There are over 14.5 billion explicit adult videos viewed by 7-17 year olds in the United States every year. Our young people represent one of the largest pornography viewing demographics in the world.
Parents are unaware or in denial about their own young person's exposure. We know that 93% of all boys and 68% of all girls will see this content before they leave high school. Even if your child beats those odds, most of their peers will have viewed this content. Teen culture is saturated with pornography's ideas and standards.
The conversation has been very awkward for parents and therefore mostly ignored. This is not "dad's Playboy." Online explicit adult videos are dangerous for young people.
Challenges for Boys
A 2011 estimate of American 14 - 17 year old boy's consumption of explicit adult videos was over 50 videos per week. Average! Viewing explicit adult material in that large of a volume, at that early an age, can have immediate and long lasting effects on brain development. This can manifest itself in shame, fear, and anxiety. In extreme doses, it can contribute to anger, aggression, depression, lack of interest in other people, loneliness, objectification and even assault.
Boys as young as 5 and 6 years old have reported viewing explicit adult material. In the United States, the average age of first exposure to explicit adult videos is 11.
The real challenge for boys is that they view this content regularly and believe it to be real; an actual guide on how to engage with other human beings. We do not provide our boys an alternative message to the content they view, and instead allow them to gain their sexual education from explicit adult videos online. This can rob a young person of his own individual interests, and may increase any resentment, anger, frustration or loneliness that he may already be experiencing as a young adolescent.
Challenges for Girls
Girls may view this content with a natural curiosity in an effort to gain 'maturity.' They can be negatively affected emotionally by comparing themselves to porn stars, or trying to live up to that image.
Girls may watch explicit adult videos to try to understand what a partner 'wants', and by doing so give up her own individual ideas of sexuality. Girls endure body shaming, slut shaming, prude shaming and sex shaming as early as 11 years old; and either is a tough way to be depicted on all social media. The idea of "sexuality as currency" is not healthy for our young girls. Don't take our word for it, just look at Only Fans.
Another challenge for girls, is that aggressive, 'porn-sex' soaked boys, can see young girls as sex objects, and girls can face an accelerated idea of what any initial physical contact should or could be like for them. This can include sexual violence at the hands of a partner.
The Third Talk™ is here to provide parents with information and language to initiate pornography-prevention conversations with their young people. We provide practical, real world language to start that talk, and then the “how and the why” to keep the conversation going through adolescence.
We've witnessed legal, political, legislative, technical, religion, filter, restrictions, and shaking our fist at the problem-based campaigns fail to curb this contents’ availability to our young people for 20 years.
It is communication between parents and young people that will meet this challenge. We take a direct and purposeful approach. We do not shame, blame, or use colorful language. We talk about the world our kids live in, not the world we wished they live in. Grown-ups created this environment and grown-ups need to change it. Please help us change it.