The Proliferation of Pornography: What's a Parent To Do?
by JOHN MICHAELSON, Texas News Service
Apr 28, 2014 | 980 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Texas News Service

The Proliferation of Pornography: What's a Parent To Do?

Teens Get Distorted View of Bodies, Relationships

John Michaelson

AUSTIN, Texas - This generation of teens is hardly the first to check out pornography, but experts say the easy access to it today via technology distorts what young people view as healthy relationships and body image. 

Elizabeth Schroeder, founder of Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting, said porn is designed for adults, and what teenagers do not always realize is that it is also designed to be a fantasy.

"So, when they see something, they say, 'Oh, that's what my partner is supposed to look like,'" she said. "'This is what I'm supposed to look like.' And, of course, we know that what is shown in pornography are extremely exaggerated body parts. We're very concerned about the impact on young people's self esteem."

Teens are also prone to do the same in reflecting the types of relationship behaviors they see in porn into their own dating relationships, Schroeder added.

With the Internet and smart phones, and free downloads without age verification, Schroeder said it is not feasible to block all access. However, she advised parents to combat the messaging in porn by being proactive and talking about it with their children.

"Explain to young people, 'This is where I think this is a problem, looking at these images,'" she said. "And then provide age-appropriate information to them about sex and sexuality. We can really take the power from it and use it as an opportunity to talk about sexuality and relationships in a healthy way."

Schroeder has been working in the field of sexual health education for more than 20 years. 

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Dave M.
April 29, 2014
People really need to learn more about evolutionary psychology, which offers strong arguments as to why men mostly consume adult media. Consider the research of David Buss, David Schmitt, Gad Saad, John Towsend and many others. Arguing that adult media gives men unrealistic expectations of how women should look and/or behave in the bedroom is similar to an argument that mainstream television and romance novels give women unrealistic expectations as to how much money men should make and the types of lifestyles they should be able to provide. Sure, I can understand how porn makes unattractive, overweight women feel bad, just as I can understand how mainstream media makes poor, uneducated, males of low social status feel bad. Media producers are not charities; rather, they produce products that cater to what people want to buy.