Yesterday I dropped the F-Bomb for the first time at wagthedad. It probably won’t be the last. I know that this might be seen as puerile and antagonistic, but I really don’t care about that. If I were going to write something nice all the time, I could just copy stuff that’s already out there.
Keeping with that impulse, so begins our 3-part series on children and porn. Not to be confused with child porn, which is abominable and should be punished by drawing and quartering.
Why You Shouldn’t Discourage Your Child From Watching Porn
So that no one starts vomiting condemnation, let’s assume we’re talking about kids who are already interested in sex, i.e. of puberty age or higher. If your six-year-old is interested in watching porn, you’ve got a whole mess of other problems that are outside of the scope of this article. And preventing a 6-year-old from watching porn is no big feat.
1) If you try, it’s only going to make them want to watch it.
This is valid for most everything you don’t want them to do. If you don’t want them to smoke pot, they will. If you are homophobic, they will turn out to be gay. If you can’t stand Democrats, then you’re going to wind up with a socialist.
Now. This does NOT mean that you should encourage your child to watch pornography. The opposite of discouraging is not encouraging. There are lots of shades of gray in between. I also know that somebody is going to say “Well, you could say the same about killing people. Or cooking meth. Or not paying your income taxes.”
Yes, yes, and yes. But that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this:
If you don’t want your kid to do something, the WORST thing you can do is to actively discourage them from doing it. Telling them it’s not OK is one thing (whether porn is OK or not is debatable; more on this on Friday), but hounding them about it will just make them want to do it.
Case in point:
My parents made me cover my eyes or leave the room whenever any nudity showed up on the television. We’re not talking X-Rated. We’re not talking soft porn. We’re talking about back in the eighties when they still actually showed some brief nudity in PG-13 films. I could have all the violence I wanted. True to the American spirit, watching killing on television is OK, watching someone pretending to have an orgasm is not.
We’re Going To Watch It Anyway, Mom and Dad
As soon as my father figured out how to splice TV cables, I bought myself a black and white television with my savings, hooked it up in my bedroom, and watched Europorn on Skinemax every Friday night. My parents, probably relieved that they could finally watch porn on the living room television, never questioned why I was in bed by 10:00 every night of the weekend.
2) They’re going to watch it anyway.
Yeah, yeah. Up crops the same old “well, they’re going to smoke/drive drunk/kill cheerleaders” argument we saw above. No, no, and no. Doing something harmful to your health or to others is one thing. Being curious about sex is part of becoming and being an adult.
You can’t stop that. It’s a biological thing. No matter how much abstinence you preach.
If you tell them they can’t do it, then they’re just going to find out a way to watch it. They’ll go out drinking, drive out into a cornfield and sit on the hood of a car, plugged into somebody’s iPhone.
Then they’ll drive back all drunk and stoned, somebody will get hurt and then everybody will wonder what has happened to society.
3) It is not humanly possible to stop them.
Think about how quickly technology has evolved over the past ten years. Have you kept up with the latest porn filters available for your computer/TV/cell phone? Are those going to be updated regularly by a reliable source?
I have no idea about this one. Perhaps because I work in the IT field, I wouldn’t trust any of that. Pornography has always been on the cutting edge of technology – online credit card transactions were first made possible because the adult movie industry saw a profit potential on the information superhighway – and regardless of how responsible a provider is going to be, there are bound to be some bad apples who are going to get through your standard erotic filter.
And even if you throw out all of your technology and live on a farm, your kid is going to wind up at somebody’s house some night, with the sound down on the TV and everyone snickering.
You’ll know it when they come home bleary-eyed, not smelling of alcohol and suddenly desirous of washing their own underwear.