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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

'Be Aware: Porn Harms' Campaign Turns Focus to Kids

  • (Photo: Reuters / Jorge Silva)
    A child in first grade uses a new laptop September 23, 2009.
July 18, 2011|5:52 pm

Morality in Media on Monday kicked off the second week of the organization's campaign, called Be Aware: Porn Harms, to educate people on the dangers of pornography. This week's topic: the impact of pornography on children.

"Many children are getting addicted to pornography because U.S. pornographers are providing free, obscene, illegal porn to kids online,” said President of MIM, Patrick Trueman, in a statement. "The average age in which children first view pornographic material is 11 years old and for many it is earlier.”

The campaign, which consists of 70 national and state groups that are organizing over 30 events, will focus its efforts this week on spreading the word about the danger pornography poses to children. Online seminars feature family therapists and other experts that work directly with children discussing topics like “Our children in a sexualized society,” “Protecting Children Online” and "How to educate young people on the harmful effects of pornography.”

"A lot of children are exposed to it even when they're not looking for it," said Dawn Hawkins, executive director for MIM and director of the Porn Harms campaign, in an interview with The Christian Post on Monday.

"Part of the problem is a lot of parents don't think their kids are into it," she said. "Kids are going to be curious, and whether or not they think their kids are good or bad ... that's not a factor for whether or not they'll be interested in pornography."

Hawkins noted that pornography has evolved over the years, and parents need to understand the potential impact it could have on their children.

"They don't understand how prevalent it is,” she said. “The other thing parents don't understand is that pornography today is different from your father's playboy in the 1970s and 80s. It's much more hardcore now."

Later this week, experts will share just how parents can protect their children from pornography, but Hawkins offered some advice during the interview.

Parents, she said, should utilize tools like computer filters, and also discuss sex in a healthy way – a way that is contrary to the portrayals provided in pornography.

“You need to have a good relationship with your kids so that they'll feel like they can come and talk to you,” she stressed.

She later added, “That's probably one of the biggest problems, is kids feel ashamed or guilty and they hide it and that's how problems arise ... pornography problems are fueled when it’s in private and in secret."

Among those problems, she said, are unhealthy views children might develop of the opposite sex or of their own sexuality.

The Be Aware: Porn Harms National Awareness Campaign is a four-week event that began on July 11 and will end on Aug. 7.

“We expect to reach hundreds of thousands” Hawkins said. In the first week, which focused on the topic of addiction, the campaign had three times as many participants as she had expected.

After covering pornography addiction last week and the dangers it poses to children this week, the organization will focus on how it is linked to sex trafficking and violence against women, respectively, in the next two weeks.

On the Web: www.pornharms.com/beaware/

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/campaign-addresses-impact-of-hardcore-porn-on-todays-kids-52471/