Porn impacting children a major concern

Comment from Gezza:


During his two-year reign as the Children’s Commissioner, Andrew Becroft says pornography has been the most concerning issue among young New Zealanders reported to him.

Becroft has welcomed a new report which looks into how and why children in New Zealand view online porn, and does so by asking them directly. “The Children’s Convention reminds us that young people have a right to have a say about things that affect them,” he said.

“And if one thing is clear it’s that pornography affects young people. That’s what they’ve told us in this research. “To be honest, in the two years I’ve been in this role, pornography is the most significant underlying concern reported to me by youth workers, community workers and church workers engaged with young people.”

The report, NZ Youth and Porn, surveyed teenagers aged between 14 and 17 years old and found 67 per cent of teenagers have seen porn. It also revealed 73 per cent of regular porn viewers use it as a learning tool, and 71 per cent believe access should be restricted.

A breakdown of information learnt through the survey:

  • 67 per cent of New Zealand teens have seen porn
  • 72 per cent of recent viewers of porn saw things that made them feel uncomfortable
  • 89 per cent of young New Zealanders agree that porn isn’t for children
  • 71 per cent of young New Zealand viewers believe children and teens’ access to porn should be restricted
  • 73 per cent of young regular viewers use porn as a learning tool

Becroft said the information uncovered in the report is “deeply disturbing” and many children recognise the dangers around it.

“The report is clear that young people want more and better education about healthy sex and healthy relationships,” he said. “They want more education about pornography too, so that it doesn’t bully them into unrealistic and dishonest expectations about relationships.”

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12175155

And:
NZ Youth and Porn report reveals teens struggling to cut back
The NZ Youth and Porn report, released today, says that some young people aged between 14 and 17 already feel reliant on pornography, despite often feeling troubled by what they view. One 16-year-old girl said she stumbled across gay porn on Google while searching for pictures of bareback horse-riding.

The survey also revealed 72 per cent of teens who had viewed porn recently saw things that made them uncomfortable, and 42 per cent of regular viewers wanted to spend less time looking at porn, but found that hard to achieve.

One 15-year-old, whose comments were published in the report, said some of the porn he had seen was “brutal and violent and degrading to the woman”, which led young people to believe that is “how you treat a woman”.

“This is not a Playboy under the bed anymore … there is a bombardment into the devices of our young people.” The main issues raised by viewers included that porn was too easy to access, that it was informing their views about sex in a problematic way, and that it was a complicated issue that could sometimes be hard to manage.

Viewers were more likely to see a focus on men’s pleasure and dominance of others, while also being more likely to see women being demeaned, subject to violence or aggression, and subject to non-consensual behaviour.

They are also using porn as a learning tool, with over half of the respondents saying they use it as a way to learn about sex.

But one 16-year-old said girls sometimes felt they should be “acting like a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ because that’s often in porn”. [abridged]

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12171741

Martin said it showed that sex education in schools needed work, and that educators should be asking children what they needed and wanted to know.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Should they? Whose responsibility is it to teach kids about relationships and sex? Should schools be doing this? Will school attempts to do this crash into the LGBTI+100 Rules movements?

63 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  December 12, 2018

    What? Pornography is Becroft’s biggest concern? Yesterday it was that NZ children are staving to death. Today they watch too much porn. What’s going on in the commissioner head?

    • Gezza

       /  December 12, 2018

      The range of problems we seem to be having with a lot of our young people that weren’t so prevalent a few decades back?

      • David

         /  December 12, 2018

        The young people I come across through work, friends kids, friends of my boys are pretty well put together and it always strikes me how confident they are and much more sensible than I was at their age.
        With a few exceptions I am excited about the generation coming through and hugely impressed. The youth offending rate has dropped 60% since 2010, they drink later and less and they have sex later, all good indicators.

        • Gezza

           /  December 12, 2018

          So I wonder who the report is talking about and how they managed to find them?

          I’m still trying to find the actual report but robert has taken up 4 minutes of my time already. I might ignore him for now because I’ve only allocated another 3 minutes today for him.

