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Barely Legal: Teen Porn Promotes Child Sexual Abuse


*Trigger warning: This blog contains disturbing written references to child sexual abuse.

“Teen” and “porn” are two words that shouldn’t exist in the same sentence, yet, unfortunately they often do. In fact, in 2014, the “teen porn” category was the most popular genre on Pornhub and has remained in the top ten most searched terms since then.

Unlike Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), more commonly known as “child porn,” which is criminalized and rejected in our culture, teen porn is massively popular and, yet, it’s simulating the exact same thing.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court made it legal to create porn in which performers are made to look like children. They struck down certain clauses from the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 claiming it was an infringement on free speech and established that “simulated child pornography” is protected by free speech laws. As long as the performers are 18+.

This decision made way for a genre of porn called “barely legal” to rise to prominence without restriction. “Barely legal” is still extremely popular within the teen category of porn and thrives on the fantasy of sex with girls who are dressed up to look as young as possible.

Considering there are only two legal years of being a teenager in porn, clearly, the popularity of the teen genre goes beyond specifically 18 and 19 year olds. In reality, this genre is a fantasy of having sex with a girl much younger… illegally younger. This “Barely Legal” content is feeding a supply of men who get off on seeing young girls have sex with older men, which, if acted out in real life, would land them in prison.

“Barely Legal” content is feeding a supply of men who get off on seeing young girls have sex with older men, which, if acted out in real life, would land them in prison.

In “barely legal” porn, it’s common to see girls dressed up as children, wearing children’s clothes and being spoken to as such. Girls are often filmed holding teddy bears, lollipops, bright colored lunch boxes and speaking in high-pitched voices. The videos are often tagged with words like, “petite schoolgirls,” “cheerleaders,” “young teens,” “babysitters,” and “tiny innocent virgins.”

We spoke with one porn performer who told us that 50% of her work was filming, “really young, barely legal” porn. She laughed at the false concept of producers trying to make girls look actually 18, and joked, “I’ll show you what I wore at 18. It is not little knee socks and little shorts with a yellow bow in my hair. I didn’t wear that at 18… I didn’t carry around my little teddy bear when I was 18.”

Sign our petition to require age verification, with ID, on every site that hosts porn.

The teen genre of pornography is nothing short of the glorification of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), and somehow, it has become acceptable in our culture because they’re not actually children. Even if it were true that every girl in this “simulated child porn” was fully consenting and of legal age, this is still a disastrous norm.

RELATED: How I Survived Being Trafficked in Child Porn

In Exodus Cry’s own interviews with prominent porn producers in the industry, many of them revealed that their aim is to get girls that look as young as possible… often those who look 12-15 years old. Their main reason for producing this content was because they made the most money when they did. Portraying girls as underage is what sells.

Some important questions must be asked. What is happening to the mind of a person who is getting off to sexualized children, over and over? And how can someone tell the difference between a porn actress who is of-age and an actual child? The truth is, you can’t tell the difference and that’s the point! There’s no way to tell whether the person you’re watching is a very young-looking 18-year-old, or an actual underage girl.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, we know that not everyone who watches violent porn becomes a perpetrator of physical sexual abuse, but many studies show that most perpetrators of sexual abuse watch porn. In glorifying teen porn, society is putting the sexual satisfaction of adults over the safety of children—that includes children who are viewing this porn (because most porn sites lack true age verification of its users), as well as the children who are raped or abused by someone who consumes this content.

In glorifying teen porn, society is putting the sexual satisfaction of adults over the safety of children.

We received a story from a girl who stumbled across porn because of a computer virus when she was just six years old, who told us, “The female porn stars were all wearing literal children’s clothing and I felt sick to my stomach recognizing several items I had in my closet at the time… 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.”

RELATED: KinkTok: How Porn Culture & TikTok Are Grooming Children

Those who stumble across underage porn are being groomed by pedophilic ideologies and fetishes that teach them what is expected and acceptable. Some examples of the kinds of pedophilic relationships portrayed in teen porn include: an older doctor and a young girl, a husband and their teen babysitter, a father and a step daughter, a girl scout selling cookies to an older man, or a man “seducing” a little girl at the playground.

Any one of these scenarios in real life would be considered one of the darkest committed crimes, and yet our society accepts the fantasy as a kink and nothing more—until it happens to a child who didn’t give their consent. And devastatingly, the reality of the exploitative nature of the porn industry is that many of the girls performing in teen porn are not consenting.

RELATED: Missing 15-year-old Girl Trafficked in Porn, 58 Videos Found

Any way we look at it, the teen porn genre is grooming pedophiles and children alike. Any child with a device currently has unlimited access to the most traumatizing and pedophilic porn, without any requirement for age verification of the site visitor. We need to cut off the path of destruction that porn is leading millions of kids down each and every day.

With your help, we can build a formidable movement that demands age verification on porn sites and challenges the predatory porn giants that are harvesting the innocence of children everywhere.

1. Join 50,000+ others by signing the petition demanding age verification, with ID, on every single porn site. Then share it.

Sign the Petition

2. Watch Raised on Porn, free on YouTube, then like, comment, and share it with 5 friends.

Watch Raised on Porn

3. Give. Your gift will provide critical resources to help reach millions with this film and campaign.

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