10 Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From Internet Porn by ANDY BLANKS

10 11 2013

How To Kids Your Safe from Porn

As part of my role with youths, I spend a lot of time immersed in youth culture. As someone who works with youth workers, this gives me insight into how culture shapes spiritual development. But as a parent, it’s allowed me to think about how we equip our children to successfully navigate the digital world we live in.

In light of this, I put together the 10 Commandments of Technology and Children, a short guide that will help you think about how you lay a healthy foundation for your children’s interaction with technology.

(Note: These are probably most applicable to tweens and young teens. Ideally, older teenagers should already be practicing healthy habits with social media. My concern here is with laying a good foundation while they are young.)

1. Thou Shalt Engage In Open Dialogue About What Your Children Encounter Online

Over and over again, remind your children they can always talk to you about anything they see online that is disturbing, funny, weird, scary . . . whatever. You can’t overemphasize this. Create the expectation early that you are going to be engaged with what they are doing Online.

2. Thou Shalt Give More Freedom As Your Children Earn It

If you start out with no boundaries, it’s hard to put them in place when you need them. Start out on the strict end of the spectrum. Create the understanding that technology is awesome, but it has to be handled responsibly. As your children get older and prove they are more responsible, relax your rules appropriately to their level of responsibility.

3. Thou Shalt Put Limits On Screen Time

We limit total screen time, which includes TV and iPad/Kindle usage. We let our girls choose how they want to spend it. The amount of screen time you choose is up to you. But a good rule of thumb is to limit screen time in such a way that it creates blocks of time where the family is together but not engaged in technology.

4. Thou Shalt Unashamedly Monitor Your Children’s Activity

Tell your kids up-front that you will routinely be monitoring their activity, whether it’s their browser history or their text messages. For tweens and younger teens, this is a must. As your children get older and show more responsibility, you can and should back off on this. Some. But set the ground rule that at anytime you can and will check their phone or tablet. Which leads me to the 5th Commandment.

5. Thou Shalt Have A “No Deleting” Policy

This is kind of related to the 4th Commandment. I advise parents to have a standing rule with their children: no deleting. No deleting texts. No clearing browser history. The thought behind this is simple: if you’re deleting texts or browser history, you’re hiding something. It’s pretty easy to look at a thread of texts and figure out what’s missing. Same with your device’s browser history. If there’s nothing there, it’s been deleted. Not cool.

6. Thou Shalt Use Filtering/Parental Control Software

Find a filtering/parental control software that fits your budget and purchase it. Use it. You’re not doing this to be an overbearing ogre. You’re doing it to protect your children from accidentally going places they don’t intend.

7. Thou Shalt Not Place All Your Trust In Filtering/Parental Control Software

There are ways to get around this software. And there’s not a one I have ever used or demo-ed that is perfect. Don’t think filtering software means you don’t have to monitor your kids’ activity. You do.

8. Thou Shalt Have Your Children Check In Their Devices At Bedtime

This great idea came from my friend Adam McLane (who blogs HERE with a great perspective on technology and family) and I love it. There’s a lot of reasons why it’s bad for your kids to go to bed with their phones or tablets in their hands. Have a standing rule that sometime before bed time, they check-in their devices in a preselected place, where they will stay until the morning.

9. Thou Shalt Know The Apps Your Children Purchase

The parents I know who are the most savvy about technology have their children’s devices synced with the parent’s account. That way all purchases come through you. If my kids want an app, they have to come ask me. If you want to give your children your password, that’s fine. You should still look for the email that tells you what they buy and make sure their activity is inline with your values.

10. Thou Shalt Model Healthy Technology Behaviors Yourself

I swear I’m going to punch the next dad I see at a restaurant with his head buried in his phone while his family goes about their dinner. (I mean, I won’t, but I will want to!) Parents, please stop being so crappy at this. Do the right thing. Put your phone down at dinner. Seriously.

Those are my 10 Commandments. What did I miss? What commandment would you add?

Find more content like this in Strive.

Why More And More Women Are Watching Porn By JENNIFER LECLAIRE

5 11 2013

Why More And More Women Are Watching Porn By JENNIFER LECLAIRE

A new study reveals women are struggling with graphic sexual immorality in droves.
“It was an ordinary weekday morning when Caroline first noticed how much pornography was taking over her life. With 15 minutes to go before she was due to leave for a job interview, she opened up her laptop to print off an extra copy of her C.V. and there, onscreen, was a grab she’d saved from [a porn site].

