for the day when there’s a third poster outlining the risks of porn on children. For now, please share this infographic on how silence about pornography puts kids at risk.

Infographic why silence increases the risks of pron

Doctors speak out

We are so impressed that the American College of Pediatricians recognizes the need to acknowledge the risks associated with porn use. How amazing it would be if all healthcare professionals were trained to help kids avoid the risks of porn and enjoy a healthier digital experience.

Next time you visit your pediatrician, ask her or him if they’ve received any information on the health risks of porn. If they haven’t, please point them to this blog post and our resources at Protect Young Minds.

Awesome endorsement!

The American College of Pediatricians is working hard to recommend resources for both pediatricians and parents. Here’s their recent endorsement of the Good Pictures Bad Pictures series of books:

I whole-heartedly recommend Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. and Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids to parents, grandparents, teachers and pediatricians alike. In a tech-savvy age, with even pre-schoolers at risk of exposure to our pornified culture, the greatest gift we can give our children is an internal filter. The Good Pictures Bad Pictures books, and other resources available from www.ProtectYoungMinds.org, help parents do just that.

As a pediatrician and mother of four, I can attest that open communication about the beauty and inviolability of our bodies, from the time children first ask questions, is key to instilling moral character and protecting them from our sexually exploitative culture. In very positive, clear and simple language, and with beautiful illustrations, these books and resources will help parents do just that.

Michelle A. Cretella, MD, FCP
President, American College of Pediatricians

Learn how you can protect your children from the risks of porn now in The Quick Start Guide for Proactive Parents. Get your FREE copy by clicking on the image below:

Marilyn Evans
Marilyn Evans lives east of Toronto with her husband and five sons. Concerned with the ease of access to online pornography, she began searching for ways to address this subject with her own children. Frustrated with lack of resources and information available to parents at the time she began speaking out about the harms of porn anyone who would listen. After a concerted but somewhat futile effort to gain the attention of her school board Marilyn felt her voice would be better served in the blogosphere. Over the past two years she has written regular articles for Parents Aware, as well as guest posting for Strength to Fight, and recently published an opinion article in Education Canada. She is thrilled to add her voice to the community at Protect Young Minds.
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