By: Jen Ferguson

Here’s the deal:

I’m a little obsessed with pornography these days.

My husband and I are writing a book about our journey through his porn addiction and so it seemed only natural to address the issue with teens, right?

I’ve been researching stats on men and porn, women and porn, and the porn industry as a whole.  I’ve been shocked, but not so much that I’ve had to stop writing.

Nothing I have read comes close to the horrific stats that I have found regarding teens and porn use.  Nothing has made me want to toss every single smartphone, computer, and television out of my house…until I read this.

Are you ready?

When it comes to teens “only 3% of boys and 17% of girls have never seen Internet pornography.”

How many of you have said statements like these:

“My child would never look at porn. I can trust that he knows better than that.”

“I have a daughter.  Girls don’t look at porn.  That’s a guy problem.”

“I don’t have to worry about this now.”  (FYI, mothers have caught children as young as eight years old looking at porn.**)

Here’s the thing:  Kids are naturally curious.  They naturally can have low-impulse control.  This can, at times, lead to experimentation beyond what we might imagine would happen.  And we can never predict exactly what age they will want to check it out.  And we never know exactly when they might discover it, intentionally or not.

Here’s the other thing:  I am a girl.  I never looked at porn growing up.  I never got trapped into the cycle of wanting or needing to view it.  And yet, it has become my problem because I married a boy who did.  Even if your daughter never looks at porn, there is an incredibly high percentage that she will marry a boy who has.  This might greatly affect their marriage.

Porn is everybody’s problem.  The question is, are we willing to talk about it and be part of the solution?

So, Mom or Teen, can we have a real conversation here about porn?  Has it affected your life? Have you used it?  Has it been a problem in your house? In your relationships?

(This is a place where I hope you feel no shame in talking openly.  Let’s all be supportive and encouraging in the comments.)

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*Source: “The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth” (pdf), by Chiara Sabina, Janis Wolak, and David Finkelhor (from CyberPsychology & Behavior, 2008)

**http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/guide-teen-girls/201002/your-teens-porn-brain

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