01 Aug The Pornography Thieves: Stealing My Daughter’s Innocence
Lessons Learned From My Teenage Daughter’s Pornography Addiction
The Author of This Article Wishes to Remain Anonymous
As parents of a teenage son, my husband and I have been adamant about teaching him the hazards of pornography. This adheres to an urgency that exists for parents of growing young men to equip them with the knowledge necessary to fend off attacks that we know are carefully crafted to ensnare them. After all, pornography is only a male problem, right? Think again.
We also have two lovely teenage daughters. We made sure to include them as we discussed the pitfalls of pornography, but felt there was no need to scrutinize them further. We were under the misconception that girls were not targeted, and therefore, did not have the same issue with viewing pornography—at least not our girls. We had placed filters in our home, added security to our computers and had vigilant conversations with our children on the subject. We believed our prevention efforts had been sufficient.
One of these conversations led to a deeper discussion with my eldest daughter in which she revealed that not only had she been accessing pornography in our home, she had been accessing it for many years. It took a few moments for the reality to catch up with the words. As the wave of shock receded, an anguish and anger was uncovered. I felt like a failure as a mother. How did my daughter become a slave to something so derogatory towards women on my watch? What filth had she been subjected to? I yearned to help my daughter who was conscripted into the perilous battle of pornography addiction.
I seethed with fury at the pornography industry for sneaking their foulness in my home and taking the innocence I strove to protect. I know with certainty these thieves have neither sorrow for what they have taken nor remorse for the damage they have done.
I had to step back and reevaluate the situation. My first step was the most important. I needed to arm myself with an education on this adversary, if I was going help my daughter win this battle.
Are You Educated on Pornography Statistics?
- 9 out of 10 youth ages 8-16 have been exposed to pornography.
- Porn is not just pictures of naked men or women posing for a camera. It takes the form of literature, photos, videos, and most recently Virtual Reality porn.
- Pornography has grown to be more violent and graphic than ever before. Studies show this includes hooking-up/making out, nudity, videos on how to masturbate, sex (oral, anal, or vaginal), sex crimes (including rape), or homosexuality (gay and lesbian) porn.
- Violence towards women in pornography is shown in the form of slapping, choking, hair pulling, bondage and other forced sexual acts.
- Pornography can be found on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Ebay, Pinterest, and Google Images; among several other ways.
- No filter is 100% guaranteed. Clay Olsen, co-founder and CEO of Fight the New Drug, stated that accidental exposure to pornography is often the avenue that leads teenagers to addiction. In one study, 41.3% of the 1,166 respondents were accidentally exposed to pornography as a result of misspelled searches, advertisements, and redirection from other websites.
- Frequent use of pornography can lead to a cocaine–like reaction in the brain, making viewing porn highly addictive.
- As of 2014, porn was a $97 billion global industry.
- Pornhub’s 2016 statistics boast the following:
(**no visual pornography is contained in this link)
o U.S. is the highest consumer of porn with 40% of visits to the site.
- Since 2010, Pornhub has seen a 1424% increase to their site, mainly due to mobile traffic.
- 61% of traffic to their site comes from smartphones.
- Women make up 26% of their customer base. Pornhub is continually finding new ways to attract the female consumer.
- The most popular time of the day for pornography viewing is between 10pm and 1 am.
- The total number of videos viewed on their site in 2016 was 91,980,225,000. That equals 12.5 videos per every person on the entire planet!
You Are Not Alone
This new awareness helped us to construct a new defense for our family. In time, I shed any inadequacies I perceived to have as a parent and ventured to share my experience with others. I found parents confronted with the same plight, trying to navigate the feelings of confusion, distress and frustration. In hopes of helping others that are engaged in this struggle, let me share with you the fortifications we have built for our family.
What Should You Add to Your Family Protection Plan?
- Love your daughter. Separate the pornography addiction from your child or teen. They need to know they are still loved. This gives them the hope and encouragement they need to recover.
- Family rules. Together as a family, decide on pornography protection rules that all will adhere to. Some of these rules may include:
- Parents have permission to check device content, parental controls and blocks regularly.
- No Internet devices behind locked doors.
- Turn in all Internet devices to parents at bedtime (cell phones, laptops, etc.)
- Communication is the key. Have daily check-ins with your teen or child. This allows your child to be accountable for their daily actions and reinforces that you are consistent in your support. Be specific according to your child’s needs. For example:
- Have you looked at pornography at all today or since the last time we talked?
- Are you having any struggles with (specific problem) you want to talk about?
- Patience is a necessity. All addictions take time to overcome and may have several setbacks along the way.
- Get help if needed. Find a counselor or therapist who has worked with pornography addiction.
- Online sites that can help:
- Don’t give up! You can defeat this.
There are moments when we needed to reset during setbacks, but we have seen a significant change in our home. We have learned to celebrate each triumph along the way in conquering this addiction. When parents and children can join together, their combined forces can prevail over pornography.