What’s the issue?

Pornography is marketed aggressively online. Young people don’t have to look for porn to see it.

If your child has access to a mobile phone, laptop, tablet or any other internet-enabled device – or if they have any friends or siblings that do – it is very likely that they will see pornography, even if they never seek it out. They may even make their own pornography – because they’d like to or because they are pressured to do so by a partner or peers. For many young people, it’s now harder to avoid pornography than to see it.

It’s natural and healthy for young people to be curious about bodies and sexuality, but the ease with which young people can now access pornography and produce their own sexual imagery creates a new range of challenges and risks.

Hopefully, your child’s school will tackle pornography’s influence through its cybersafety program and relationships and sexuality education. But no matter how well your child’s school addresses these issues, there are some things a school cannot do. As a parent, you can play an important role helping your child to navigate this new reality. In fact, young people say their parents, particularly their mothers, are their most trusted and used source of information regarding sexual matters.1

1 L Hillier, D Warr & B Haste, The rural mural: Sexuality and diversity in rural youth: research report, Centre for the Study of Sexually Transmissible Diseases, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 1996, pp. 18–19.

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