What does it mean to grow up in a world where pornography is easily accessible at a young age? This is the question Common Sense Media asks in a recently published report about young adults and pornography.
While there is growing concern about accessibility to pornography we know little about pornography consumption, especially with current technology. The almost inescapable presence of the internet and easy accessibility through personal mobile devices, laptops, and even school devices means that young people have constant access to online spaces in ways that can be difficult to monitor, even with filter safeguards in place.
Here are the key findings from Common Sense Media's report:
- Overall, 73% of teens reported that they have consumed pornography.
- 44% of all teens surveyed indicated that they viewed pornography intentionally, while 58% indicated they had encountered pornography accidentally.
- When breaking the stats down by gender, 75% of male respondents reported having consumed pornography, and 70% of female respondents reported the same. But 52% of male respondents said they had consumed pornography intentionally, compared to 36% of female respondents.
- 52% who reported having viewed pornography said they had seen images depicting what appears to be rape or someone in pain.
- Rates of intentional pornography consumption were higher among respondents who identified as LGBTQ+ (66%), including transgender and nonbinary respondents.
- 45% of the teens reported that pornography gives them “helpful” information about sex
- Most teens indicated that they have discussed sex-related issues, such as sex or birth control, with trusted adults in their lives, but less than half (43%) have discussed pornography.
While these statistics might surprise and concern you, being aware of hard topics leads to powerful and purposeful action. It is important to understand that many young people have experienced the ramifications of pursuing the false gratification found in pornography.
As reported, most teens are discussing sex-related issues with trusted adults in their lives, but are those trusted adults speaking truth about these sex-related issues and pornography consumption in a digital world?
At VirTru, we believe parents are the primary source of information for their children on this challenging, sensitive topic. As a parent, you can inspire change and plant seeds of hope.
If you are a parent or directly influence young adults in a church, school or youth center setting, consider sharing the booklet The Truth About Pornography as you pursue fruitful conversations about this challenging topic.
The Truth About Pornography explains the effects pornography has on the brain and relationships. It also teaches individuals how to:
- Identify triggers that may lead to viewing
- Seek accountability
- Develop a long-term success plan
Other recommended resources on the topic of pornography include Forged: 33 Days Toward Freedom and Delivered.
Accessibility to pornography is rapidly changing, and in many cases, pornography use is actually glorified to young women and men today. Be confident that you can make a difference one conversation at a time.