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Over 40K back campaign urging porn sites to require ID for accessing explicit adult content 

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Getty Images/Oscar Wong

A Christian nonprofit that seeks to abolish sex trafficking has launched a new campaign backed by over 40,000 supporters urging government leaders to require porn platforms to install more effective age verification methods to prevent the dangers of early childhood exposure to porn.

Exodus Cry, an organization that has advocated against sexual exploitation for the last 10 years and has worked to expose the links between porn and sex trafficking, launched the new campaign Protect Children Not Porn on Sept. 7. 

An online petition associated with the campaign is supported by over 43,000 individuals and addresses congressional committees, President Joe Biden and Big Tech executives. The campaign is also supported by 100 anti-trafficking, women’s rights and child protection organizations, a coalition that represents over 2,000 organizations. 

The petition asks that lawmakers pass legislation requiring adequate safeguards to be put in place to protect children from porn exposure. Such measures include requiring websites that host pornographic content to require "their site visitors to verify their age with a government-issued ID, validated by a third-party platform." Additionally, the petition calls for all internet-accessing devices to be sold with safety filters enabled. 

Exodus Cry Founder and CEO Benjamin Nolot told The Christian Post that at least one study suggests children and teens ages 10 to 15 are five times more likely to exhibit sexually aggressive behavior if violent porn is consumed. Additionally, he pointed to another study that suggests children addicted to hardcore porn have an increased likelihood of committing sexual harassment and rape. Meanwhile, girls exposed to porn are at a greater risk for sexual victimization.

Exodus Cry, Benjamin Nolot
Exodus Cry founder Benjamin Nolot |

“Childhood exposure to porn is a huge and very damaging problem in our world, and the distribution of porn is so rampant that it gets into the lives of our kids and disrupts their sexual development,” said Nolot, who has dedicated the past 14 years working to eradicate sexual exploitation.

“When kids watch porn, the wet concrete of their sexuality becomes formed around most often violent and aggressive sexual content. They associate these images with intense arousal and they are made to more likely act out in sexually aggressive manners and that in itself is alarming because they are awakened prematurely in their sexuality.” 

Based on scientific research about the brain’s development, Nolot said the frontal lobe is the judgment center of the brain and aids humans in making critical decisions about what is right or wrong. The frontal lobe of the brain, he said, is not fully developed until about age 25. 

“We need to make wise decisions to stop proliferating this adult content without age verification because children and teens without fully developed brains are being exposed to graphic hardcore sexuality, which is damaging,” he said. “We wouldn’t just let our kids buy hard liquor from liquor stores, so why is this so different?”

Nolot said girls exposed to pornography are at greater risk for sexual victimization because porn often perpetuates the idea that objectifying women is pleasurable.

 “It’s deeply sinister and disturbing. … Girls who are exposed to porn begin to see themselves in the role that is embodied in the females that are degraded, dehumanized and humiliated for the pleasure of men,” Nolot stated. “Porn shows women that this is OK and porn normalizes feeding the ego of men. And women become complicit in their own sexual degrading not realizing they are buying into lies.”  

The activist warned that pornography also “promotes rape culture.”

“Rape culture is about the pleasure of men at the expense of women. ... As boys grow into men, they often try to see how far they can push past girls’ resistance to get to first and second base and then eventually get a home run,” Nolot told CP.

“Watching pornography further emphasizes this societal idea that as a man, my gratification is more important than yours. We grow up being socialized by that story and the construction of our worldview and values. And now, we are seeing a generation growing up with these ideas, and it’s resulting in rape culture, where men view women as objects instead of people with lives.”

Nolot advises parents to monitor their children's online activity and prevent porn from being accessed on the children’s devices. He said parents should only allow their children access to the internet in public spaces like the family living room.

Parents should also talk to their children about what to do if they are at a friend’s house and they are exposed to porn, he added. 

“Even if we guard it in our own home, there’s no guarantee that they won’t be exposed on their friend’s device,” he said.

According to Nolot, practicing open dialogue around pornography and related topics on sexuality is vital for parents. 

“It’s important for parents to normalize discussion about sexuality, bodily anatomy and boundaries with bodies. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when the child will be exposed to pornography,” he said. “The more we can equip them, the more they will be prepared for this and this can only be achieved by creating a shame-free environment in the home.”

Nolot warns that parents should avoid conversations about purity and instead assure their children that “we are all flawed and broken, but we have a God who loves and empowers us in His Grace to live a life of freedom.” 

“We should not say that purity is virginity because that is shame-based. It says we can lose our purity, even if we had not consented to sex. And it says we are stained. … And so, we have to take shame out of the equation of sex,” Nolot said. “We tend to place a high value on sex and the world says, ‘There is no bad sex out there.’ And our world is centered around sex.”

“But, we intrinsically and inherently know that sex is meaningful and it should have meaning. And we know this because why is adultery wrong?” he continued. “Satan knows that if he can derail someone in the realm of sexuality, it can derail their whole life.”

If a child has already been exposed to pornography or child is already addicted to porn, Nolot believes parents should seek professional help for their child. 

“Once a parent discovers that their child is addicted to porn, protective measures need to be put in place to stop the bleeding, so to speak,” he concluded. “Visit with a child therapist to help them regain emotional and psychological health. A child psychologist can help heal the wounds so it doesn’t derail their entire life. Also, there is so much pressure on parents. There is no parent that is a cyber security expert. We also need a community and support system.”

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