          • David

             /  December 12, 2018

            I dont discount that porn is a problem for youth but I do think they are very well equipped to deal with it but also that every generation has some adversity or challenges and being able to overcome them is part of succeeding in life.
            I think youth commissioners need to be careful that they dont stop or hand wring too much about challenges to overcome in life but we must educate.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  December 12, 2018

          Completely agree with this Dave – kids I have met though my children are polite, confident and far more self aware, with the odd exceptions of course.
          I have great hope for the next generations coming through – as long as they can learn what “trivial” means first,

    • MaureenW

       /  December 12, 2018

      I had some interaction with Andre Becroft some years back and found him knowledgeable, with a lot of empathy for youth who find themselves in undesirable circumstances.
      I would be sure that if he states that porn is a problem for youth, then it is. To be frank, it’s a problem for adults as well – participants and consumers.

  2. David

     /  December 12, 2018

    Must be scary for young people starting their sex lives with the abundance of choreographed porn to have to compare themselves against, probably explains why young people are having far less sex and at an older age than the previous generation.
    I watched a Netflix documentary on the porn industry which should probably be shown to all kids at age 15, it was just a sad sad dispassionate fly on the wall tale of the reality behind the scenes. I would guess young persons would probably breath a huge sigh of relief that the world of zero hair, bedroom gymnastics, multiple orgasms on demand and banging away for an hour is mainly acting and editing.

    • Blazer

       /  December 12, 2018

      ‘probably explains why young people are having far less sex and at an older age than the previous generation.’

      is this actual…fact?

      • David

         /  December 12, 2018

        Yes it is and they are drinking less to. With the abundance of porn I guess there is less need to go out and get your leg over, take matters in hand so to speak with a stream of endless and varied porn on your phone. Doubt that is seen as a good thing by the people in charge but perhaps there is some upside.
        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

        • Blazer

           /  December 12, 2018

          interesting article David..thx…found this surprising..’About 60 percent of adults under age 35 now live without a spouse or a partner. ‘

          • Gezza

             /  December 12, 2018

            Aljazeera had an item along these lines a couple of months back. Growing numbers of young women in Korea can’t be bothered with even getting into relationships and even having sex with young men at all because they’re such a lot of work to look after and they want to be the boss in the relationship. Mothers and grandmothers are worrying about the falling birthrate.

            • MaureenW

               /  December 12, 2018

              Same is happening in India where women are refusing arranged marriages in favour of a career and independence.

        • Gezza

           /  December 12, 2018

          That’s about Americans David. They’re foreigners.

          • David

             /  December 12, 2018

            Or aliens. I understand it’s a global trend.

            • Missy

               /  December 12, 2018

              It’s definitely a trend in the UK, they are calling it the new puritan age here. Basically anyone over 35 is wondering what is wrong with millennials!! I am not sure about other countries, but in the UK it has been put down to the younger people spending more time online, and for young men getting their sexual gratification via online porn.

            • Gezza

               /  December 12, 2018

              On the way the chemists yesteday to pick up ma’s meds for her I had to divert around work being done to redesign the plaza area. I noticed two early teens girls in school uniform coming out of a shop doorway & then leaning back in saying the sorts of teasing things some young teenage girls say to get the boys they like to pay them attention.

              As I walked past them, they followed, giggling to each other about “did you see how … oh yes but he likes that!” n stuff, & I smiled because they’re so engrossed in it all they don’t even notice anyone else around them & watch what they’re saying. It’s all very exciting when the hormones kick in.

              I had just enuf time to see as I walked past to see that it’s a new shop, &, from the window signage, that it’s a gaming hub.

              So, on the way back, I stopped briefly, out of interest & looked in properly from the doorway. There were about 16 consoles. At every one of them, wearing headphones, totally lost in what was happening on their screens, were boys of about the same age, or a year or two older.

              They weren’t even remotely interested in those girls.

    • MaureenW

       /  December 12, 2018

      “…. shown to all kids at age 15 …..”
      I think therein lies a problem that is kids are aware of sex and sexual activity at a much younger age (than 15). It may be that parents would be comfortable discussing sex with 15 year olds, how about 9 or 10 year olds? Discussing porn with children at such an early age seems rather creepy, but the truth is, they’re being exposed to it anyway.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 12, 2018

        They are only exposed to it if they look it up online. It’s like anything else. you have to google it. I have no idea if the ‘free porn’ websites listed when I googled this are as rude as they said they were, as I am not in the least interested. It was an experiment to see how easy it was.

        Given the amount of time that we used to spend deleting what purported to be porn that clogged the inbox years ago and maddeningly prevented real mail from getting through, internet porn has been going for a long time. Thank goodness that now one doesn’t find the inbox filled with Hot Teens and whatever it was that had to be deleted every day.

