Second Graders & Porn

“Porn” is the ranked as the fourth most searched word online by children 7 years old and younger.  These are kids that are in the second grade and younger.  For “sex” to be number four for high schoolers was not a shock to me.  For that to be the same ranking for kids ages 8-12 was disturbing, though I have heard that the average age of seeing porn for the first time is 11 years old.

I grew up before the internet was considered “standard” in most American homes.  I still recall waiting many minutes at a friend’s house for a website to upload on their dial-up while in high school.  Those were the days when porn, though on the internet, was still mainly accessed through seedy stores and in magazines.  Now it seems that it is literally at the fingertips of youth, even those under the age of 7.

The news article from CNN that I got these facts from said that Symantec (the makers of Norton Anti-Virus whose data provided these stats) has programs that may filter most of these sites, but it isn’t perfect.  Personally, I have my search engines set at a high level of protection so that explicit websites or pictures don’t show up when I’m online – but every now and then something seems to slip through the filters.  And I am not looking for smut.  If this happens, how much more do parents need to be on the guard and talking with their kids about this stuff.  Statistically 90% of kids 8-16 have viewed pornography online.  The “birds and the bees” talks used to happen in middle school or high school.  Now it looks like it may be needed in elementary school.

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