Talk to your teenager about porn
Internet has made porn easily accessible. Consumption is growing and attitudes towards porn amongst youth has changed dramatically. Young people know a lot about the extreme but little about the normal. There are many good reasons to talk with teenagers about porn, but who dares to?
Digital media has given the porn industry good conditions. There is a vast amount on offer, most things are readily available and the user can be anonymous. Today´s youth grow up in a flood of porn, and today´s media is very focused on body and sexuality. It´s not easy to be young, and few seem to adress this development.
According to Telegraph.co.uk, research shows (2007) that nearly six in ten children in Britain have been in contact with porn, mostly as a result of viewing explicit websites accidentally. The Nordic research paper ”The young, sex and pornography” (2006) show that youth expose themselves sexually online through their own pictures, video clips and chatting. Girls are far more eager to present themselves as sexual objects than boys are.
Today´s children and young people grow up with a strong media focus on body image, looks and sex. The extent of porn has grown and it has become more intensified in it´s manifestations. Society as a whole and youth especially have changed their attitudes towards porn, which now is much more accepted than before. But both girls and boys can struggle physically and mentally with the distance between their own bodies and the glamorous pornografic picture of reality they are presented with.
What is really normal? What is love? What does it mean to love someone else, until death do us part? And who will talk with the youth if the adults won´t?
Love and sexuality are strong themes when you´re a teenager. As adults, we must dare to speak openly and clearly about such themes. Parents also have a unique possibility to provide guidance, but many don´t dare to bring this up with their teens. I want to call on and challenge parents to dare to instigate this important conversation.
Øystein Samnøen, Director
EU Kids Online: http://www.eukidsonline.net/
On the this website you can watch a funny video which makes a good point about pornography on the Internet:
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