I am writing this post because of a video of ‘’dancing’’ kids that has gone viral on Facebook. The movements of these young kids, one of them was no older than 3 years old, are sexually explicit, which is outrageous but the discussion of it as being part of a culture is also extremely outrageous. The nonchalant acceptance of the exposure of kids to porn and /or various sexual behaviours and its passive approval as a part of culture represents, in my opinion, the devastation of the morals and values of society. Sex is used everywhere regardless of context and/or appropriateness. It seems like an ordinary and expected phenomenon but not many stop to think about the obscene and devastating implications that it has on young innocent developing minds that see these sexual acts and/or messages. This prompted me to search for scientific articles that researched these consequences. The following are a very small collection of harmful implications that exposure to sexual content has on our kids.
1.Exposure to sexualized content contributes to an earlier start of sexual activity, sexual ambiguity about one’s sexual values, more positive attitudes toward casual sexual relations and the exploration of diverse sexual acts with multiple partners.
2.Children learn about themselves, gender, relationships and socially acceptable behaviour in society through observation and experience with their environment. There is significant positive correlation between exposure to pornography and positive attitude towards violence against women, the level of acceptance of victimization and of bystanders’ actions. Girls who watched pornographic videos have a greater likelihood of being a victim of physical and verbal sexual harassment or sexual assault; while boys (even younger than 10 years old) were found to have positive attitude regarding sexual aggression and are more likely to report having harassed a peer or forced sexual contact.
3.It has negative effects on the ability to form healthy relationships. The definition of a relationship and the expectations of a partner get distorted. Trust, monogamy, intimacy, love, romance, affection, emotional exclusivity and attachments seem to be unattainable, insignificant and unrealistic as promiscuity and the ease of sexual contact seem to be the norm and a natural state of interaction.
4.Additionally, another significant correlation was found between the exposure to pornography of kids younger than 10 years old with felony assault, delinquency, theft, alcohol use, drug use, public disorderly conduct and property damage at a later age.
I hope this post does not only bring food for thought and raise awareness, but will also be a wakeup call to take action, protect and nurture the growing innocent minds and souls of our children, raise our standards to what we accept into our children’s lives and in our culture, as well as to what should be proper contents in our own eyes.
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Bonino, S., Ciairano, S., Rabaglietti, E., & Cattelino, E. (2006). Use of pornography and self-reported engagement in sexual violence among adolescents. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3(3), 265-288.
Brown, J., & L’Engle, K. (2009). X-Rated: Sexual attitudes and behaviours associated with U.S. early adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit media.Communication Research, 36(1), 129-151
Collins, R., Elliott, M., Berry, S., Kanouse, D., Kunkel, D., Hunter, S., et al. (2004). Watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual behaviour. Pediatrics, 114(3), 280-289.
Hald, G., Malamuth, N., & Yuen, C. (2009). Pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women: Revisiting the relationship in non-experimental studies. Aggressive Behavior, 35, 1-7.
Peter, J., & Valekenburg, P.M. (2008). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit Internet material, sexual uncertainty and attitudes towards uncommitted sexual exploration: Is there a link? Communications Research, 35(5), 596-60.
Zillman, D. (2000). Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ dispositions toward sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27S(2), 41-44.