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Helping our kids navigate the dangers of growing up with porn

News

18 April 2020

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft welcomes the release of a report showing what we can do about the harmful prevalence of porn in Kiwi kid’s lives.

The report, Growing Up With Porn, released today by the Classification Office, is a timely insight into the world our children and young people are living in.

“Children’s exposure to porn is a very common concern, raised with me by youth workers, counsellors, and teachers. They are rightly concerned, as am I, about the avalanche of porn online. This is unregulated and easily accessed by children.

This report tells us that porn is to a large extent normalised for young people especially. This is very concerning, given this research shows that watching porn can have a negative impact on body image and confidence.

“We know kids are watching porn to learn about sex and we know they want information about porn to be part of comprehensive sexuality education in schools. So as parents and caregivers, we need to step up and help educate our kids about real, healthy and respectful adult relationships. 

Not many of us find it easy to talk to our children about these issues. Given the pandemic, we’re all spending a lot more time at home now, so there couldn’t be a better time to talk to our kids about what they are viewing online.

“As adults, we might need to better prepare ourselves so we can help our children to understand what they are seeing. The Classification Office has released some great resources on how family and whānau can start the conversation with their children and young people, so it’s not so daunting.

“The report also revealed that, while parental locks and family filters are effective for children, young children may still be accidentally exposed to porn through others. A much-needed conversation with our children is a far better way to prepare them for what they may see,” says Commissioner Becroft.

 

ENDS