How to talk to your teens about porn

There are many surveys that suggest most children have their first exposure to some type of porn by the age of 12.  This should not shock us in the age of the internet, smart phones, laptops and other electronic communications.

So as parents we can take one of two approaches to this.

We can take the popular view today and tell our pre-teens and teens that they should be ashamed of having ever having looked at those images of naked people or sexual acts. We can put it in their heads that any pleasure they experienced was perverse and wicked.

Or we can take a very different approach.

I think as a father it is very helpful to have these discussions with your sons and daughters.  I have had these discussions with my teens.  I did not even have to bring it up to them, they have asked my opinion on many things including the subject of porn over the years.  They were able to do this because in my home we try and foster an atmosphere where my children can ask me about anything.  They are also allowed to disagree with my positions on various issues as long as they are respectful about it and they still obey my rules even if they disagree.

Obviously the way I went about talking about porn with my teenage sons was different than with my teenage daughter.

With my sons they already knew about their sexual desires and specifically the pleasure they received from viewing porn.  They just needed to know if their desires and behavior in regard to porn and masturbation were normal or where they sinful and perverted.   I assured my sons that their actions were neither sinful nor perverted but that they were simply exercising the male sexual nature that God gave them.

I explained to them that true sexual perversion, as opposed to what many have called perversion, is when a person seeks sexual pleasure in ways that violate God’s law.  If they looked at homosexual porn or orgies this would be a perversion.  But them looking at an image of a man and woman having sex was not an act of perversion.

And no I don’t supply my teenage boys with porn if anyone is thinking that.  I simply don’t police them about it.  I have given them biblical principles to adhere to and I hope that they are doing that if they are seeking it out.  The main thing I wanted to communicate to my sons is that there is absolutely no shame in them thinking about beautiful women, looking and pictures of beautiful women and masturbating.  I have simply told them they need to make sure they practice discretion as to where and when they do these things and make sure it does not overpower them and become the central focus of their life.

Now when I approached this subject of porn with my daughter I had to take a very different approach then I did with my sons. I had to explain to her the difference between the very visual and physical male sexual nature and the more relationally oriented female sexual nature.

I explained to her that the vast majority of men look at porn and most likely the man she marries will look at porn. I told her that just because he may look at porn it would not mean he does not love her. I explained to her that a man is fully capable of loving his wife while at the same time receiving visual sexual pleasure from a multitude of other women.

In fact my daughter understands because of her own studies of the Bible that God has designed men with the capacity to love and be attracted to multiple women as can be seen from the many patriarchs that had many wives. She also understands that the condemnation of polygamy was something that came from culture changing marriage, not the Bible.

I have no doubt that the man who marries my daughter will thank me for raising my daughter to be very understanding of man’s sexual nature.

Christian blogger says porn use is good for Christians