Links Between Child Sexual Abuse and Internet Pornography

As a teenager growing up in the seventies, I knew pornography existed through schoolyard chatter and discussion. I knew it existed in the form of magazines and videos — most often obtained behind a blacked-out door, only enterable if you were over 18. And for those who did enter, you hoped none of your friends or family saw you!

In 2014, internet pornography exists, and it is free and all-too-accessible to anyone of any age with an internet-enabled device such as a smart phone, tablet, computer or game console.

students_computer_young_boy.jpg

 

First up, in a time of internet pornography, the key for any parent has to be and must be an open and honest dialogue with your child from a very young age. It is important that your child knows they can come to you to talk about anything. With our technological explosion, your child will see and be shown images and information they will most certainly need to talk to you about.

My advocacy is sexual abuse prevention education (body safety) and I advocate for body safety to be taught to children from a very young age. And just like teaching your child about water safety or road safety, it must be in an age-appropriate and non-threatening manner.

http://somesecrets.info/blog/2013/12/29/how-to-educate-your-child-in-body-safety

When teaching body safety with young children, I always advocate that we, as parents, listen to and importantly believe our children; have them comfortable to speak to us about anything that worries or disturbs them; and to always reassure the child that they are never at fault. In the time of internet pornography, these rules also apply.

That being said, let’s investigate briefly the link I personally see between internet pornography and child sexual abuse.

• Some initial research studies do indicate that child sex offenders will view pornography with their victims. After the initial grooming of the child (and their family) they will show the child sex acts to normalize the behavior, and in some cases, arouse sexual curiosity. And, as is the case with all predators, using that curiosity to lay blame on the victim’s shoulders.

• Men, women and teenagers who watch child sex acts on screen may have an increased danger of acting out what they see; whereas if they were not exposed to such crimes, they may not have offended against a child. Note: in my opinion, there should be no term ‘child pornography’ as it is a criminal sex act against a child or children, and is a crime scene. Those viewing it are par-taking in a criminal act. 

• Groomers on-line may expose teens to pornography in order to arouse sexual curiosity and encourage them to meet for sexual acts. While most young women are disgusted by what they see, young boys are more likely than teen girls to be aroused and curious.

• Older siblings exposed to internet pornography may (please note, this is a ‘may’) act out what they have seen on younger siblings who they have ready access to.

In my opinion, the lack of age-appropriate sex education for our children and our culture’s prudish attitude towards sex, are forcing teenagers to turn more and more to internet pornography as the only readily available source of information on sex. Unfortunately, what they are seeing through pornography are distorted and disturbing images of what sex and sexual relationships entail.

In summary, as parents, let’s be vigilant about our children’s use of the internet. Let’s make sure we have open and honest discussions with our children and teach them age-appropriate sex education. And finally, let’s teach our children body safety (from a young age) so if they are ever targeted by a predator, they have the knowledge and skills to know exactly what to do and to speak up. 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three teenage daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education (body safety) both in the home and in schools. Jayneen is the author of the children’s picture book ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’; suitable for children ages 2 to 12 years. 
The book also includes body safety instruction and discussion questions for parents and teachers. Available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

and Jay’s website.

For more information on teaching body safety and Jay’s book go to www.somesecrets.info

 

3 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.