“’I remember the feeling of being sucked in, really wanting that two-minute fix, that numbness I got when I used porn,’ says Caroline. ‘I was stressed out, and I risked being late for my interview, but I pressed play anyway and fast-forwarded it to the bit I wanted. It took two minutes. … Afterwards I just hated myself for giving in and getting off on images that treated women like pieces of meat. But I kept going back.’”

Those are the opening paragraphs of a story from The Guardian called “Why More and More Women Are Using Pornography.” Revelations of female porn addiction are an eye-opening issue. Most people assume the problem is exclusive to testosterone-driven men. But a new study reveals that women are struggling with graphic sexual immorality in droves.,,

But get this: Online porn viewership has quadrupled for women in just three years. A 2010 Pew report shows only 2 percent of women admitted to watching online porn. And again, it’s likely that the true numbers are even greater.

And that’s not the worst of it. CovenantEyes has gathered shocking statistics from various studies. Here are a few of them:

According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Research, about half (49 percent) of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is an acceptable way of expressing one’s sexuality.
Exposures to porn during childhood are not just brief glimpses. Some teen girls are viewing online pornography for a half-hour or more at a time, and 1 in 7 have done this on multiple occasions.
Of the women in the Dirty Girls community, 87 percent say they feel or have felt “out of control” when it comes to the matter of masturbation; 70 percent say the same about sexual fantasies, according to Dirty Girls Ministries.
Of the women in the Dirty Girls community, 45 percent said they started “habitually and compulsively” watching pornography or engaging in cybersex when they were 13-17 years old.
Of the women in the Dirty Girls community, 27 percent say they feel or have felt “out of control” when it comes to sexually chatting online; 11 percent say the same thing about sexting…

But there is hope. Although much attention is focused on helping men break free from pornography addictions, ministries are rising up to help women find deliverance from this bondage. Beggar’s Daughter, Bethesda Workshops and Dirty Girls Ministries, among others, are offering God’s grace to women trapped in sexual sin. If you or a woman you know is addicted to pornography, I urge you to seek help. Jesus is your deliverer, and He won’t leave you trapped in Jezebel’s clutches.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma.

Porn destroys Marriages By Peter C. Kleponis

15 10 2013

Porn ruins marriageJoe and Patty came to my office in crisis. Patty had recently discovered Joe viewing internet pornography late at night. A search of the computer’s history revealed chronic use of porn. Joe admitted he had a problem with Internet pornography and vowed to get help. He was truly sorry for hurting Patty, but he could not understand why she was so upset about it. Joe couldn’t understand why she had so much difficulty forgiving him and moving on with their relationship. What Joe didn’t understand is how pornography affects wives.

Impact on Wives

For many women, discovering that their husbands have been viewing pornography is similar to uncovering an extramarital affair. As a result, they experience a variety of emotions: anger, hurt, sadness, betrayal, and rejection. They believe their husbands would rather be with the women they view in pornography rather than their wives. Often they feel that they have been replaced by a computer image. The woman on the computer screen is “the other woman.” Because of this, many women are devastated whey they discover their husbands have been looking at porn.

For many wives, their husbands’ use of pornography is a violation of marital trust. When a man and woman marry, they vow to love, honor and cherish each other for the rest of their lives. Viewing pornography is akin to breaking these vows because they are in no way a sign of a man’s love, honor and respect for his wife. For these women, the men they married all of a sudden seem like strangers. Many feel like a fool for ever having trusted their husbands. For some women, the violation of trust is so deep that they question if they can go on with their marriage. While they might be able to forgive their husbands, rebuilding trust can be extremely difficult.

Pornography invading the home can also lead a wife to feel old, unattractive and sexually undesirable. It’s no secret that most of the women in pornography are just over 18 years of age. Furthermore, thanks to plastic surgery, makeup and digital photographic enhancement, most of the women in pornography do not exist in real life. They are too “perfect.” A wife in her mid-thirties, who has had a few children, might be very beautiful; however, she does not look like a 19 year old. Because of this, she may think, “How can I compete with the young girls in porn?” This can lead her to feel ugly, undesirable and rejected by her husband. This is further compounded by the effects pornography can have on a man’s sexual performance. A man who is addicted to pornography can become so accustomed to being sexually aroused by the “perfect” women in pornography that he can eventually find it difficult to perform sexually with his own wife.

