Most computers, smart phones and even home routers have controls to exclude unwanted internet content. Parents who think porn is bad can filter it. Social controls (your conscience) is not the answer.
But if you really want to consider the children teach them early and often "About your Sexuality" or its successor "Our Whole Lives" curriculum from UU and UCC which treats sexuality as a natural part of the human existence. If you don't teach them they will learn it from advertisements and TV reality shows. Or their porn loving friends.
Education always works. Censorship never does.
I read a study a few months ago about young boys and the effects of viewing porn (as a mom of two boys, I was curious) and it focused on the fact that porn skews a person's view of sex and of 'normalcy.' In the study, the boys interviewed thought all girls looked like the girls in porn and if they didn't then that was weird (i.e., all girls were fully shaved, etc). It also discussed how the sex in porn is not even realistic and so it causes young men (and young girls that view it) to have unrealistic expectations. IMO, porn is not harmless and it's not something that should be viewed by children.christiangirl
If young boys and girls don't know what normal is, of course porn will skew their view of sex and 'normalcy.' If they are kept in the dark of "we don't talk about that" and the only light is porn, guess what, light is normal. I was given a sex education book as soon as I learned to read, about 4 or 5. '40s. It was as might be expected poorly written and obscure but my parents encouraged me to ask them or my older sisters about anything I didn't understand. Needless to say I was a trouble maker in grade school as other kids knew I had answers to questions their parents wouldn't talk about.
Mammals have sex at puberty and are interested in it far before that. Humans are mammals. They will figure it out one way or the other.
And, yet, grown men have their views on sex skewed by porn. It's not just about whether or not a kid is taught about 'normal' sex prior to their viewing porn. ...watching too much porn desensitizes us to 'normal' sex. Studies back me up...christiangirl
I suspect that none of those studies included grown men that didn't learn about sex from the church (sex is sin, and the missionary position while still sinful is excusable for procreation.) Or in the military: FFF&F.
I know and have followed many children both boys and girls that were taught properly about sexuality pre-puberty and most of them find kinky porn to be a stupid waste of time. Most had good relationships with the opposite sex through early puberty and later in life. None of them had unwanted children. This is confirmed by follow up studies on children that were exposed to the About Your Sexuality and Our Whole Lives curriculums both by UU and UCC research.
Are you actually suggesting that parents take an active roll in raising their own kids? You're asking way too much.mountain_humanist
Liberals think it is the governments job, i.e. "it takes a village."SeraphimSince religious parents and many others have shown they can't do the job of teaching sexuality and defusing porn, perhaps the village stepping in is not a bad idea.
In subjects like sexual mores that have such an important impact on peoples "village" I think the government and schools should stay entirely out of the picture. Government and schools will fall to the lowest common denominator usually "Just say no" as unrealistic as that is for sex or anything else.
First and most important are the parents, supported either by their church or secular resources, eg, charitable organizations providing information and contraceptives for those choosing that route, or the many "Sex Ed" books available at the library, some written at the child's level of development. Amazon has a whole section in children's books>Growing Up and Facts of Life. As noted earlier put a few on the child's bookshelf and encourage questions. When the child needs them hesh will find them.
Perhaps surprisingly I think the child's church should be the choice for parents who do not choose to be involved. Make sure your church school has a sexuality resource center no matter what the doctrine is. The child will have to live with the consequences of that doctrine so they had best know what it is. Note that child is pre-pubescent. If they learn before the hormones kick in they are more likely to make better choices.
The worst choice for parents who don't want to be involved actively is unfortunately porn. Make sure the door is open to talk about it. They will see it. Banned or not. If they can't talk to parents and mentors, they will learn from peers and porn stars.
Still, education simply cannot satiate curiosity, it won't. Your 12 year old is still going to want to see what he can see on the internet. After all I have seen and even done I still have curiosity myself from time to time.
That is where things can get weird, even with eduation kids are still forming impressions and still forming connections and can get things sadly wrong with some of the stuff they can see online.
I almost ( I said almost, not quite) think you should do some porny web surfing with kids to be there to correct where things are wrong and where it is not realistic. But I also believe in strong boundaries and can't imagine doing something like that myself. Funderey
There is a difference between education and indoctrination. Education is open inquiry where questions and issues are invited and welcome. When a 12 year old surfs some disturbing porn, either they will hide it if indoctrinated and get things wrong, or if educated ask a trusted mentor what the hell is this? But they have to know what "Normal sexuality" is in their culture before they can ask about "Abnormal sex"
I still find you wildly unrealistic and out of touch here. NO, your average run of the mill - NON indoctrinated, not even religious 12 year old is not going to be totally up front and honest about the porn he or she surfed. They will talk to their friends if it is particularly weird. funderey
One of the early activities in a sexuality education curriculum is defusing taboos. A bunch of taboo words are written on a sheet of butcher paper, and the kids are asked to write synonyms under them and cross out any wrong synonyms. Then the fun begins. "What is wrong with that crossed out word?" asks the facilitator. The kids begin to argue and all sorts of taboos see the light of day. But the kids learn that they can discuss anything at all, and they do. One thing they usually argue about is whether a word is nice or not, and the facilitator smiles. Sexuality education has just sprung up unannounced.
I may be out of touch with the real world, but I have been asked questions by pre-pubescent kids that I had to research to answer. And I told the kid just that. Not that it was wrong, just that I didn't know.