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How to Speak to Your Kids About Pornography

Last Updated: October 30, 2020

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

A critical question for parents living in the digital age is this: How do I prepare my sexually curious child/teen to live in a world with easy access to pornography?

Notice the assumptions behind this question:

  1. Your child will most likely see pornography. There are some kids who escape their teenage years unscathed, but not many. According to the most recent Youth Internet Safety Survey, despite advances in technology, unwanted exposures to pornography still happen today (15% of 10-12-year-olds, 23% of 13-15-year-olds, and 28% of 16-17-year-olds). And when kids enter the teen years the dynamics change as many start to intentionally seek out porn online. The majority (87%) of intentional seekers are 14 or older. In all, 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to online pornography during adolescence (according to a study published in CyberPscyhology and Behavior).
  2. Your child is sexually curious. As children get older, they will develop natural sexual curiosities and desires. This makes some parents very uncomfortable. How can parents not quench but steer their teen’s sexual curiosity in a healthy direction before porn captivates their minds and hearts?
  3. The emphasis is not just protection but preparation. We can guard the eyes of our kids by limiting their media diet and having good filters on our computers. But the real parenting task is preparing them for a world without filters and fences. Have you equipped your child with an awareness of the temptations they will encounter and the tools to battle those temptations?

How can we parent our children well in this age?

Below are a list of articles to get you started:

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