Teens and Porn: What Parents Need to Know

Teens and porn

Teens and porn. With the ubiquity of porn and smartphones, teens have 24/7 access to free, hardcore content. And both boys and girls can become habituated to viewing porn.

“The reality is, porn has become the major form of sex education for millions of kids,” says Dr. Gail Dines, president and CEO of Culture Reframed. “And kids are learning that degradation, humiliation, and violence are central to relationships and sex.”

When Rhianna, 21, looks back on her teenage sexual relationships, according to a story in The Guardian (Aug. 31, 2019) on teens and porn, she recalls being asked to replicate scenes her boyfriends had seen on porn. “It wasn’t about what I wanted. It was as if you were some prototype female they got to act out their favorite videos with.”

Rhianna and other teens are part of the major Guardian story by Tanith Carey about teens and porn use.

In the story, Carey spoke to a number of teens on their experiences of and attitudes toward porn: ‘Mitchell, 19, has begun to understand the connection between what he watches and how he behaves. “If girls are reluctant to do something, you pressure them because you think, ‘Lots of women do it in porn. Why don’t you?’”’

Signs that Teens Are Using Porn

Culture Reframed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the public health crisis of the digital age — easy access to hypersexualized media and porn — is featured in the Guardian story as the top resource for talking to teens about porn.

Teens who are accessing porn may not display any warning signs. However, many do. Here are signs to look for:

  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Shutting down devices suddenly
  • Displaying noticeable changes in language, demeanor or behaviors
  • Having nightmares, wetting the bed, or experiencing similar ‘trauma’-induced symptoms
  • Spending long periods of time in the bathroom, toilet or shower
  • Laughing or minimizing rape or other sexual harms
  • Exhibiting signs of depression and/or anxiety

Culture Reframed offers a free, comprehensive, online Program for Parents of Tweens. The organization is now gearing up to release a new Program for Parents of Teens in 2020.

[Image from The Guardian]

Teens taking a selfie

Where are your kids getting their sex education? Their smartphones? In this digital age, it’s critical for young people to have trusted adults to help them build resilience and resistance to hypersexualized media and porn. Check out Culture Reframed’s free online Programs for Parents of Tweens and Program for Parents of Teens.


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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • patricia says:

    Excellent,as always. 🙂

  • cherry says:

    I’m a mother of 2 daughters who are both mothers themselves now. I’m also a young persons counsellor working in schools. I’m saddened that our society has allowed the proliferation of porn, and the way that sex sells everything in our consumer world. Children are exposed to powerful images via pop culture that influence their own behaviour negatively; allowing their bodies to be used and abused. Well done Culture Reframed for drawing attention to this and hopefully raising awareness, knowledge and change.

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