        I once needed a photo of a donkey for an illustration, but none were suitable. I googled ‘ass’. No prizes for guessing what appeared.

        Past generations used to snigger at the Kama Sutra, the Joy of Sex and so on…

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 12, 2018

          It’s been there as long as the internet has; and as Hotmail has been around for 21 years, it was certainly there then, as anyone who had the teejus job of going down the emails delete, delete, delete, delete can testify.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 12, 2018

    The way to deal with porn is like everything else. Give kids good honest information about everything that matters.

    • Gezza

       /  December 12, 2018

      Who should decide what’s good honest information about porn and sex, do you think? Intersexual or bisexual teachers, for example?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 12, 2018

        I would tell them to go and read sites like this and especially the stories by the opposite sex to learn how their partners feel and what they like. And I would tell them to remember that people tell stories about their most memorable times which are probably not the normal and are also inclined to exaggerate a bit:
        casualsexproject.com

    • MaureenW

       /  December 12, 2018

      That’s very good general advice Alan, the tricky issue is at what age do you openly talk to kids about porn?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 12, 2018

        Depends on the kid I expect but certainly before high school.

        • MaureenW

           /  December 12, 2018

          Have you spoken to pre-pubescents about porn?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 12, 2018

            Never since mine are long grown up, Maureen. Why? Have you?

            • Mother

               /  December 12, 2018

              I speak to mine, but I wish I didn’t have to. They wish I didn’t have to too.

            • MaureenW

               /  December 12, 2018

              Not specifically about porn, but I had early conversations with my son (at age 6 or 7) about “stranger-danger” – and more particularly not strangers and the types of things they may try to do or encourage him to do. I found that conversation rather difficult to frame although frame it I did – but it was awkward.
              You have to set quite a bit of context around those types of conversations, hence the reason I asked. Also I found, children don’t necessarily want to discuss sex with their parents (outside of basic reproductive sex).

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 12, 2018

              Yes, probably happier to be directed to things to read for themselves with a bit of comment on perspectives.

            • MaureenW

               /  December 12, 2018

              In support of my earlier comments, it’s not such an issue having a conversation about porn, the difficulty is determining at what age that conversation needs to happen, and whether other conversations need to have already taken place to provide sufficient context for a child to understand, and whether parents are comfortable discussing adult themes with pre-pubescent children.

              From the PPT slides Gezza linked to – an observation made by Therapists:-
              “I work with children with harmful sexual behaviour and we see children coming in at 10-12 years who come from good homes but have watched porn and overstepped boundaries sexually harming younger family members as a result of the porn they’ve been viewing.
              The age at which children are being exposed to porn is very young now. Many of my clients are younger than 10 yrs – and parents can’t control their exposure to porn.”

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 12, 2018

            I thought that there were things that could be done.

            Don’t give the little buggers smart phones, and keep computers in public rooms in the house.

    • Missy

       /  December 12, 2018

      Hmmm… interesting idea, but I think like most things when it comes to relationships it depends on the couple. I know some where this would work, and others where it wouldn’t. For me personally I wouldn’t be up for it, I believe if you make a commitment to a person then you stick to it, but I understand that I am a little old fashioned about these things and some are more liberated.

      To be fair though it is nice to see someone suggesting a cheat pass for women as opposed to men! 🙂

    • MaureenW

       /  December 12, 2018

      There’s no “one size fits all” on this topic. It’s really up to the individuals within a relationship to establish whether monogamy is an important factor. Given the way some individuals react with regards to a partner’s adultery, I doubt it would be a goer.

      • Gezza

         /  December 12, 2018

        Yes, it’s interesting how because boys have always been expected to be sluts only interested in sex the “sexual revolution” has led to some women wanting compete with or better the boys. I guess some men sluts are happy to bump into them (forgive the pun), but I was never really into that sort of thing, & I’m still not, although if I got into another relationship I’d still prefer it to be exclusive.

        Men & women bonking anybody & everybody as often as they like to at the drop of their undies just seem like treating each other as sex toys. Some nitwits would call me a presbyterian prude or other dinglebunny label for this attitude, but then they don’t know what I can get up to with a consenting exclusive female partner whom I love to keep it interesting. 😉

        • Mother

           /  December 12, 2018

          Yes Gezza, if you had been raised a Presbyterian, you could easily have become a presbyterian prude.

