When was the first time you saw porn?
This is a question Jay and I have been asking everyone lately (doesn’t that just make you oh-so-eager to come over for dinner?). Most people in our parents’ generation saw it for the first time in a magazine they found under someone’s bed. Many in our age group saw it on TV. But if you’re younger than 25, chances are your first exposure happened online.
Asking people about their first exposure to porn ends up sparking some pretty interesting conversations. After the initial awkward, jagged sentences, people open up. About how it’s affecting their marriage. About how they don’t know how to protect their kids. About how they can’t stop watching it and feel trapped. About the things boyfriends are demanding of them.
And today, no demographic is being affected as profoundly as children.
I remember going into a video rental store as an 11 year-old and finding the adult section. My friend and I looked at the covers with a mix of curiosity and horror until an employee found us giggling and kicked us out. We lacked access, so that was the end of that. The internet has changed everything.
Magazines and video rental stores aren’t on kids’ radar at all anymore. Porn is on their cell phone in their pocket. It’s on their iPad in their backpack. It’s at home on their laptop. And the mainstream porn of today isn’t just pictures on a screen – it’s HD and 4K videos that are getting more and more violent. Today, the only gatekeeper keeping children from accessing adult content is an inconsequential “Are You Over 18” button.
9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
The first exposure to porn among men is 12 years old, on average.
71% of teens hide online behaviour from their parents.
For the past year, we’ve been working on a new documentary called Over 18. Our goal is to create a feature length film to address pornography addiction among children and teens. We’ve interviewed porn directors, porn stars, ex-porn stars, researchers, psychologists, and a 13 year-old who is overcoming a porn addiction.
Our plan is to do a nation-wide tour in October.
We did a 100-city LIVE tour with Red Light Green Light, and the film has now been broadcast in four countries. We’re hoping Over 18 will have an even greater impact and need your help to make it happen!
What You can do:
1. Subscribe. If you’re not already part of the Hope Weekly community, subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive updates…and you’ll be the first to see the trailer when it drops!
2. Donate. We’ve raised about 60% of our budget and still have tens of thousands to go. We’re confident we’ll meet our goal with your help. Consider giving generously on behalf of the next generation. If you have kids or know some, this is a vitally important project.All donations over $20 get a tax receipt. Donate here!
3. Host a screening. We’re in the early stages of planning an October tour. If you’d like to host a screening in your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Share. Send this blog post to your friends, especially if they have kids and teens. The more adults that care about this issue, the greater impact we will have.
Let’s work together to make this world better for kids!