Why British Teens Struggle With Online Pornography
Four out of five British 16-year-olds view porn online regularly. One in three 10-year-olds have viewed similar content. Those are the shocking revelations exposed by a parliamentary inquiry report released in April. And the images these youths are viewing go way beyond mere nudity. The study’s authors noted that, with mere clicks of their fingers, British children are accessing the “whole history of human sexual perversion.”
In their report, the M.P.s expressed concern that porn-viewing among teens is corrupting an entire generation. They’re alarmed that children and teens will pervert their minds, saddling millions with selfish, twisted, vile viewpoints regarding sex, the roles of men and women, and marriage and family.
In one tragic heart-to-heart, the mother of an 11-year-old boy recited her son’s enslavement to online pornography. Much like a drug addict, “Charlie’s” affair with online porn transformed him from a wholesome, energetic and friendly “sunny sort of chap” into a withdrawn, moody, hollow-eyed, self-loathing recluse who could neither eat nor sleep normally. Porn didn’t simply alter his behavior, his mother lamented, “but his entire character.”
These revelations have set off a national debate on the need to protect children from smut. But as is so often the case in today’s intellectually and morally muddled world, the conversation quickly slid into a side issue. The Daily Mail, for example, explained that the solution to keeping porn from children and teens lay with Britain’s “Internet providers.” This was the focus of the parliamentary inquiry too.
If only the four companies that beam the Internet into British homes were more responsible, many argue, the problem would be solved. The best solution is for these companies to install more filters to make it tougher for children and teens to access online porn.
There’s no denying such features would have a positive effect. However, that debate is a major distraction from the real cause of this problem.
After all, who’s paying for the computers, televisions, game consoles, mobiles and broadband? Who’s allowing children to slink into the seclusion of their screen-lit bedrooms and other private places where they can surf, text and “sext” to their hearts’ delight? (More than half of children ages 7 to 16 have Internet access in their own room; among 11-to-16-year-olds, the figure is 61 percent.) Who is letting Internet perversion raise their children?
Forget Internet providers. This inquiry reveals a crisis in British parenting.
Speaking practically, the solution to teens viewing porn is fairly straightforward: simple rules implemented by loving parents. Relocate computers and tvs to the living room; download free, easy-to-install Internet filters, and most of all take the time to regularly monitor what your child views online. Make children put smartphones away after a certain hour, monitor texts, conduct spur-of-the-moment checks. Know what your teen is doing! With such an involved parent, a teen finds lustful activity much more difficult and much less enticing. What if the child goes to a friend’s home to engage in this behavior? That’s simple too: Sever the relationship.
These measures might sound harsh. But isn’t the moral, emotional and psychological damage inflicted by pornography, the hollow-eyed enslavement, the sabotage of future relationships, ten thousand times worse?
Why does this seem so outlandish? Why will most parents never implement these measures? Because they’ve abdicated authority over their children. The 21st-century parent does not care enough and does not love enough to control his child’s behavior and attitude.
As children grow, their disregard and disrespect for authority affects their other relationships. At school they lack respect for teachers, principals and administrators. In society, there’s little respect for police, government leaders and others in authority. The results of this upbringing surround us. Too many of our teachers work in fear of verbal and physical abuse. Malls and shopping centers, overrun by aimless youths, lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to theft and property damage. Our streets are filled with gang violence.
It’s time we faced reality. More than anything, the problem of porn addiction among teens, as well as most of the other social crises Britain faces—the plague of public drunkenness, the thuggery and gang violence, youth unemployment, single motherhood—is a direct result of family breakdown!
Traced to its origins, every social problem facing Britain (and America) is the result of some form of family dysfunction. Gang violence and general street crime; sexual perversion and promiscuity; unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease; rape and sexual abuse; fatherlessness/single motherhood and the resultant exploitation of the welfare system; divorce and its many costly byproducts—each stems from the dissolution of the traditional family!
We are decades deep into a cultural war on traditional marriage, on the roles of the mother and especially the father, and on the role of children within a family. We have tossed aside traditional laws and virtues regarding marriage and family, many of which were gleaned from the Bible, and replaced them with perverted, anti-family “values.” The results are obvious. As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex, “Since it is a basic truism that a solid family structure is the foundational bulwark of any stable and permanent society, this fact means only one thing—civilization as we know it is on the way down—and out ….”
Is there a better way to describe a nation in which millions of teens are allowed to go online and in the privacy of their own bedrooms explore the “whole history of human sexual perversion”? We have a bigger problem on our hands than the content policies of irresponsible Internet providers. We have to fix our broken families.