          The thing with people is that we’re quite clever in regards to being adaptable. I think that society can adapt to the online onslaught against our sensibilities. We need to adapt by being more loving. This includes being able to overcome our discomfort about porn conversations with youth.
          And yes! I am convinced that Church is the means to becoming more loving as we adapt through necessity. And no! No one needs to become a Christian in order to fit in with this improvement in the Love stakes. Porn is terribly hurtful. Wherever there is terrible hurt, we need more love.

      • Mother

         /  December 12, 2018

        There’s no “one size fits all” on this topic.

        That’s the case with every topic. We are very fortunate to dwell within a democracy.

        I think that we are growing up, with growing pains present, regarding sex. Sex is a part of love and it is mysterious. There’s no way we will ever understand mysteries. We need to respectfully pick our way through the frustrations with the ‘sex’ topic and every topic.

    • David

       /  December 12, 2018

      I had the misfortune of listening to half an interview with Wednesday Martin, she is an odd person and specializes in monkeys so her advice is probably as kookoo as she is.

    • Mother

       /  December 12, 2018

      A day or so ago I read that title and couldn’t be bothered reading on. Cheats are always losers.
      Women want to be appreciated and loved. How would encouragement to cheat aid anything healthy? Cheating could serve a purpose to provoke jealousy. What a vicious cycle.

  4. Missy

     /  December 12, 2018

    On a related note, I was talking to someone the other day who knows some of those related to the James Burger murder 20 or so years ago.

    Apparently from a very early age the boys who committed the torture and murder were allowed to watch porn from a very early age, but not just porn also violent porn and violent movies, they also regularly watched their parents having sex. What this meant is that this behaviour became normalised to them, they saw nothing wrong with it, and therefore they saw nothing wrong with what they did to James Bulger.

    This person I was talking to said that the Judge apparently thought the parents should have been charged as they provided the environment that allowed these children to commit this horrific crime.

    What was being discussed was how thoughts become behaviours, and how our environment influences our thoughts which influences our behaviour. These children were exposed to horrific things from an early age, these became their thoughts which in turn influenced their behaviour leading to the horrific acts they did.

    Essentially if young people are exposed to these kind of images they become normalised for them, and this then influences their behaviour.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 12, 2018

      There’s a lot of evidence that too much porn causes sexual performance problems for males especially so kids need to know this.

      • MaureenW

         /  December 12, 2018

        How much porn is too much?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 12, 2018

          You’ll have to do your own research on that, Maureen.

          • MaureenW

             /  December 12, 2018

            Porn can be, and is extremely addictive to many and like other addictive activities, there often aren’t any safe boundaries – a bit like the other P. I’ll pass on your invitation to conduct my own research, just wondered how “too much” would be quantified.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 12, 2018

              Putting a science hat on I would guess several ways to quantify: hours/week, times/week, proportion of sexual activities.

    • Blazer

       /  December 12, 2018

      did this happen at McDonalds?

      • Missy

         /  December 12, 2018

        Excuse me? Are you talking about the murder of James Bulger?

        No, it dint happen at McDonalds.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger

        • Blazer

           /  December 12, 2018

          ‘ the James Burger murder 20 or so years ago.’…reminded me of…’smocking gun’. 😉

      • Mother

         /  December 12, 2018

        I think that if each adult, who hold loving concern about the effect of porn on youth, follows their good conscience we will move on ok and kids will grow up to do likewise in the future. Children need to be empowered to grow up as adults who keep themselves safe.

        There is a man called Rizzi. It’s in my good conscience to mention his name here. Avoiding a pronoun helps me through an issue.

        The goal here is for me not to be cowered by emotional blackmail any more. The other goal is in regards to my social conscience.

        Funeral directors generally enjoy good reputations.

        Sex education gone wrong is porn too.

        • Blazer

           /  December 12, 2018

          don’t know about funeral directors mother…they are ALWAYS …LETTING PEOPLE…DOWN.

          • Mother

             /  December 12, 2018

            I’ve told my family to use a cardboard box and to put the body in the ground quite soon, to cry for a week if they feel inclined, then to carry on happily.

            Thanks Blazer. Just now I feel like you’re a mate.

            One particular f/d is a mongrel.

            And porn is a problem for youth isn’t it? But with loving people around, it won’t beat us. In fact I see a swing too, in favour of purity by choice.
            I hope that youth in every future generation are aware that they have choices and I hope they experience respect.

