Thursday, 19 January 2017

porn and young people

Last week we had an interesting discussion about ethical porn. But however ethical that porn may be I wonder about its effect on young people.

I guess porn may have become the main sex education influence on many young people. There are lots of reports that children now become introduced to porn on the internet at a young age. When we watch BDSM porn we understand its context. However much porn has now taken on many of the aspects of BDSM and not in a good way. Gangbangs, choking oral sex, hard spanks including face slapping, forceful anal sex and much more is represented as mainstream. Force and lack of respect for the woman is seen as normal.

I do not feel that this is a good way for boys and girls to learn about sex. Boys may think that it is normal to treat girls disrespectfully and forcefully. Girls  may believe that this is what they have to accept.

There is another movement in porn sites as well as ethical porn - and that is feminist porn. Again Googling will bring up a number of sites. The whole notion of this is anathema in some feminist circles. I wonder too if it may sometimes be somewhat bland.

So is there an answer to this? Can we have a quality of sex education that helps young people have a more balanced view of sex and relationships? Is feminist porn an answer to this and the ethical porn issue? Or as in many aspects of society do we just have to recognise and accept that the internet is as much a negative force as a positive one?

8 comments:

redkelly said...

I can't speak to the larger question, only what we have done in our family. As soon as our children could ask a question, we answered it in an age-appropriate way, with fact. No cabbage leaf babies here. As my sons got close to adolescence we began the discussions about what is realistic and what is not. When I addressed porn with them our discussions ranged from what women's bodies realistically should look like all the way to consent as it applies to potentially degrading or violent sex acts. I also addressed the importance of making sure their partners were getting pleasure. All of my sons treat women with respect, they all believe the pleasure should go both ways, and they all understand that porn is theater, even the 15-year-old. Was it uncomfortable for me sometimes? Hell yeah. It's a parents responsibility to make sure your kids can navigate successfully in the world, that includes sexuality, and porn is fact of modern online life. If you talk openly to your kids about the issues and don't shame them they will make discerning choices and good decisions. All three of mine have.

lil said...

I feel like redkelly made some really great points, and I agree with her completely.

Having a teenage son who lives on the internet, this is a concept that I have thought about for some time. I think that as long as one follows the basic principles that kelly described regarding education, porn is not necessarily a bad thing when one considers the possible options--I'll take a teen boy who watches porn over one who is actually having sex. Porn, while often quite questionable in more ways than morality, and as I have found, occasionally somewhat scarring, is better than getting a girl pregnant, std's, and the amount of scaring that can occur during physical experiences.

Pygar said...

Thank you redkelly. That sounds like a brilliant way to approach these issues with your children. I hope others can learn from this and realise it is possible. I think very few when discussing sex with their children approach the issue of pornography despite the fact it has become so prevalent. The description of "porn as theatre" is great. Thank you for that.

I hope this helps others with teenage children.

P xx

Pygar said...

Thanks lil. Yes I do agree to a certain extent. However for many teenagers I doubt that it is an either/or situation. Even if they are not having sex now then they will come to do so at some stage and if then their view of sex is conditioned by porn then will that have a serious impact?

I do agree though with your point about the serious consequences of early pregnancy and dangers of std's.

P xx

lil said...

Pygar,
very valid point. I think that if one allows that to be the only input, then yes, there is going to be a serious detrimental impact because porn is not reality. If, however, they are exposed to other, more realistic and beneficial information/views to counteract porn, that detriment is minimized greatly.

Pygar said...

Thanks lil. Yes I do agree on the importance of exposing young people to more realistic and beneficial information. I think we both agree that redkelly above gave an excellent example of that.

P xx

Ashley Lee said...

I also agree with redkelly. We have daughters, we have had many talks that I really do not remember my mother or parents having with me, from anything from body changes, periods, babies, & sex. I guess this got my attention because one of our daughters (25 now) had been in a relationship for around four years maybe a little longer. I know it bothered her that he seemed to like to watch PORN not because he was watching porn more of he seemed to like to watch it alone and when she said, "Why would he want to watch porn when I am clearly laying in his bed". They did not live together and at times it could be 2-3 weeks that they did not see each other. I didn't have an answer for her this time. I have also heard other "moms" discuss very similar situations. I see nothing wrong with watching porn if that is what someone enjoys, I do think if it becomes more important than the real thing, then that might just be a problem, those are just my thoughts though.
honey

Pygar said...

Thank you honey for your interesting contribution. It has got me thinking in a new direction...

Yes, I think it is great that you had such open exchanges with your daughters. I wish that all parents did the same as you - and as redkelly above.

The point that got me thinking again was your daughter in bed alone, waiting and available, yet he was alone watching porn. I bet that is a common situation for many couples and it must have a devastating effect on the confidence of women and their relationship with the one they love.

I think there are a number of issues about this...
- do men have a different attitude to porn than women?
- is there a shamefulness in society, even in close relationships, about admitting to watching porn
- can couples grow to enjoy watching porn together or will each partners taste inevitably be different if they are of different sexes (perhaps gay couples can enjoy watching porn together without the same hangups!)

I feel a new post coming on!

P xx