Health. Why pornography is dangerous for minors

A Médiamétrie study on behalf of Arcom and published on May 25 shows that each month, 2.3 million minors in France (one in three minors) consult adult sites. That is an increase of 36% compared to 2017. From the age of 12, more than half of boys and a third of girls go there. In detail, the time spent by miners is 50 minutes per month and 7 minutes per day.

Not without consequences

Both quantitative and qualitative studies, but also the opinions of experts, converge to say that pornography exerts an influence on the way in which young people will apprehend their sexuality.

As the National Academy of Medicine explains, “Pornography exposure and access is associated with unrealistic attitudes about sexuality (e.g. performance), more permissive sexuality (e.g. by facilitating the practice of fellatio or sodomy), to greater acceptance of occasional sexuality (with its harmful repercussions in terms of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and recourse to voluntary pregnancy intervention)…”.

But that’s not all. Beliefs are also changed. The vast majority of pornography promotes strong gender stereotypes contributing to showing the woman as a sexual object, a common belief among male consumers.

In porn, the man is willingly dominant and the woman submissive. “Pornography thus trivializes sexual violence; it leads to the belief that aggression allows you to get what you want and that no means yes. (She) reinforces gender stereotypes and portrays people as objects to be used “, says the Canadian Center for Child Protection.

As parents, how do you react?

Wanting to block access to inappropriate content would be a utopia. Screens are now everywhere, from an early age. Not to mention that the teenager likes above all to circumvent the prohibition, so the passwords…

Recently, Pr Philippe Duverger, child psychiatrist at the CHU d’Angers, explained to us that dialogue with the teenager is the key. “It is a question of warning them that certain images can be violent, disturbing… You have to talk to them about prohibitions, about what is unacceptable, about the relationship with others, about respect for others because that is what is performs in pornography. »

Clearly, as parents, it is advisable not to wear blinkers, to pretend that pornography does not exist. By talking regularly with your teenager or pre-teen, you can show him that you are there.

But above all, you will be able to transmit to him “a reference standard with regard to healthy relationships and healthy sexuality so that he can exercise his judgment vis-à-vis the messages conveyed by the mass media”, recommends the Canadian Center for Child Protection. You will help him “develop a positive body image and a positive sexual identity”.

You will explain “the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship, the difference between respecting and not respecting personal boundaries, and the rights and responsibilities associated with sexual behavior.”

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