The Harms of Children Consuming Pornography

Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Singer Billie Eilish recently spoke out in an interview with Howard Stern how watching pornography at the age of 11 impacted her. She shared how that porn usage destroyed her mental health and warped her view of women's bodies. Before I continue, this is in NO WAY me supporting Billie. I don't personally like her, her politics, or her music. What I will say is her description of how porn hurt her isn't uncommon. It's becoming increasingly clear that there is a serious issue of children consuming pornography, and how it impacts them later in life. That's what I wish to focus on.

Numerous studies have shown that the average age for porn consumption is 11 or 13 years of age. Experts have shared that the age is decreasing, and can be as young as eight or nine years old. Think about that. Children as young as eight are getting exposed to hard-core pornography. And it's not on purpose. What 8 or 9 year old do you know willingly searches for porn (unless previously exposed)? Most come across it by accident. 

Shared by Fight The New Drug, here is what the American College of Pediatricians stated regarding the main ways kids come across pornography:

One story I recall reading is that a mother of an 8 year old boy was horrified when she found her son watching hardcore porn, after just taking a few innocent clicks and ending up on a major porn site.

Visit Exodus Cry, look up the hashtag #RaisedonPorn, and you can read yourself how adults were impacted by childhood pornography consumption.

These children, according to the reports, have stated feeling "shock, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness." How this gets worse is the impact pornography has on these children once they are exposed. The kids who watched this are either pre-pubescent or pubescent. The view pornography gives is unrealistic and dangerous. You can easily find stories of partners to porn addicts how it harms them. Those are ADULTS. Think how this impacts someone who is sexually developing. "44% of boys who watched porn reported that online pornography gave them ideas about the type of sex they wanted to try... Over a third of 11 to 16-year-old girls (39%) reported believing that pornography was a realistic depiction of sex." (Image credit: Fight The New Drug)

If a child is exposed to pornography at a young age, this is their sex education. Pornography is NOT an accurate depiction of sex, nor should it be any form of sex education.

Getting back to Billie, here is what she described when she had her interview. Billie said that she was traumatized by what she witnessed from porn, stating she used to have frequent nightmares from what she watched. In her relationships, Billie shared that "not saying no to things that were not good because I thought that's what I was supposed to be attracted to based on her viewing [of pornography]." She even discussed the view porn had given her of women's bodies were warped. After all I described, can you see why this isn't so uncommon? 

I also just came across how Billie was "dating" a 22 year old man when she was 15/16 years old. She now describes her experience with that man as a "grooming" and "predatory" relationship. She then came out about her experience with porn. See how childhood pornography consumption impacts relationships later in life? You think what's in pornography is depicted in real life. It's the complete opposite.

Other celebrities have come out against the effects of pornography and/or sex trafficking. Terry Crews, Paris Belerec, Orlando Bloom, among others have spoken against pornography.

If we want to fight sex trafficking, we must also speak out against pornography. Porn has a detrimental effect on society and individuals, but it hurts our children the most. The Internet is a dark place, and parents need to be vigilant of what their kids are exposed to. We cannot stay silent on this.

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