Impact on Husbands

Studies have shown that men crave respect from their wives more than love. Pornography robs men of this basic need. Pornography use almost always leads women to lose respect for her husbands. They also begin to view their husbands as poor role models for their children. This adds to the lack of respect. This can be very painful for women because it inhibits their ability to love, honor and respect their husbands. Men were created to be the leaders, providers and protectors of their wives and families. Pornography prevents men from being able to fulfill these roles because it leads a man to isolate himself and neglect his wife and children. This deepens the trust wound in the marriage.

In addition to the emotional effects that pornography has on wives and marriages, it can also have physical ramifications. When a man becomes addicted to pornography, he eventually develops a tolerance to it. What was once sexually arousing becomes boring and uninteresting. Thus, he can go from viewing soft porn to hardcore porn. After a while, even this is not enough. He may develop a desire to perform the sexual acts he has seen in pornography. This can lead to using prostitutes and engaging in anonymous sex. With this comes the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

With one couple I treated, the wife found out about her husband’s pornography/sex addiction from her physician. She had gone to her gynecologist for her annual examination and was informed that she had a sexually transmitted disease. She had gotten it from her husband who had been frequenting prostitutes. Since she had always been faithful to her husband, she knew she caught the disease from him. After confronting him, he confessed. One can hardly imaging the devastation this couple felt. Although this couple loved each other dearly and were committed to mending their marriage, it took months of therapy to work on forgiveness and rebuilding trust.

Fortunately, most couples are not like the one just described. Most are like Joe and Patty. When people think of addiction recovery, they often envision the addict attending 12-step group meetings and individual therapy sessions. While these are needed for recovery, marital therapy is also needed to heal the deep wounds inflicted on the marital relationship.

Moving Toward Healing

In all cases, wives need to learn how to forgive their husbands. This comes by understanding the deep emotional wounds that lead a man into pornography addiction. When one understands that addictive behaviors are often symptoms of deeper wounds, it becomes easier to have compassion and forgive. Trust also has to be rebuilt in the marriage. This comes from the husband taking responsibility for his recovery and proving his trustworthiness to his wife. As forgiveness and trust grow, the couple experiences healing in their relationship. Thus, addiction recovery is not just for the addict, it involves spouses and families too.

Couples need to realize that even the most devastating situations can lead to greater love, trust an intimacy in a marriage. There is always hope. However, it starts by husbands understanding how their pornography use affects their wives and marriage. It is my hope that this understanding will prevent men from viewing pornography as well as help heal marriages that have been damaged by pornography use. Please read the Porn Circuit: the_porn_circuit_covenant_eyes for more information on pornography addiction

. . . .

Peter C. Kleponis is a Licensed Clinical Therapist.
From http://www.covenanteyes.com

A Generation of Children Raised On Porn: The End Of Innocence By Martin-Daubney

30 09 2013

A Generation of Children Raised On Pornography: The End Of Innocence By Martin-Daubney

The moment I knew internet pornography had cast its dark shadow over the lives of millions of ordinary British teenagers will live with me for ever. I was sitting in the smart drama hall of a specialist sports college in the North of England with a fantastic reputation. Before me were a group of 20 boys and girls, aged 13-14. Largely white, working class children, they were well turned-out, polite, giggly and shy.

As the presenter of a Channel 4 documentary called Porn On The Brain, airing next Monday at 10pm, I’d been invited to sit in on a forward-thinking class led by sex education consultant Jonny Hunt, who is regularly asked into schools to discuss sex and relationships. To establish what these kids knew about sex – including pornography – he had asked the children to write an A-Z list of the sexual terms they knew, no matter how extreme.

Most of these children had just hit puberty and some were clearly still children: wide-eyed, nervous, with high-pitched voices. Some of the girls were beginning their first forays into make-up. Several wore braces on their teeth. Everybody was smartly turned out in school uniform, and the most anti-authority statement in the room was a tie worn deliberately short. A One Direction pencil case lay on a desk. These were clearly good children, from good homes. So far, so very, very ordinary. But when Jonny pinned their lists on the board, it turned out that the children’s extensive knowledge of porn terms was not only startling, it superseded that of every adult in the room – including the sex education consultant himself.

Martin was shocked by what the teenagers said
‘Nugget, what’s that?’ asked Jonny.

‘A nugget is a girl who has no arms or legs and has sex in a porno movie,’ chortled one young, pimply boy, to an outburst of embarrassed laughter from some, and outright revulsion from others.
The adults in attendance were incredulous at the thought that not only did this kind of porn exist, but that a 14-year-old boy may have actually watched it. But the more mundane answers were just as shocking. For example, the first word every single boy and girl in the group put on their list was ‘anal’.
When questioned, they had all – every child in a class of 20 – seen sodomy acted out in porn videos. I was stunned they even knew about it – I certainly hadn’t heard of it at that age – let alone had watched it and as a result may even have wanted to try it.
One 15-year-old girl said, ‘Boys expect porn sex in real life’. And one boy – to choruses of approval – spoke of his revulsion for pubic hair, which he called a ‘gorilla’.
When Jonny pointed out that pubic hair was normal in real life, the boys scoffed, but some of the girls were angry that the boys’ template of what to expect from real girls had clearly already been set by porn.

