Children and Online Exposure to Pornography

Making the rounds in the news today is a report on the rising number of children who are exposed to pornography through the Internet. Reading over the report, it is truly disheartening; especially when statements about the completely disgusting tactics some obscene websites are using, such as including words like 'Teletubbies' in their pages so children will find them through Google searches.

Something I find even more distressing is the way most analysts are reading the news. From Kansas City Fox news: "Exposure also could skew [the children's] perceptions about what constitutes a healthy sexual relationship, said Janis Wolak, the study's lead author and a researcher at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center."

Not only will exposure to pornography skew children's perceptions about sexuality, but it most definitely also skews adults' perceptions about sexuality. Our society is so removed from a healthy sexual perspective that we legalize, and even promote the culture of fashion, sexual promiscuity and supposed 'sexual freedom.'

Children are not the only ones at risk from exposure to pornography. If many of the children in the survey "were not disturbed by what they saw," how many hundreds of thousands of adults have been desensitized to what used to be a beautiful mystery, that is, human sexuality.

I found a good countercultural exposé of sorts in Dawn Eden's book, The Thrill of The Chaste. Another anecdote to this problem is a review of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body in Christopher West's concise, easy-to-read Theology of the Body for Beginners.