Yesterday I wrapped up our annual series on love, sex, and dating with a focus on culture, temptation, and forgiveness. One of the central topics was pornography. Needless to say, I had every students attention.
In preparation for this message, I came across some pretty staggering statistics about teenagers and porn. I hope these help you process the state of the union as it pertains to your students online endeavors and leads you to more research and follow-through.
First from Covenant Eyes:
Did you know…
9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
The first exposure to pornography among men is 12 years old, on average.
71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
28% of 16-17 year olds have been unintentionally exposed to porn online.
20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-oldshave received a sext.
6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography.
69% of boys and 55% of girls have seen same-sex intercourse online.
“Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.” – U.S. Department of Justice
Research reveals many systemic effects of Internet pornography that are undermining an already vulnerable culture of marriage and family. Even more disturbing is the fact that the first Internet generations have not reached full maturity, so the upper limits of this impact have yet to be realized” – Jill Manning, Sociologist
From Walt Mueller at CPYU:
The average age of first exposure to Internet pornography is 11
70% of boys have spent more than 30 consecutive minutes looking at online pornography on at least one occasion.
35% of boys have done this on more than ten occasions.
From the Barna Group:
When they talk about porn with friends, 89% of teens, and 95% of young adults say they do so in a neutral, accepting, or encouraging way. That is, only one in 20 young adults and one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.
32% say viewing porn is “usually or always wrong” compared to 56% who say not recycling is “usually or always wrong.”
And before we pass judgement as pastors and youth pastors, let’s look at this alarming statistic:
Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
Overall, 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
We have a problem folks. But we also have a great opportunity to talk with students about their identity in Christ. Condemning porn void of helping students be found in Christ is fruitless. May we help students run after Christ in such a way that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” Amen.
David Hanson: Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Ben & Madelyn, Student Pastor at The Fellowship in Round Rock, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask.