Porn is part of your son’s everyday life. He sees it every day on television, in movies, and on computers. The pornography industry is working hard to catch your son’s attention and addict him early in life to their product. The porn industry is a $57-billion-a-year rapidly growing industry—over twice that of McDonalds Corporation. They generate more money than CBS, NBC, and ABC combined, and more than the revenues from professional football, basketball, and baseball combined.
The porn industry spends an incredible amount of money and guile trying to get young people hooked on their product. Because they know that even a glimpse of pornography causes a biological reaction (releases endorphins and adrenaline which causes a “rush”) within the body, they go to great lengths to ensure that children “accidently” catch a glimpse. And once that “rush” happens, it imprints upon the brain a desire for more. For instance, if a child wants to learn about nearly any topic, he can enter it in a website browser and find information. However, if they misspell even just one letter of the word, it can take them to a site that they never intended. Porn distributors do this with nearly all words associated with children and popular topics. If you don’t believe me, just test it out on your computer. Because of those efforts, the largest consumer group of pornography is reported to be young men between the ages of twelve and seventeen
Pornographers consider everyone to fall into one of three categories: targeted, baited, or trapped. They target everyone, even people who aren’t looking—especially young people. They bait people by using the strategy described above, in hopes that once those images have been viewed, either curiosity or a desire for that “high” will lead them again to their site. Since porn is highly addictive, once someone becomes addicted they are trapped in a never-ending cycle.
Tools Used by Pornographers:
- Porn-napping: purchasing expired domain names when owners forget to renew and redirecting the expired address to porn sites.
- Cyber-squatting: using a name that sounds like a legitimate topic. (for example: driverslicense.com instead of driverslicense.org)
- Misspelling: purposefully buying misspelled domain names for trendy, high-traffic sites.
- Advertising: using false error messages, alert boxes, and false forms where one click will open a porn site.
- Looping: making a never-ending loop with new porn pages appearing.
- Mouse-trapping: altering the use of the back and close button so a person is trapped on that site.
- Start-up alterations: booting up your computer opens a porn site.
- Cookies: placing small files on your computers hard drive to keep track of every move you make.
The average age young people admit to being exposed to pornography is between eight and eleven years old. Because males are so visual (especially sexually), pornography is almost irresistibly attractive to them. Pornography is so addictive in the male’s mind because it causes a hormone to be released that actually creates a high. It works in the male brain similar to the way cocaine does. This hormone needs greater stimulation and causes the user to need and want more each time it is released. Porn users need bigger prizes, more degrading, more graphic, and more explicit images. The erotic images viewed are cataloged in a males’ mind for further use at a later time. They also cause him to be desensitized toward women and to make unfair and unrealistic comparisons.
Pornography is a scourge on the landscape of masculinity. It seems almost irresistible to males because of our visual nature. We are bombarded with sexually graphic images from the time we wake until we go to sleep. (Just so you know young women are one of the fastest growing demographics watching pornography–statistics show that 17% of all women currently struggle with porn addiction)
So what can parents do to help protect their son? First of all, keep the door of communication open. Talk with him often about the dangers of pornography and the potential for addiction—just like you would with any other drug. Let him know your opinion of pornography. If he respects you, your opinion will make a difference. If you have reason to suspect that he has been viewing pornography, do not over react—approach him with respect. Make sure that you monitor activity on the computers in your home and keep them in an area of heavy traffic. Do not let him have a computer in his bedroom. Use a pre-filtered internet system on your computers (Safe Eyes, Net Nanny, and bsecure are just a few software programs that help block internet porn). Check the history files on your computers often. Dig deep because young people know how to change the history. Check CDs, flash drives, and cell phones regularly. Always maintain access to your son’s online account and randomly check it. Use parental controls on your computers.
This subject is difficult to talk about and difficult to deal with. But it is worth the effort because of the negative lifelong effects it causes. Make this a priority and a battle to fight.
Question: What steps are you taking to protect your son from pornographers?
(Excerpted from Rick’s book, That’s My Teenage Son, by Revell Publishing, 2011)