Should Shame EVER Be a Part of the Discussion About Pornography?
Do you have teenagers? Or kids that will one day be teenagers?
If so, you have probably thought about the possibility of your child being exposed to porn.
Brian Willoughby, BYU professor and researcher says we shouldn’t be teaching our kids about pornography by saying, “If you see pornography…”, rather he says we should use the phrase “When you are exposed to pornography…”
That’s right, WHEN. Willoughby says 100% of high school graduates will be exposed to some type of pornography before they finish their high school years.
What does this mean for our kids and the rising generation?
Well, that all depends.
Research out of Brigham Young University examined effects of pornography use. A major component of the research explored the “Damaged Goods Hypothesis”; the theory that some people come to view themselves as deficient or tainted, as a result of what they believe to be immoral behavior.
Research found, the more shame a person feels about pornography use, the more damage it causes.
Shame causes us to hide, isolate, feel defective and exacerbates addictive behaviors.
Shame is a tool the adversary uses to block us from feeling our great worth and our potential.
So, how do we walk this fine line of teaching about the dangers of porn without shaming those that have slipped up and indulged or feel drawn to it’s excitement?
♥We talk to our kids openly, on an age appropriate level- ongoing.
♥We teach them it is normal to be curious.
♥We teach them pornography is designed to be addictive and it will release a dopamine hit just like drugs.
♥We teach them that sexual desire is a natural God-given instinct.
♥We teach them about consequences.
♥We teach them that we will not freak out if they come to us and ask questions or ask for help.
♥We step into difficult conversations with bravery, even when it feels uncomfortable for us.
♥We don’t shame, even when we are scared or hurt.
♥We do have conversations about shame (as it relates to porn or any destructive behavior)to label it as one of Satan’s greatest resources to cut us off from the help and love of those who care for us.
♥We love them fiercely.
“One of the most powerful buffers and protections for our youth is to teach them sexuality in the home, starting early.”
~Dr. Jill C. Manning