And few things shock me when it comes to the topic of sexuality.
My publicist just sent me a journalism query. She sends them to me anytime a writer somewhere out there on the Internet highway cries out for help when they’re tackling the topic of sex. This one chilled me to the bone.
The writer is creating a secular piece on the risk of porn to our children and how we can reduce it. I’m tracking with her at this point. Maybe you are, too. The fact is, the average age of the first inception of pornography these days is 11. Yep. You read that right. Eleven. As in fifth grade. Last year of elementary school. (And that’s average. Yep, nine year olds are looking at porn.) On this fact alone, I’m glad someone out there in cyberspace is addressing the issue.
But then, the query read: “I need experts and been-there-done-that parents who can speak to the long-term effects we should — and (please? I beg you) shouldn’t– be worried about.” That’s where she lost me. Really? She wants us to reason that there might be something about our children using porn that we “shouldn’t” worry about? I won’t try to even address the developmental concerns about a child—or teen—watching a raunchy counterfeit of something God intended for them to experience in an intimate, committed marriage between two ADULTS! I’ll just share with you what I sent in response to the query.
I often work with parents whose children are using porn. Some approve. Most are freaked out. The reality is that our children are porn vulnerable. While our generation had to dig deeply to find porn, today’s kids have to fight hard to avoid it (and hopefully their parents are in that fight with them.) Another reality? The result of this porn vulnerable generation, will be one that has less desire for real intimacy. (Read: marriage.)
Both SELF magazine, targeted at women, and New Yorker, with an article about men, recently reported that more porn meant less real sex for adults. The tsunami of porn is decimating the libido of modern, “free-thinking” adult users. One tell tale sign: frequent users seem to need to see more and more titillating photos to climax, popularizing a new form of porn that offers as many different images as possible in the shortest amount of time. Collages, if you will. More concerning, users find that using porn makes them less interested in their spouses and—in the case of these secular studies—girlfriends or boyfriends. When users pushed pause on the porn, they suddenly had an appetite for the real thing. Here’s the bottom line: the landscape most devastated by this tsunami is that of intimacy. Porn is nutra-sex. It causes a cancer of intimacy that one day we will regret.
It takes no religious or moral grounding to build an argument against mis-used sex in a world that values human interaction no matter your worldview. But for the Christian, the assault on marital intimacy should place every cell in our being on alert. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. More specifically, it is a picture of the intimate love relationship we can have with our Savior. It’s a parable meant to reveal the mystery of the greatest spiritual truth that exists. There is a Savior. He loves you dearly. And wants to be in relationship with you.
Is there anything we shouldn’t be worried about?
Somebody needs to sound the alarm sirens.
5 Ways to Protect Children from Pornography
- Place computers in public rooms.
- Install Internet filters
- Join any social networks your child belongs to and know their passwords.
- Ask your children directly if they have ever sent or received “sext” messages.
- Collect cell phones at night to recharge them…and let your kids recharge without them!
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Dannah Gresh is a best-selling author and the creator of Secret Keeper Girl. Best-known for And the Bride Wore White and Lies Young Women Believe (co-written with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), Dannah is a gifted communicator whose ministry focus is coaching moms to be great connectors to their tween and teen children. She and her husband Bob are left to run a menagerie of animals on a hobby farm since her three young adult children have flown the coop. Her happiest times are when all the chicks are back in the nest.