            • Mother

               /  December 12, 2018

              Uncomfortable isn’t it? This talking about porn. We used to be uncomfortable talking about sex. Does this show a trend? I see a favourable trend –
              If talking about porn is uncomfortable, then by comparison talking about sex will be easier!
              Talk to your children/grandchildren about sex. They need this from YOU – Loving You, in your home.

          • Gezza

             /  December 12, 2018

            And SENDING THEM UP.

            • Mother

               /  December 12, 2018

              That f/d knows how to send people spiralling DOWN into despair.

              I hope that others who know what I am talking about will take heart.

              Your NZ has helped with my taking heart. It hasn’t been a walk in the park though.

              Even so, I appreciate your jokes (if that’s what you’re doing). It’s difficult to know the nuances.

              Just to be clear – I’m not crying, for once. But I’m a bit angry. Why are we in such a state that an open communicator such as myself needs to resort to a blog in order to heal from a major trauma!!!?

              Like I said above – talk to your kids about sex. What’s a little discomfort in an adult’s breast, compared with over the top/crazy/hurtful processes in the mind of a youth?

  5. Mother

     /  December 12, 2018

    Dear Maureen, I haven’t bombed this thread have I?😇

  6. PartisanZ

     /  December 12, 2018

    “It also has to be about some sort of revolution in the way we talk about, write about and indeed think about sexuality. It’s not just that pornography is a lousy educator, it’s that we, teachers, parents, siblings, friends, have been lousy educators too.” – Spinoff

    Excellent Spinoff article Gezza, thanks for the link.

    IMHO a core issue and a question worth considering is: Would porn exist if it wasn’t “the porn industry” – as David notes it is – and wasn’t part of the greater “entertainment industry”?

    “For the love of money a woman will sell her precious body” says the popular O’Jays song, ‘For the Love of Money’ … and for money people will do a lot else besides … as noted in the lyrics …

    To what extent does porn exist because it is monetized or ‘commodified’?

    What ‘consequences’ would it take for us to consider the ‘problem’ not be porn, or war-and-armaments or poverty-and-aid (or any other of a near infinite number of atomized ‘troubles’) but to see the fundamental ‘issue’ as being monetization or commodification itself?

    Like Mother I see ” … a favourable trend …” or at least a potentially favourable trend but possibly not for the same reason or reasons …

    Aside from commodification, this goes deep into the foundations of Western civilization, which I believe cannot be separated from Christianity … Toynbee’s “Western Christendom” is the best description of our civilization I know.

    The Churches’ control &/or influence of populations and their social organisation as societies was deeply rooted in their “moral control” of human sexuality … what Warner calls, “Church doctrines inimical to life” … I believe the remaining &/or residual effects of this are still very powerful even in societies that believe they enjoy so-called “division of Church and State” …

    Trying really hard to be ‘objective’ about it and avoid tossing the baby out with the bathwater – to at least consider some ‘left-field’ possibilities – porn MIGHT emerge as –

    1) A significant challenge to the taboos against i) masturbation and ii) sex as pleasure rather than an expression of eternal love & commitment for the purpose of reproduction?

    2) An expression of one (arguably somewhat ‘submerged’) primal force in the individual and collective human psyche – EROS – ‘Love & Life’ – as opposed to NECROS – Fear & Death?

    Both obviously seriously warped by money IMHO … But which, I ask you, is more common or ‘popular’ in mainstream entertainment?

    “Church doctrines inimical to life join hands with no less life-impairing cynicism in the disparagement of the unique force which imports the flame of ecstasy into the drabness of everyday life, the only ecstasy within the reach of all, an ecstasy which is completely sound because it is Nature herself. What an appalling aberration of humanity to have come to look on this great gift of nature, this source of life, as something to be hushed up as if it were shameful, as if it were painfully reminiscent of the animal … No less inimical to life are the counterparts to such doctrines, cynicism and lustfulness, which thrive best where the frank and open acknowledgement of the joy of love is banned …”

    Just some thoughts …

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 12, 2018

      A lot of what we call popular ‘mainstream entertainment’, especially the R-rated stuff packed with intimidation, violence, ‘horror’ and death – and their attendant fear – might best be called ‘Necrography’ …?

      • phantom snowflake

         /  December 12, 2018

        Not to mention the proliferation of ‘Property Porn’ such as The Block

        • PartisanZ

           /  December 12, 2018

          Yes indeed … Blazer’s comment “Did this happen at MacDonalds?” holds considerable resonance too …

          Yes … of course it happens at MacDonalds … Advertography … or Venderography?

  1. Porn impacting children a major concern — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition