Equipping communities to build resilience in children & young people through awareness, intervention, proactive education and advocacy
Actionable Responses to Pornography as a Public Health Crisis Workshop – September 28, 2018
Youth Wellbeing Project in conjunction with MediaHealth for Kids & Youth: Media Health for Children and Young People is a rapidly growing interest organization, which ambitiously works to create a national cultural change in Denmark. Our role is to facilitate the work of parents, professionals and other organizations, by continuously collecting and disseminating knowledge and tools to create healthier media relations.
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Ross Kemp – Child Sexual Abuse Documentary from the UK
Ways porn harms children & young people
Porn is controversial because it’s divisive. There’s ‘Pro-Porn’ and ‘Anti-Porn’ sides. It’s as oppositional, if not more, as any other ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ discussion. – Liz Walker
Pornography is accessible, affordable, anonymous and addictive. A growing number of neuroscience studies show how an overactive reward system can result in addiction.
“Porn is now the most prominent form of sexuality education for many young people; it is shaping young people’s sexual understandings and expectations in ways unprecedented.” – Maree Crabbe
Research suggests that adolescents who use Internet porn have lower degrees of social integration, increases in conduct problems, higher levels of delinquent behaviour, higher incidence of depressive symptoms, and decreased emotional bonding with caregivers.
As the porn industry continues to grow, clinicians report that an increasing number of individuals are seeking out help to deal with sexual and relational difficulties associated with pornography use.
Pornography is linked to increases in negative attitude to women, decreases in empathy for victims of sexual violence, and increases in dominating and sexually-imposing behaviour.
“The increasing sexualisation of children and their exposure to inappropriate sexual content is of significant concern and is closely linked to the occurrence of Problem Sexualised Behaviours.” – Sexual Assault Support Service
A study on the consequences of exposure to Internet pornography for early adolescent boys’ academic performance indicates that increased use of Internet pornography decreased boys’ academic performance six months later.
Numerous studies reveal links between porn use and sexual dysfunctions, including porn-induced erectile dysfunction, low desire, and sexual & relationship dissatisfaction. Negative effects are often reversed by stopping Internet porn use.
If you or loved ones are struggling with pornography’s impacts, you need to know that you are not alone.
Click through for educational information, resources and links to online support services.
Porn Addiction Support
Fortify Program is designed to equip individuals struggling with compulsive pornography use – young and old – with tools, education and community to assist them in reaching lasting freedom. Their mission is to help spark an uprising of people tired of porn messing with their lives – and ready for something far better. The perfect tool help change behaviour – free for youth aged 13-17. Affordable for those aged 18 and over.
Reboot Nation helps people reboot their brains with encouragement and education. Reboot is a complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation (i.e. pornography). They are a community of people who have discovered the negative effects of pornography. Reboot Nation provides many resources and information to equip you with the tools necessary to start recovering today and become more aware of the potential harm caused by high-speed Internet porn.
No Fap: Get a new grip on life. A secular porn recovery community website for all victims of pornography. Whether you have a porn addiction yourself or just need support as a partner, parent, or loved one of somebody struggling with pornography, this community will support you.
Addicted to Internet Porn: Have you been harmed by your porn usage habits? Learn how it can cause sexual and emotional dysfunction and how to recover. Coaching available by Noah Church.
Go for Greatness is a not for profit organisation registered in the USA and Australia whose primary purpose is to educate people about the harmful effects of pornography and connect those in need to professional help. Go for Greatness partners with churches, universities, schools, businesses and other organisations to run events and tours and offers support and connections to both faith-based and secular individuals and organisations.
Reddit NoFap: Partake in the ultimate challenge. This is a web community that hosts challenges in which users (“Fapstronauts”) abstain from pornography and masturbation for a period of time (“fapstinence” or “rebooting”). Whether your goal is casual participation in a monthly challenge as a test of self-control, or whether excessive masturbation or pornography has become a problem in your life and you want to quit for a longer period of time, you will find a supportive community and plenty of resources.
Your Brain Rebalanced Overcoming Pornography Addiction and Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction
Sacred Sexuality Project is about helping individual men turn their lives around, but this is also about changing the world. The mission is to increase awareness of the problems caused by an abuse of sexuality and to help men and women reconnect with a higher expression of their sexual energy.
