The Detrimental Effects of Pornography on Small Children

By Russ Warner, CEO of ContentWatch, makers of Net Nanny

Small children don’t usually view pornography; however smaller children typically find and view pornography at home. How? They find an unlocked smartphone, tablet, PC, or magazine collection. If pornography is accessible, the child might assume that such material is OK, if mom or dad have it around. A young mind believes that if mom or dad approve, it must also be good or acceptable.

Most statistics on pornography use say the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography as 11 years old. Does that imply younger children are not at risk with pornography viewing? No, not at all.

When a minor views and consumes pornography, he may act out the images seen onscreen. Many times, that happens with younger family members or neighbors, or friends. Therapists have started to discuss the effect of sexually-explicit TV programs and pornography and the part they play in sexualizing children.

A recent law enforcement study in the UK revealed 20% of sexual offense cases involving minors included abuse of a family member. In another third of cases, a friend of the family was victimized.

In addition to these alarming trends, it’s obvious that pedophiles target children and, unfortunately, these addicts have devolved to assaulting small children and even infants to fulfill their sexual fantasies.

The study in Britain said that pornography and it’s related depictions of sexuality reduced thousands of children (some as young as five) to sexual offenders. The information disclosed in the study said 4,562 minors (98% were boys) committed 5,028 sexual offenses from 2009 to 2012. In this study, three separate police groups reported five-year-olds committing sexual offenses.

What’s missing from any reports and studies are the incidents that are unreported by victims. The real number of victims and offenders is much higher.

Parents know that small children mimic what they watch. If a child see love, kindness, and cooperation, these traits are copied.

Patrick Trueman, a former federal prosecutor for the Reagan Administration and current president of Morality in Media said, “But when [children] see sexual violence, domination, rape, and other similar acts so commonly depicted in modern-day pornography, as today’s children do, they will act out those, as well.”

Pornography viewing among children and teens has its effect. John Woods, child therapist, reported one of his patients, a 13-year old boy, had raped his 5-year old sister. The boy had been viewing pornography for two years.

In Calgary, Alberta, a 13-year-old boy had frequently viewed homosexual pornography and claimed it led him to recurrently rape a 4-year-old boy living with him in their foster home. The teen was arrested, convicted and sentenced.

In our digital world, a high percentage of children get their “sex education” by viewing pornography. Pornography implicitly promotes a self-centered view of sexuality. Onscreen, loving relationships do not exist.

La Trobe University in Australia released a study in 2010 that found boys that watch pornography are more likely to demean and harass girls.

What can parents do?

First, parents must take preventive measure by locking PC’s, tablets, and smartphones with a safe browser or Internet filter to eliminate the availability of pornography for kids and teens.

To see a list of parental controls software from a third-party review website, go to and search for “parental controls” software.

In summary, small children don’t usually watch pornography. Sadly, they either stumble across it or, more unfortunately, they become the innocent victims of crimes and assaults by those who do view it regularly.


UK Study:

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


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