August 17, 2015

WASHINGTON - Pornography is sexualizing the innocence of young children, causing a race to adulthood before the end of childhood.

Young girls are being bombarded with Photoshopped images and are buying into unrealistic expectations set before them at an age meant for skinned knees and the Disney Channel.

Those were some of the concerns raised at a symposium July 14.

"Our entire culture is getting our girls porn ready," said Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston. "It hypersexualizes them at a young age."

Dr. Sharon Cooper, CEO of Development and Forensic Pediatrics, connected the viewing of porn to pedophilia.

"We see children harmed when adults use child porn as a plan of action for abuse against children," Cooper said.

Another way children can be

affected, she said, is through forced viewing of adult pornography. "Sometimes adults show youth porn to seduce them."

Cordelia Anderson believes "porn-ography is teaching young girls to be products."

"Our children are going from Dr.

Seuss to porn," said Anderson, founder of Sensibilities Prevention Services.

Dines also discussed pornography's effects on males.

"We are bringing up a generation of boys," she said, and Internet porn "reels boys in by saying, 'You want to be a man? Well this is your initiation.'"

She claimed it is virtually impossible to find boys in the U.S. who do not view porn. Yet she refuses to believe males are born with a natural attraction to porn and that their attraction to it is a result of the culture.

A study by the Internet Watch Foundation, found an increasing trend of younger children distributing sexually explicit content by using laptop webcams.

It found that 17.5 per cent of the content depicted children ages 15 years or younger; 93.1 per cent of the content depicting children ages 15 or younger featured girls.


Internet porn is teaching our children this is normal, that it doesn't hurt anybody and that everyone is doing it, said Mary Anne Laden, from the University of Pennsylvania.

"Porn changes the way that children view others of the opposite sex," said Ernie Allen, former president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

He said one-third of all 10-year-olds are accessing pornographic content on the Internet; 53 per cent of all 12- to 15-year-old boys are accessing online porn and as are 28 per cent of 12- to 15-year-old girls.

A 2007 study of the American Psychological Association had three key findings:

. The more often young people view online porn, the greater the likelihood they will have a recreational attitude toward sex and to view it as a purely physical function.

. There is a link between the explicitness of sexual media seen by younger viewers and their view of women as sexual "play things."

. There is a relationship between porn use and feelings; in other words it isn't necessary to have affection for people to have sex with them.


"The main job of parents is to teach their children how to be adults. We know children do what they see, and what they see others getting rewarded for," said Laden.

"First they watch their parents. Then they watch their friends. Then they watch the world, and the media delivers this world to them."