Internet Dangers

  Parent's  Rules ‘N Tools™

  Youth Safety Guide

  Safety Tools

  Harms of Porn

  Child Sexual Abuse

  Report a Cybercrime

  Big Cheese Sites

  Donna Rice Hughes

  Kids Online

       Chapter 1

       Chapter 2

       Chapter 3

       Chapter 4

       Chapter 5

       Chapter 6

       Chapter 7

       Chapter 8

       Appendix A

       Appendix B

       Appendix C

       Appendix D

       Appendix E

       Appendix F

       Appendix G

       Appendix H

       Appendix I

       Book Reviews

       Letter from Author

  Public Policy Updates

  MouseClick Maze (home)

Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace
Chapter 4

"Donna's book is a powerful tool for parents who want to keep kids safe. Kids are so vulnerable when they're alone online. We need to know about the lurking dangers so we can protect them. "
Leeza Gibbons

What are the myths surrounding pornography?
How does pornography harm children?
What are the connections between
pornography and sexual addiction?

What are the warning signs of sexual disturbance in children?

Shedding Light On the Darkness of Pornography
Depending on the explicitness of the material, children can be harmed when they are confronted with sexually graphic speech and/or photos. Most adults recognize that exposing children to pornography is harmful. It gives them their first messages about sex without adult supervision or moral guidance.
Public indifference to pornography is frequently rooted in ignorance of the facts. In this chapter, you will find more research notes, studies, and statistics than in other chapters. Additionally, I want to bring to light credible evidence that will dispel the myths of pornography, particularly the myth that pornography is a victimless crime.
The Myths of Pornography
  • Myth #1-Obscenity Is a Matter of Opinion
  • Myth #2-Obscenity Is Protected by the First Amendment
  • Myth #3-Pornography Is Harmless Entertainment
  • Myth #4-Pornography Reduces Dangerous Impulses
  • Myth #5-If Legalized, Pornography Will Be Less in Demand and Sex Crimes Will Decrease
  • Myth #6-You Can't Legislate Morality
  • Myth #7-Viewing Pornography Is a Choice-Don't Buy It
  • Myth #8-It's Not the Sex in Pornography That's the Problem; It's the Violence
How Pornography Harms Children
  • Exposure to Pornography Threatens to Make Children Victims of Sexual Violence
    • Pornography's Relationship to Rape and Sexual Violence
    • Pornography's Relationship to Child Molestation
    • Exposure to pornography frequently leads to behavior resulting in sexual illness, unplanned pregnancies and sexual addiction.
  • Exposure to Pornography Promotes Desensitization
  • Exposure to Pornography May Incite Children to Act Out Sexually against Other Children
  • Exposure to Pornography Shapes Attitudes and Values
  • Exposure to Pornography Interferes with a Child's Development and Identity
Pornography's Progressive Pattern
Dr. Victor Cline, a clinical psychologist at the University of Utah and a specialist in the area of sexual addictions, has observed a four-step syndrome common to almost all of his clients who have been involved with pornography.
The Symptoms of Sexual Disturbance among Children
  • Sexual Preoccupation
  • Age-Inappropriate Sexualized Behavior
  • Age-Inappropriate Partners
  • Coercion
  • Paraphilias
Helping Children Deal with Trauma Inflicted by Pornography
The best way to reduce the suffering of a child traumatized by pornography on the Internet (or by any other medium) is to prevent pornography from entering the child's life. In chapters 5, 6, and 7, we will look at some prevention tactics and technological solutions.
This section of the books includes a recommended strategy if you think your child has been abused, traumatized, or sexually exploited while on the Internet. The following is a short version of this strategy:
This is a dark chapter because pornography in cyberspace casts a dangerous shadow on our children. Most of us find it difficult to talk to our children about sex in general, let alone the harmful effects of pornography, as described in this chapter. We want to protect the innocence and purity of childhood for as long as possible. Yet children need to know why certain rules about the computer and their access to the Internet exist. They may be less likely to violate the rules if they are told the truth about why they are not allowed to see everything on the Internet. In the next chapter we will look at how we can begin to educate our children about protecting themselves from dangers in cyberspace.

© 2001 by Donna Rice Hughes. Request permission if you wish to reprint or post.