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From the Director of Youth Outreach:

Hello parents! My name is Hannah Adcock. I’m the Director of Youth Outreach at The Third Talk and I’m 21 years old.

Education has always been one of the most important factors in my life. I believe that access to education is essential; it’s an invaluable tool that bridges divides, promotes empathy, and empowers all members of our society. There is one topic in particular that does not receive the discussion it deserves, and the more I observe, the surer I am that this problem needs to be addressed. We need to start talking about how online pornography affects our young people now and in their future.

Ten years ago, I never would have imagined myself in this position. I didn’t think about pornography and other types of provocative and degrading media in my childhood. But throughout my life, they have become difficult to ignore. This media sends our society messages that we don’t even realize we’re receiving they tell us that beauty (if it conforms to societal standards) is the most important quality a person can have, that people are sex objects or prizes to be won with no consideration of choice or free will, and that sex is not a tool for connection but purely a performance contest. Individual sexuality and exploration are not encouraged or even discussed. Communication and healthy boundaries are not recognized. This media wasn’t created to be a representation of the real world.

Adults have the maturity and life experience needed to filter through what we’re seeing. The majority of us know how to manage relationships, romantic and sexual, and have developed a strong relationship with ourselves that challenge the standards placed on us by pornography and the media. Our children, however, are most susceptible to these messages and in turn, those most negatively affected When our children turn to pornography for sex education, their view of sex and relationships becomes dangerously skewed. As you may be aware, the average age of exposure to this content is 12 years old and children as young as 9 have admitted to regularly viewing pornography. At their most vulnerable and impressionable age, they see this media and it sticks with them for the rest of their lives.

Growing up, I was bombarded by these messages. I know from experience the self esteem issues that follow realizing that the standards are impossible. I know from experience the self esteem issues that follow once a person realizes that the standards are impossible.I know the disappointment that comes with feeling like platonic relationships with the opposite gender can’t exist. I know how it feels to not feel valued in society unless it involves sex. Dating and sex became a chore for me. My looks became my greatest asset. Our children deserve more.

We can’t rely on anyone else to have this conversation with our kids. It doesn’t happen in schools, community groups, churches, or book clubs, but we CAN make this happen at home. At The Third Talk™, we believe communication and education are the key factors to eliminating this problem for good, thus changing the state of the world for our kids and their future. For a long time, it felt like no one was addressing this problem or willing to listen. The Third Talk™ is dedicated to creating an open, safe space in which honest dialogue happens, free of judgment and bias. I am dedicated to ensuring every child grows up in a society in which they feel respected, loved, and comfortable in their relationships.

There is a long road ahead but we are committed to change and I am extremely optimistic about what the future holds. Thank you for your support and we hope you will consider joining us as we face this challenge together!

The Third Talk™ Director of Youth Outreach