By the end of the hour-long class – and three others that followed with other children – I was profoundly saddened by what I had witnessed. While teenage boys will always be fascinated by, and curious about, sex, what’s now considered ‘normal’ by under-18s is an entirely distorted view of intercourse and the way relationships should be conducted. It seemed as if the children’s entire expectation of sex had been defined by what they see in online porn. The conversation was horrifying enough, yet there was worse to come.

In the playground, I interviewed a brave group of seven bright boys and girls aged 14-15 to ascertain in more detail what online porn they had witnessed.

‘Nugget, what’s that?’ asked Jonny. ‘A nugget is a girl who has no arms or legs and has sex in a porno movie,’ chortled one young, pimply boy
One boy calmly recalled watching a scene too graphic to describe in a family newspaper, but which had involved an animal.
‘You’re watching bestiality?’ I asked. ‘That’s illegal. Where are you getting this stuff from?’

‘Facebook,’ the boy said. ‘It just pops up whether you want it or not, sometimes via advertisements. You don’t have any control over it.’
A girl added, ‘On Facebook, you just scroll down and it’s there. If any of your friends like it, it comes up on your home page.’

These kids were balanced, smart and savvy. They were the most academically gifted and sporting in the school. They came from ordinary, hard-working households. This was not ‘Broken Britain’.
Some were clearly shocked by what they had seen on the internet.

‘I find it dirty and disturbing,’ said one 15-year-old boy. ‘I try not to look at it, but people just keep sending it to each other. They email disgusting links to each other’s mobile phones to shock.’
One girl put her head in her hands and said, ‘It’s just gross’.

It’s horrifying enough for parents to know that children can get porn via the internet. But to think they get it from Facebook – the social media currency that has become a universal must-have for teenagers globally – will strike terror into their hearts.

I asked the teenagers: ‘On a scale of one to ten, how likely would you say it is that boys and girls your age are watching porn online?’

The reply was a chorus of tens, nines and one eight.

When I asked the children if there were parental controls on the internet at home, they all said no, their parents trusted them. They all admitted their parents had no idea what they were watching, and would be shocked if they did know.

What I saw at the school was awful, but sadly not unusual.
The findings were backed up in a survey of 80 boys and girls aged 12-16, commissioned for the TV show.
It proves the vast majority of UK teens have seen sexual imagery online, or pornographic films.
According to the survey, the boys appear largely happy about watching porn – and were twice as likely as girls to do so – but the girls are significantly more confused, angry and frightened by online sexual imagery. The more they see, the stronger they feel.

But what impact is this steady diet of online depravity having on the attitudes of boys and girls towards real life relationships, and on their self-esteem?

Could it even have a wider impact on their lives, blighting their ability to function in the world, get good qualifications and jobs?

What I discovered left me truly shocked and saddened.

You might be surprised. After all, from 2003-2010 I edited lad’s magazine Loaded.
With its frequent nudity and lewd photo spreads, I’d long been accused of being a soft pornographer, and after leaving Loaded I agonised that my magazine may have switched a generation onto more explicit online porn.
In the documentary I set out on a journey to answer the question: is porn harmless, or is it damaging lives?
My interest was deeply personal, too, as my own beautiful little boy, Sonny, is now four. Even though he has only just started primary school, the Children’s Commissioner estimates boys as young as ten are now being exposed to online porn.

I wanted to know what I could do to protect my own son from a seemingly inevitable exposure to hardcore material in just a few years’ time.
I used to be sceptical that porn was as damaging a force as the headlines and David Cameron – who recently said it was ‘corroding childhood’ – suggest. In the past I’d even defended pornography in university debates, on TV and on radio. I claimed it was our freedom of choice to watch it and said it could actually help add to adult relationships.

But what I saw during the making of the film changed my opinion of pornography forever.
The true stories of boys I met whose lives had been totally taken over by porn not only moved me to tears but also made me incredibly angry that this is happening to our children.
And the looks of revulsion on those poor girl’s faces in the playground enraged me.

I feel as if an entire generation’s sexuality has been hijacked by grotesque online porn.
To find out what porn is doing to young men, and the girls they have relationships with, we spoke to them via online forums and discovered that there were many young lives seriously blighted by an excessive, unhealthy relationship with pornography that can begin when they are as young as 12.
We learned that some had lost their jobs, others had broken relationships, failed exams, or got into serious debt through using porn.

‘When you interview young women about their experiences of sex, you see an increased level of violence: rough, violent sex. That is directly because of porn, as young boys are getting their sexual cues from men in porn who are acting as if they’re sexual psychopaths’
Take the 19-year-old man I got to know. He was handsome, articulate and in full-time employment as an apprentice electrician. But his life was dominated by his porn habit.

‘Every bit of spare time I have is spent watching porn,’ he says. ‘It is extreme. I can’t hold down a relationship for longer than three weeks. I want porn sex with real girls, but sex with them just isn’t as good as the porn.’

Having established, like the recent Children’s Commissioner report, that ‘basically, porn is everywhere’, we set out to discover what all this porn was doing to their brains.
Was it having any effect at all? Could it be addictive?

We found Dr Valerie Voon, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University and a global authority on addiction.
Then, in the first study of its kind, we recruited 19 heavy porn users who felt their habit was out of control and had Dr Voon examine their brain activity as they watched, among other things, hardcore porn. She showed them a variety of images, both stills and videos.
These ranged from images known to excite all men, such as bundles of £50 notes and extreme sports in action, to mundane landscapes and wallpapers – all inter-spliced with hardcore porn videos, plus pictures of both clothed and naked women.

The ways in which their brains responded to this diverse imagery were compared with the responses of a group of healthy volunteers.

She was interested in a particular brain region called the ventral striatum – the ‘reward centre’ – where our sense of pleasure is produced. This is one of the areas where an addict will show a heightened response to visual representations of their addiction – whether it’s a syringe or a bottle of vodka.
‘Letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house’
What we discovered was a revelation. When shown porn, the reward centre of normal volunteers barely reacted, but that of the compulsive porn users lit up like a Christmas tree.
The compulsive porn users’ brains showed clear parallels with those with substance addictions.
Everybody on the project was astounded, even Dr Voon, who admitted she had been ‘sceptical and ambivalent’ about the study at the outset.
If porn does have the insidious power to be addictive, then letting our children consume it freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house, or handing out vodka at the school gates.
And this toxic effect is filtering down directly into young girls’ lives.
The most shocking testament came from Professor Gail Dines. Regarded as the world’s leading anti-pornography campaigner, she has interviewed thousands of men and women about sex and pornography.

‘When you interview young women about their experiences of sex, you see an increased level of violence: rough, violent sex,’ she says.
‘That is directly because of porn, as young boys are getting their sexual cues from men in porn who are acting as if they’re sexual psychopaths.
‘Pornography is sexually traumatising an entire generation of boys.’

By talking with sexual addiction experts such as Professor John E Grant of the University of Chicago, Dr Paula Hall, the UK’s top sex addiction therapist, and Professor Matt Field from the University of Liverpool, we learned that the teenage brain is especially vulnerable to addiction.
The brain’s reward centre is fully developed by the time we’re teenagers, but the part of the brain that regulates our urges – the pre-frontal cortex – isn’t fully developed until our mid-20s. The brains of teenagers are not wired to say ‘stop’, they are wired to want more. The implications of this study are profoundly troubling.
So who is going to take on the responsibility for protecting our children until they are old enough to do it for themselves?
Can we rely on schools? It strikes me that the current sex education system in the UK – where schools are obliged only to teach the basics of reproduction and the perils of sex, which they can opt out of anyway – is hopelessly outdated.

In the internet age, our children are turning to online porn for an alternative sex education – the worst place they can go.

The Mail claimed a victory in July when David Cameron announced that by the end of 2014 all 19 million UK homes currently connected to the internet will be contacted by service providers and told they must say whether family friendly filters that block all porn sites should be switched on or off.

But our TV show proved that determined children will always find a way around online blocks.
Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us, the parents. The age of innocence is over. Like many parents, I fear that my boy’s childhood could be taken away by pornography. So we have to fight back.We need to get tech-savvy, and as toe-curling as it seems, we are the first generation that will have to talk to our children about porn.

We have to tell our kids that pornographic sex is fake and real sex is about love, not lust.
By talking to them, they stand a chance. If we stick our head in the sand, we are fooling only ourselves.

Understand your brain and break porn habits in 90 days. the_porn_circuit_covenant_eyes


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