“I stumbled onto porn at 12 while doing a school report (it just popped up). I kept it a secret and would watch it and then feel so much shame. I didn’t tell my parents and it drove a wedge between us. And when I would watch it I became more depressed and anxious, to the point where I no longer wanted to live.”Shelby
“My first serious exposure to porn was around 11 years old. It started off as innocent curiosity and quickly spiraled into something that really sucked me in. I now see myself as a Monster who can't help but devour the pixelated bodies of women. To this day I can't look a girl in the eyes. Holding hands and kissing scare me to death because I fear to awaken the sexual beast inside me. Porn taught me to see sex as revolting, dirty, and exploitative. I can only see sex as harmful now.”Jonathan (pseudonym)
“I was exposed to porn super young because my family computer got infected with a virus. I was around 6. The videos were just piling up on top of each other. After that, I thought sex was when a man hurts and humiliates a woman until he gets tired and I think it really messed up the way I view sex. The female porn stars were also all wearing literal children’s clothing and I felt sick to my stomach recognizing several items I had in my closet at the time. I tried to throw out some of my clothes that I previously loved and my mom still doesn’t know why.”Kayla Foster-Brandt
“I believe I was around 7-8 when my friend started showing me and my friends pornography. I was then molested by my friend. My peer. My best friend. But I was too ashamed to admit to anyone that it was happening. It went on until I was 13. As I grew, I began to send and receive inappropriate pictures. This continued for years and I hated myself for it. It felt like I could never escape.”Kyle (pseudonym)
“When I was in middle school I had a boyfriend who had a serious porn addiction and would send me videos he downloaded off Pornhub. He would tell me if I don’t act like them and do exactly what they were doing he would kill me. He gave me an ultimatum: have sex with me by your birthday or kill yourself. I tried to kill myself and failed. He then knocked me unconscious and proceeded to rape me. When I asked him why he did what he did, he told me it was just a kink he caught while watching porn. He said ‘it’s just BDSM, look it up, girls love to get raped and threatened with death.’”Rebecca (pseudonym)
“After being home educated till age 13 I went to school to try it out. I was shocked by the kids' porn use. On the bus to school I remember a group of boys, a year younger than me I think, openly watching hardcore anal porn. There was a huge porn culture at the school. I remember walking into the playground once with a few other girls and being surrounded by boys who started feeling our chests and bums without our consent. I was constantly pressured to send naked pictures, and when I eventually did I was badly bullied. I thought sending naked pictures must be something everyone did. I was so badly bullied that I ended up with PTSD and left the school after a few months.”Evangeline
“I am still a slave to it today. I found it in the 6th grade and still haven't escaped. I am tired of fighting. It's been a long battle and I'm sick of this disgusting monster that has overtaken me. I hate how widely accepted porn is in our society and how easy it is to find. You can find it anywhere... It's been 9 years and I'm still fighting.”Nicholas
“When I was 9 years old I went to a neighbors house to play hide and seek like we always did but he told me he wanted to show me a new game. He took me to his parents’ bedroom and told me he wanted to try something he saw on a movie he found in his dad’s dresser. He raped me. I stopped playing outside. I have struggled with anxiety and depression ever since. He was my abuser, but porn was his.”Felicity (pseudonym)
“When I was age 11, in 6th grade, I had a boyfriend who was in 8th grade. It started out as him just wanting to have fun with sex and watching porn, recreating scenarios from the videos. But one day I went over and seven of his friends were with him. My “boyfriend” came in, took me to the other room and told me to trust him and assured me everything was going to be okay and that he loved me. He then walked me out and his friends were getting undressed. My “boyfriend” got out his phone to record and said “y’all can start now.” His seven friends raped me that night. After they left, he told me he thought it’d be better, and that he saw it in a video. For the next two and a half years I was trapped in a relationship where he exploited me through the production of pornography and prostitution against my will.”Fiona (pseudonym)
“At the age of 16 I was curious about how women would have sex, so I started searching Pornhub. I came across a video titled “Anal Rape Punishment” and now it’s seared into my memory. The camera angle was at the top corner of a trailer bedroom, like a security camera. There was nothing but a mattress in the room. The girl was tied up and bent over screaming in pain and trying to kick and get away. He just kept grabbing her harder. I was sick to my stomach. I just watched a man rape someone.”Elijah
