For a long time there has been huge resistance to having a decent conversation about the harms of pornography without being branded a prude for not embracing it. For instance, in the past, I’ve been told I’m ‘erotophobic’ (have a fear of anything erotic – best not tell my husband that!); and that I’m ‘potentially distributing anti-porn propaganda’ to teenagers. Let that sit with you for a minute… If discussing porn with teens is not anti, does that mean it’s supposed to be a pro-porn conversation? Hmmmm… If the answer isn’t clear-cut for you, maybe come back to this question at the end of this blog series.

Yes, I’m on a mission. Over the next 30 days I’m aiming to write a blog a day about porn. It’s No Porn November and even though I’m off to a late start, I believe it’s well worth highlighting the truth about porn so that we can increase discussion in our homes, schools, churches and communities. These posts will talk about the ‘issue’, and wherever possible, offer ideas on how you can respond.

This is not written to isolate users and lovers of porn, although it may unintentionally do so. At the end of each article, I’ll post some links to online services where you can get support and if you know of a forum that’s not listed, please let me know. Many people, when confronted with the truth, identify that porn is indeed an issue. And as with any area of human vulnerability, you are not alone. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to seeking help is feeling as though you are the only person with the ‘issue’. That my friend, is a lie that is designed to keep you ‘stuck’.

Why did I title this ‘Finally, the truth about porn?’ Because even though the truth has been out for quite a while, it seems as though now more than ever, people are willing to listen. The past 5 – 10 years of Internet porn has seen it escalate in availability. Along with easy access, extremely graphic and violent images have become mainstream. As a result, the research is catching up. There is now ample evidence and anecdotal reports to inspire more than a moral argument.

Some of the topics you can expect to see are:

  • How is porn defined?
  • Porn is a ‘controversial’ topic
  • Ubiquity – it’s everywhere
  • Accessibility
  • Early exposure during childhood
  • Problem Sexual Behaviours in children
  • Sexually Abusive Behaviours in children
  • Porn as the new sex educator
  • Impact on emotional health
  • Impact on mental health
  • Impact on intimacy
  • Porn use leading to addiction
  • The link between porn and sexual violence
  • Child pornography
  • Porn and sex trafficking
  • Sexualisation and self-sexualisation
  • Objectification and self-objectification
  • Changing sexual tastes
  • Porn use leading to erectile dysfunction
  • Porn use lowering educational outcomes
  • The links to violent attitudes and behaviours
  • Impacts on families
  • Altered expectations
  • Resistance to address this topic in schools

Plus lots more!

You may not wish to identify with what I write. That’s cool. Your life, your choice. This series is specifically written to encourage conversation and inspire action from adults for the sake of our young people. If you are a reader who is more than happy with personally using porn and are not troubled by the outcomes of what happens when kids have open access, please remember that there are a variety of perspectives to consider (covered in a few days) and if these blogs trouble you, it would perhaps be more conducive to walk away.

I invite you to join in the discussion. Yes, my approach is an anti-porn, whole-person centred sexuality education approach. If you have an alternative viewpoint that’s fine, but please recognise that the main purpose is to discuss the impact on children and teenagers, along with how porn can impact sexual development and interfere with achieving healthy relationships. Comments that are rude or just picking a fight won’t be published. All my responses put the rights of children to have access to a safe developmental environment above the whims of adults. No apologies.

Hope you enjoy The Truth about Porn series and share it around. If you have a topic you would like answered, send me an email.

 


THANK YOU to everyone who has been sharing these blog posts and for all your great feedback.  If you have a topic you would like me to blog about, send an email me or ASK ME through Vidoyen. If you would like to enquire about my availability and professional speaking fees to present at your school, in-service, conference, community, youth or church event, enquire via email.  If you are looking for sex education support, find us at Youth Wellbeing Project and sign up to receive our newsletter.

 

Liz Walker

About Liz Walker

Sexuality & pornography educator and advocate. Liz provides consultancy, schools education & presentations, and is sought after internationally.