Smartphone? Or Smutphone?

Porn is everywhere. And it’s killing us.

Hey, even Playboy says that pornography is soaking through every nook and cranny of our culture. The men’s sex mag stated that some 30 years ago 40% of adults watched porn. Now it’s reached a saturation point of over 80%. The publication didn’t say anything about how many kids may be diving into the murky recesses of the World Wide Web, but others have—and what they’ve discovered is particularly troubling.

Some have said that Internet porn may well be replacing sex-ed for children in this digital age. For instance, did you know that (according to ABC News) nine out of 10 kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed some form of scuzzy sex video online? It’s as close as a smartphone or tablet away. In fact, that’s exactly what Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart told ABC news while being interviewed about her role in the 2012 film Sexy Baby. That documentary followed her from age 12 to 15 as she walked through an average tween/teen life.

“When I can reach into my back pocket and basically pull out some porn on my phone, it’s so easy, and you can’t really blame a bunch of children for not understanding how to deal with it,” Winnifred said. She told stories of how 8th grade boys her age were regularly watching porn on their phones in school, instead of following through on the independent reading or studying they were assigned.

And it’s not just the fact that kids watch that raw, stupefying nonsense that’s concerning. The especially disturbing part is how it so readily shapes their view of sexuality. And how it changes the ways they act with each other. Winnifred stated that she and her friends’ sexual boundary-pushing quickly crossed over into their social networking, where they posted sexy Facebook photos of themselves. And that became part of what Winnifred called a “sex-fulfilling prophecy” of sorts. “When you make yourself look a certain way, people are going to expect you to be that way,” Winnifred said. “And if you don’t, it’s strange.”

Of course, porn can cause trouble for people of all ages, not just kids. But as porn has become more mainstream, many people now read these types of things and pooh-pooh it all. Some reject it as moralization. For that matter, I’ve heard people say that porn only facilitates our own naturally built-in sexual responses. Why, what could be wrong with that?

For them (and you of course), I’ll end with this little clip from “ASAP Science” that actually speaks to the scientifically measurable effects of this mucky mess called porn. Obviously, it deals with a very mature subject, but it does so in a pretty clinical manner. And hey, one should always bring a dash of science into the mix when one can.


Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

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