The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists – Your Trusted Source For Transcending Sexual Betrayal. PSATS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional training and certification, public education and research.
The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health ( SASH ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sexual health and addressing the escalating consequences of problematic sexual behaviors affecting individuals, families and communities.
Pandora’s Box is Open, Now What do I Do? is a parent’s guide for helping children and teens who have been exposed to, or are actively using pornography. Filled with worksheets and easily understood concepts, this book provides a framework for parents and kids to collaborate and work together in mastering the unbelievably strong desire to view porn.
Pandora’s Box is Open, Now What do I Do? provides parents, children and teens the information and skills they need to fight what has become a very real and personal war. Pandora’s Box was written by Dr.Gail Poyner, a psychologist, who actually treats children and teens who are in the midst of disturbing pornography use.
This book is also a useful resource for therapists.
Info for parents
Kids are just a click away from hypersexualized media and porn. That’s why Culture Reframed has developed a complete, best-practice toolkit, which will help you raise porn-resilient kids. The Parents Program for Tweens is online, free, and accessible. Don’t wait another day!
Parents of Teens by Culture Reframed. This page offers tips for regular communication, identifying warning signs, links for teens struggling with pornography, educational videos, a Pornography Fact File on Mental Health & addiction, plus more.
Parents of Children by Culture Reframed. This page offers tips for foundational conversations, identifying warning signs, links for practical prevention, educational videos, suggested books, plus more.
COMPOSE Yourself! – a practical guide to help parents respond well when they discover their young person has viewed pornography. Provided by Culture Reframed, the COMPOSE Yourself! model is adaptable for all ages.
eChildhood is a registered health promotion charity dedicated to mobilising responses that reduce the harmful effects of pornography on children and young people. Learn how to prevent pornographies impact on children and young people; equip with links to education resources for parents and schools; and find support for children and young people who need to restore from harms incurred.
CHILDREN’S BOOK: Not for Kids! children’s book offers gentle and insightful guidance and is a must have for parents and professionals to prepare kids under the age of 10 for the inevitable occasion of when they will see explicit imagery.
CHILDREN’S BOOK: Good Pictures, Bad Pictures
CHILDREN’S BOOK: Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr
Parenting One Click Ahead of Porn – free eBook by Liz Walker
Online Porn: From Childline in the UK, this page is for young people aged 12 and over.
Sex. Relationships. The Internet: From Think U Know in the UK, this site offers practical insight for teens aged 14+.
Porn: what science says: From Think U Know in the UK, this page is for 14+ teens.
Online Porn: Advice on how to talk to your child about the risks of online porn and sexually explicit material provided from NSPCC in the UK.
Healthy sexual behaviour in children and young people: Your guide to keeping children safe, spotting warning signs and what to do if you’re worried.
MediaHealth for Kids & Youth: Media Health for Children and Young People is a rapidly growing interest organization, which ambitiously works to create a national cultural change. Our role is to facilitate the work of parents, professionals and other organizations, by continuously collecting and disseminating knowledge and tools to create healthier media relations.
Culture Reframed: Solving the Public Health Crisis of the Digital Age. Research-driven education to prevent, resist, and heal the harms of violent mainstream pornography and hypersexualized pop culture.
Comprehensive list of Learning Resources by Culture Reframed, including books and an extensive video list.
Youth Wellbeing Project: holistic relationships and sexuality education with a focus on providing skills for Critical Porn Analysis.
IQ programs: an integrated educational initiative to safeguard young people in the wake of an increasingly exploitative and hypersexualised culture.
The Reward Foundation: Love, sex and the Internet.
Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction. This website provides the latest research findings as well as information for those addicted.
Safe Surfer: Supporting Online Safety (Home Internet Filtering)
Product Review: Protective Software Programs for Recovering Sex and Love Addicts – a collection of recommended resources provided by addiction and mental health expert, Robert Weiss.
Is free pornography destroying our brains?
School kids today are watching porn like never before. It’s free, it’s instant and it’s having a devastating effect.
New Zealand TV3 current affairs program 3D has spoken to porn users and porn addicts, as well as a sex educator Liz Walker, and a top international scientist who say this new type of porn can actually alter our brains.
Critical Porn Analysis
Critical Porn Analysis is an educational response to the researched harms of pornography as a public health crisis. Critical Porn Analysis moves beyond the micro focus of how the individual interacts with pornographic content, to consider a more holistic approach on how porn’s proliferation and ease of access impacts the health & wellbeing of individuals, relationships, families, communities and cultures.
Critical Porn Analysis requires a critique through 5 interconnected lenses: global industry; sex, gender, power & relationships; sexual exploitation; child sexual exploitation; and mental health & addiction. Critical Porn Analysis provides educators, decision makers, and community a greater understanding of the scope of impacts, and frames the discussion to respond to pornography as the public health crisis of the digital age. Critical Porn Analysis builds upon the work of Natalie Collins, a UK-based Gender Justice Specialist. This inquiry begins a difficult, but necessary conversation. Questions are by no means exhaustive.
Pornography is a social problem and cannot be addressed by placing the burden on parents and educators alone. It requires a multisectoral, collaborative, coordinated, integrative response. It calls upon government & community leaders; mental health, medical & legal professions; educators; parents; child, youth, women, men & family advocates; activists & survivors; and digital technology experts to engage in preventative and proactive responses. Public health focuses on safeguarding and improving the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the community as a whole.
- How has the porn industry normalized consumption of its product?
- How has the industry shaped sexual attitudes and behaviors?
- How does the industry commodify human sexuality and desires?
- Why does the industry fight any attempt to implement health, safety, and employee care guidelines?
- Why does the industry produce increasingly abusive and exploitative content?
- What support is there for performers exploited by the industry, who go on to live with post-traumatic stress disorder, permanent injury or disease?
- How does the industry use PR and media to promote their wares and manage the image of its product?
SEX, GENDER, POWER & RELATIONSHIPS
- How does porn shape people’s fantasies, sense of gender and sexual identity, relationship expectations, behaviours, and treatment of others?
- How does pornography impact women’s and men’s sexuality? (e.g. body image issues, performance anxiety, feelings of inadequacies etc.)
- How does porn create or reinforce toxic masculinity?
- Does porn link to increasing levels of sexual violence in relationships?
- What is the difference between porn and sexual intimacy?
- How does porn normalize gender power imbalances and violence?
- What messages do same sex attracted & gender diverse people receive from porn?
- Why does hidden porn use trigger insecurity, trauma, rejection and broken trust for partners? How does porn impact commitment and relationship satisfaction?
- What social and cultural impacts are there to normalising sexual exploitation?
- How does porn promote messages which normalise and groom viewers into being subjected to exploitation?
- How does porn promote oppression of women, racism, and same-sex attracted and gender diverse people?
- How does consumption fuel trafficking of women and children?
- How does porn increase the harms for women in the sex trade? How does porn normalise illegal behaviours?
- How does porn normalise the perpetuation of sexual exploitation and bystander behaviour?
- How does porn normalise rape, sexual harassment, hate slurs and ‘revenge porn’?
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
- Given the research on the impact of early exposure to porn, could children and young people’s exposure to pornography be considered sexual abuse in and of itself?
- The impact of exposure (whether via adults, children or themselves) can induce trauma and premature sexualization that is a form of child sexual abuse.
- Previous generations would have only been exposed to such graphic and violent sexual content through sexual abuse.
- Relating to pornography harms, why are the laws that are in place to protect children from sexual and wider harms, not enacted?
- How is pornography grooming children to be at risk for both online and offline exploitation?
- How is pornography being used as a ‘how to’ manual for engaging in sexually abusive behaviours towards other children?
- How does toxic porn culture normalise exploitation (e.g. sexting) amongst young people?
- What messages does porn provide to youth who are exploring their sense of self and sexuality?
MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION
- What is the impact of pornography on the brain and arousal physiology when viewing ‘scenes’ and sex acts that are not part of most sexual relationships?
- What is the addictive potential of internet porn?
- Given child and adolescent brains are still in development and therefore, most vulnerable to addiction, what long-term impacts does ease-of-access to porn present?
- What mental health conditions and arousal disorders are linked to porn use?
- How does porn impact body image, performance anxieties and depression?
- What improvements to wellbeing occur after porn use stops?