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Porn Has Become Sex Ed for Children


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*Trigger Warning: This blog contains references to graphic sexual content.

I began watching porn at 12 out of curiosity about the birds and the bees and ended up quickly getting addicted. I fully believe my porn addiction that lasted about 2 years warped my mind forever. I felt gross and shameful about myself as a person. And it really screwed up my previously innocent 12-year-old mind. Literally forever. Still dealing with flashbacks and even trauma to this day. Some things I saw at that age truly scared me.” – Julie*

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “sex ed?”

For some, you may remember an awkward classroom presentation when you were in junior high. For others, the term triggers memories of uncomfortable talks with parents or friends. But for many, tragically, sexual education came via explicit and violent content viewed online such as rape, incest, BDSM, and gang bangs.

Turning to porn as a source of sex education is increasingly encouraged by mainstream culture. With porn consumption on the rise, especially among young kids and teens, it’s important to remember that there are some pretty huge differences between what is portrayed in porn and real-life sex.

According to 2020 research by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), 45 percent of teens who consumed porn did so to learn about sex. The average age of exposure to porn is around 11, but some researchers argue it is as young as 7. So if this is the new sex education, what exactly are kids learning? A 2020 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that between 35% and 45% of porn examined across 4,000 websites contained depictions of violence, almost always toward women.

In today’s porn, violent and demeaning sex is among the most common. Choking, kicking, slapping, and punching are met with the portrayal of acceptance and pleasure. Several studies have found that in males as young as 14, frequent pornography usage is correlated to an accepting stance towards raping a girl.

Similarly, another study based in Sweden found that 70% of high school boys who were frequent viewers of pornography, including that which features violence and the sexual abuse of children and animals, reported that porn made them want to try out what they had seen.

A 17 year-old girl named Kiara told Exodus Cry, “Going to public school exposes you to many things that are not exactly healthy, and porn was something that was very common amongst students, especially in middle school boys. I remember being sexually harassed countless times by boys who were openly avid watchers of porn. I believe it distorted the way they viewed females into objects rather than people, and so they treated them as such. Porn has actively changed a generation from a very young age into people very desensitized to sexual abuse. Intimate relationships are a major challenge for many of my generation due to the fact that many of our minds are geared towards such sexual deviancy and lack of actual intimacy. Porn isn’t real life and many are not aware of that.

RELATED: Violent Porn Is Shaping Children Everywhere

Porn teaches viewers many things, but a healthy view of sex and relationships is not one of them. Instead, pornography teaches that men are violently dominant, that girls never say no—or if they do say no, that they don’t actually mean it. It promotes the degradation and humiliation of women and girls, and tells viewers that they want to be treated this way. In the porn world, there are no consequences for hurting someone during sex. Violence and abuse is something to be emulated and desired.

One girl, Elijah, told Exodus Cry, “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 I don’t know why I clicked it but I did… and 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.

Aside from the constant, in your face violence prevalent in porn, the hardcore porn of today also teaches and glorifies incest, the fantasy of sex with children, and even bestiality. While your child might not start out watching such content, it is likely they may end up there due to the escalating effect on users. According to a 2016 study, “With pornography use, much more of a normal stimulus may eventually be needed to achieve the response a supernormal stimulus evokes. In contrast, ordinary levels of the stimulus are no longer interesting. This may be how normal sex becomes much less interesting for porn users.”

Naomi shared, “Porn affected me as a 12-year-old in many ways. There were times I would get so overwhelmed with desire I’d consider coercing my siblings in sex. They were toddlers and I was 12 at the time. It absolutely disgusts me and I cannot believe porn so negatively affected my view of what sex should be. Private and between a married couple. Only because I decided to follow Jesus was my addiction broken. Without him, where I would be today would be drastically different.

The reality is, this is the sex education that kids and teens are receiving—one that deeply distorts sex and normalizes abusive sex practices.

For young minds, what kind of precedent is this setting? While many pro-porn advocates argue that porn is purely fantasy, not meant to be imitated, many viewers, especially young porn consumers, can’t make sense of what they are watching, and instead see it as something to replicate.

A UK study found that 80 percent of teens want to reenact what they watch in porn and a US study revealed that 13% of sexually active 14 to 17-year-olds report having been strangled during sex.

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

It is clear that porn is becoming a socially acceptable form of sex education but at its core, porn doesn’t work as sex ed, because it’s not real. Porn is a fantasy portrayal of sex and this portrayal is becoming increasingly violent and degrading.

In fact, Exodus Cry has received many stories from women who experienced deep abuse and trauma from boyfriends who wanted to try what they saw in porn, ranging from gang bangs to anal sex and physical abuse.

RELATED: My Childhood Boyfriend Raped Me to Re-enact Porn

These aren’t isolated or rare incidents of abuse. They’re common. But because of the pornified culture we live in, these tragedies often go ignored. And they will only become more common as long as porn remains freely accessible to any child with a device.

We must put an end to this detrimental and extremely damaging “sex education.” We can’t continue to allow this to malevolently shape the sexual templates of children.

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

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

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

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

*Names have been changed to protect anonymity

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