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Pornography is an Elementary School Problem

January 8, 2013

Adam Griffen:

When I was a kid, if you were curious about something too embarrassing to ask about, there was only one place to go: World Book Encyclopedia. Those sweet alphabetized mountains of illustrated knowledge sat authoritatively on the shelves in our family room. They beckoned to my curious third-grade mind, calling out proudly that they had all the information on the female anatomy that so mystified me. But even World Book had its limits. The “S” volume was missing, so the riddles of “sex” continued unsolved.

The next evolution in my sexual education came when one of my classmates found his parents’ “sex” book at home and returned to school the next day with a whole new lexicon of words and even numbers we’d never heard of before. He had to show me the word “orgy” in the Bible before I’d believe he hadn’t made it up.

Because of memories like these, I’m not surprised that now the average age of kids being introduced to pornography is 11 years old. If I had plugged into Google the words I looked up in World Book, there’s no telling the rabbit hole of pornographic material I would have fallen into unprepared. Researchers say that, more often than not, kids aren’t even looking for porn when they stumble upon it on the Internet. But be assured: Porn is looking for them. In the highly lucrative, competitive porn market that is driven by clicks and views, they are trying to find you and your kids.

What Do We Do?

So the question is: What do we do about this problem? Here are several resources that address this question in a practical sense.

Why Do We Care?

I’ll give you just one reason, which is more than enough. Your child was designed by God for a long-term, monogamous relationship, and pornography and promiscuity literally impair their capacity to do that well, both physically and spiritually. Not being able to maintain a long-term, monogamous relationship leads to divorce, adultery, fatherlessness, heartbreak and so much more.

Please consider reading Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children for more on this idea.

When Should We Start?

I’m writing this post not so much to help you consider what to do or why to do it, but to help you considerwhen to address this issue with your children. Do you believe that this is an elementary issue? Do you trust the research that 11 years old is the average age, not the earliest mind you, that a child is first exposed to pornography? Have you thought about what exposure to pornography your child might have when not at home?

There is a lot of information out there on how to have these conversations. In addition, there’s an entire staff of people at our church ready to talk it over with you. Please consider starting the process of addressing porn today.

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