“I was 6 when the search term "sex" was suggested in a search engine search related to Pokemon. Ever since, porn has been an on and off part of my life. In my teen years I did some indecent things to my classmates that now make me cringe. I groped girls (with encouragement from my other porn-watching male classmates) thinking it was what they wanted. My perception of what girls wanted was completely shaped by what I saw in porn.”James (pseudonym)
“When I was 16 years old I was in a relationship with a boy who I had grown up with. He was my best friend. He had told me that he had been struggling with porn. The night I lost my virginity, I had gone over to his house to play video games. He forced himself onto me. I was trying to shove him off and he held me down and told me I didn't get a choice in it—now that he had me it was his right. I remember thinking this must be "normal," that it must be how women are supposed to be treated, as I had seen it in porn. After he finished he said that I wasn't very good and I needed to watch more porn stars so I could get better. I had never felt so hurt and used.”Katherine
“I was introduced to porn by a friend when I was in 4th grade. After being a curious kid and checking out different sites I got absolutely hooked. I watched porn once, twice, sometimes even three times A DAY from 4th grade until high school. It distorted my view on women. In middle school and high school I would ask girls for nudes constantly and try to make it seem like it was no big deal because “everybody does it." Porn turned me into someone I’m deeply ashamed of. To this day I still struggle to stay away from porn and I suffer the mental and psychological consequences of my actions.”Matthew (pseudonym)
“Seeing porn under the age of 18 gave me the impression that my body wasn’t mine but an object for sex, that I could even be forced into sex and that is ok and normal. It was hard to grow out of that mindset and I still struggle with being intimate because of it.”Chanelle
This assault isn’t close to home. It's in the home.
More than any time in history, children aren't just being exposed to hardcore pornographic content, they're being raised on it.
Research shows that when children are exposed to porn it undermines their social, emotional, and cognitive development. Repeat exposure can both rewire the brain and shape their sexual templates in ways that could negatively affect them for years to come.
This is why many researchers and child protection experts view early exposure to porn as a form of child abuse. And in some cases, it can profoundly alter the trajectory of their entire lives.
With no age restrictions on most sites hosting pornographic content, these "adult" companies—who profit off the web traffic—are allowing kids an all-access pass to videos of the most deviant sexual scenarios imaginable, all within a few clicks. This isn't hidden on the deep web. Most of the free and easily accessible porn sites are infested with hardcore, often violent, porn and this material has become our children's constant teacher.
What are the implications of a child hooked on hardcore porn?
What are the implications of a child hooked on hardcore porn?
- Increased likelihood of committing sexual harassment and rape
- More likely to use coercive tactics, including sexting and sextortion
- They will want to try out what they see in porn, which can include violence and the sexual abuse of children
- Increased levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation
- Shrinkage in the part of the brain involved with decision making, motivation, and academic performance; erosion of willpower
- Boys who've had continuous porn exposure without alternative education will pressure their partners to engage in porn-style sexual activity, experience increased difficulty in developing intimate relationships, and have increased levels of erectile dysfunction
- Girls exposed to hypersexualized media will have an increased tendency to develop eating disorders, practice self-harm, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and are at a greater risk for sexting and sexual victimization
The stakes are simply too high. We must act now.
Raise your voice with us.
Raise your voice with us.
Sign the Petition
To prevent child exposure to pornography, we’re calling for sites hosting porn to require its users to prove their age with a government-issued ID before they can access any content.
Requiring ID at the source of the explicit content is the most effective strategy for protecting kids because, without a valid adult ID, the system can't be easily circumvented like other child safeguards can be. Canada and France have already begun introducing legislation that could accomplish this goal. This is a critical hour and we need a united movement to rise up and boldly call for these protections to be enacted both in the U.S. and abroad.Sign the Petition
Society has found a way to keep children from unfettered access to cigarettes and tobacco.
We can easily ensure "adult" content stays out of children's reach.
Our past campaigns have drawn the attention and support of tens of millions globally, hundreds of allied organizations, and have inspired legislation and legal action against the most massive predatory entities in the sex industry.
Now, we're bringing our greatest collective strength to this fight in our own backyards.