There are special sections especially for parents, in the Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction: A Resource for LDS Families and Parents, which is available from our website as a free download. Review this manual and the BASICS tab on the website. Also, read the information for parents, under the “Help, A Loved One is Using Pornography” tab.
The Truth About Pornography
The following statistics are representative of various studies done on pornography.
- 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites.
- 70% of men ages 18-24 will visit porn sites in a typical month.
- The average age at which a child first sees online porn is 11 years old.
- 47% of families in the United States say pornography is a problem in their home.
- Every second, more than 28,000 people are looking at pornography on the Internet.
- Pornography is a $97 billion industry worldwide.
- Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography.
- Every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is made in the United States.
- 12% of the websites on the internet are pornographic. That is 24,644,172 sites.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) young men and nearly one third (31%) of young women report using pornography.
- 79% of pornography is viewed in the home—yours or a friend’s—so consider putting filters on computers.
Research indicates that pornography can be addictive. Viewing pornography conditions a person to respond emotionally and sexually to an artificial world. Participants can gradually become unable to respond emotionally and sexually to the real world around them. Pornography addiction tends to lead to other behaviors such as masturbation, infidelity, illegal activity and sexual abuse. Increasing evidence links violent-themed pornography to aggressive behaviors. Pornography can numb the user’s sensitivity to moral standards and create a skewed perception of reality and relationships. Pornography use can impact relationships, is a major factor in the break-up of marriages and has a corresponding negative effect on children from those homes.
There are often serious financial consequences as a result of pornography addiction as well. Personal costs may include actually purchasing or participating in pornography, job loss as a result of pornography use, and the cost of trying to find recovery, such as counseling. Additionally, other reported effects include considerable amounts of lost time, decreased productivity, significant opportunity costs and an inability to reach meaningful long-term goals.
Protecting My Family
Because of changes in the way information is disseminated through high speed media, there is no way to completely avoid pornography. Accidental exposure occurs even with the best software programs. There are, however, some ways to decrease exposure.
Self regulation is the most important method to protect against pornography. Individuals must be ready to turn away from provocative images that are displayed in advertising, magazines, movies, television, games, and any electronic medium connected to the internet. It is important for parents to set the example of avoiding offensive, immoral, or pornographic material.
Become educated regarding pornography addiction, the recovery process and ways to protect your family.
Teach your children regarding pornography, age appropriate sexuality and the importance of self-regulation and to report offensive material to appropriate adults.
Create a family pledge. Consider setting media standards as a family and posting agreed upon standards in a public place. (There is a Family Pledge in the handout section of Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction: A Resource for LDS Families and Leaders. This is a free download from our website.)
Utilize tools to limit offensive material entering your home. While there is no foolproof system, some simple steps can help reduce the risk of pornographic materials being accidentally seen by your family.
- Educate yourself about your computer and how the internet works.
- Place computers in high-traffic areas of the home. Kitchens, family rooms, and studies usually have the most traffic. Position computer monitors so the screen faces out for public view.
- Install a filtering program, learn its features and how to use it.
- Teach family members about the dangers of internet pornography, including how to escape if an inappropriate site is accidentally accessed. This usually involves shutting down the entire system.
- Teach family members to tell parents if they encounter any form of pornography while on the computer. This will help reduce the fear or shame of accidental exposure. It also serves to open discussion about the dangers of pornography.
- Teach family members to use the internet for a specific purpose only. Aimless surfing is more likely to lead to seeing inappropriate sites. Avoid public chat rooms, bulletin boards, or unfamiliar areas. Such places present an unnecessary risk.
- Teach children not to share any personal information online without parental knowledge and permission. Many predators pose as children to gain access and information that may put children at risk.
- Be aware of what your children’s school and public library policies are regarding internet use and accessibility.
- Teach family members to never open e-mail from someone they don’t know.