Sexual Morality

Rescuing Our Youth from the Porn Trap

THERE IS A worldwide war being waged between good and evil on the battlefield of the Internet. God’s plan for purity is being attacked with a proliferation of pornography available literally at the fingertips of anyone with Internet access. Internet pornography is a stealth strike aimed at our homes and families, a danger too often ignored. Yet the souls of our children are at stake.

Most parents find it a challenge to talk to their children about sexual issues, especially pornography. However, it is important that you talk with your children about the potential for them to see pornography and what to do if it happens. You may not want to discuss this problem, because you want to protect your children’s innocence. But the fact is many children are bombarded with Internet pornography at a very young age. Too often, a child has been exposed to Internet pornography, even hard-core, before a parent would ever think a warning would be needed.

Even if you feel your home computer would not be a source, today’s children are being shown pornography on their friends’ computers, tablets, phones, gaming devices, televisions, DVDs, and music videos. Digital porn images are commonly passed around in elementary, junior and high school halls, parking lots, locker rooms or sleepovers.

For most teens, exposure to pornography is a part of their daily lives. It is estimated that 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls are exposed to Internet pornography before the age of 18.1 Too often, this exposure leads to various levels of fixation or compulsion. The exposure is not limited to the Internet. The average American adolescent will view 14,000 sexual references on TV per year.2 Turn on the television and in one hour viewers will see 6.7 scenes with sexual content.3

Even toddlers in shopping carts are exposed as they pass through checkout aisles surrounded by inappropriate images on magazine covers. It is time to acknowledge that almost all of our young men, and many of our young women, have been exposed to pornography. As we present on this topic across the country, we have discovered that while many voices are emphasizing avoidance, few are actually working to rescue those trapped in this most damaging and addictive activity.

With the help of experts who assisted in the development of the RECLAiM Sexual Health Online Recovery Program, we created the book, Rescuing Our Youth from the Porn Trap: A Parent Primer. Any parent or adult seeking to better understand the pornography pandemic, provide protection for youth, or begin the path to healing a child or teenager caught in pornography’s trap, will benefit from the insight, research, and methods found within this resource.

Bruce and Jeannie Hannemann are founders of Elizabeth Ministry International and directors of RECLAiM SEXUAL HEALTH, a highly successful and anonymous Catholic online recovery program for those struggling with pornography and other unhealthy sexual behaviors. Visit ElizabethMinistry.com and ReclaimSexualHealth.com for more information and to order the book, Rescuing Our Youth from the Porn Trap: A Parent Primer.

Additional information on pornography statistics, along with resources to help protect your home computers, can be found at CovenantEyes.com.

1 Be Broken Ministries. Statistics on Porn & Sex Addiction. n.d.
2 Chiara Sabina, Ph.D, Janis Wolak, J.D., and David Finkelhor, Ph.D. “Rapid
Communication: The Nature and Dynamic of Internet Pornography for
Youth.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 11 (November 2008): 3.
3 Strasburger, Victor C. “Sexuality and the Media.” Chap. 6 in Children,
Adolescents, and the Media. Sage, 2009.

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About the author

Bruce Hannemann

Bruce and Jeannie Hannemann are founders of Elizabeth Ministry International and directors of RECLAiM SEXUAL HEALTH, a highly successful and anonymous Catholic online recovery program for those struggling with pornography and other unhealthy sexual behaviors. Visit ElizabethMinistry.com and ReclaimSexualHealth.com for more information