A judge in Ireland is hearing a case involving kids assaulting other kids — in this instance, a 14-year-old boy who was found sexually assaulting his 8-year-old sister. The boy later told police he was copying things he’d seen in online porn, according to an Irish Times story (July 27, 2019).
This story, the judge said, was not unusual. In fact, it was the fourth such case he had personally dealt with. “Young children have committed the most serious offences,” he said, due to “exposure to pornography on smartphones.”
On this side of the ocean, data has been collected on minors assaulting minors by Heidi Olson, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. “I think that was kind of shocking to us all as we were collecting this data — that almost half of our perpetrators are minors,” she said.
Last year, Children’s Mercy saw 444 kids who reported that they had been sexually abused within the last five days. That number rounds out to around 1,000 a year when they include the children who report sexual assault after five days. Victims are most likely girls around 4 to 8 years old.
Porn now serves as sex education to countless kids. And what are they learning? That violence, degradation, and humiliation are central to relationships and sex. Extensive research has shown that porn undermines the social, emotional, and physical health of individuals, families, and communities. These studies also demonstrate that porn shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, and sexual violence.
Culture Reframed has developed the Program for Parents of Tweens, a complete toolkit that guides parents in starting necessary, life-changing conversations with their kids. It’s free, it’s online, and it is designed to help adults help kids as they start using smartphones.