Thursday, April 28 2011 07:57
No One Is Watching
Parenting and Pornography
20 years ago did not bring the same challenges that we face today. In the early
days of dial-up the only access to internet pornography
was through dial-in Usenet
groups or bulletin boards. Pornography was easier to obtain at your local 7-11
than on your computer. With the explosive growth of the World Wide Web in the
1990s, that all changed.
can now be accessed on every internet-enabled device from your home computer to
your smartphone, internet-enabled video gaming consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3),
to your child's iPod Touch, PSP (PlayStation Portable), and more. With WIFI
access available everywhere you turn, how do you protect your family when no one is watching?
: 60% of websites visited on the Internet were sexual in nature.
: The Online
Computer Library Centre's annual review found 74,000 adult websites accounting
for 2% of sites on the net, and together they brought in profits of more than
$1 billion; many were small scale, with half making $20,000 a year.
: The two largest
individual buyers of bandwidth were U.S. firms in the adult online industry.
: The N2H2 database
contained 260 million adult Web pages. This represented an almost 20-fold
increase since 1998.
: There were 420
million Web pages of porn from nearly 1.6 million websites, 17 times greater
than it was in 2000. It is believed that the majority of these websites are
owned by less than 50 companies.
: Revenue from
online subscriptions and sales was $2.8 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2005,
according to estimates from Adult Video Network.
: A study from
Grunwald Associates, LLC, in cooperation with the National School Boards
Association reported the following:
- Nine to seventeen year olds spend about 9 hours a week on online social
networking activities (compared to about 10 hours watching TV).
- 96% of students with online access report that they use social networking
technologies (chat, text messaging, blogging, online communities, etc.).
- 71% say they use social networking tools at least weekly.
: A study was done
by Symantec which found "sex" to be the 4th most used search term on
the internet. "Porn" was 6th. According to research from Family Safe
Media, the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is children between ages
12 and 17. According to a study cited in the Washington Post, more than 11
million teenagers view Internet pornography on a regular basis.
: According to an
anonymous survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in August 2009,
96% of teens interviewed had Internet access, and 55.4% reported that they had
visited a sexually explicit website.
statistics shown in the photo on the right (click to enlarge).
: YOU TAKE ACTION!
Protect Your Family
have made statements to me such as:
- I found out that my 12 year
old daughter has a MySpace page saying she is 19. What do I do?
- My 14 year old son was using
the computer last night and this morning my 8 year old daughter turned it on
and porn pop-ups were everywhere. What can I do?
- My son was at school and his
friend showed him pornography on his iPod Touch. How did he do that?
- My computer is running really
slow and I keep getting pop-up messages about viruses and malware. Can you look
- I caught my ____________ (you
fill in the blank) looking at inappropriate content. How do I block it?
heard the saying, "there's an app for that." When it comes to
filtering pornography there are many resources available. The following is the best:
Eyes provides an "internet accountability" service that monitors how
the Internet is used and sends a report to the person you select, such as a
friend, parent or mentor. This online transparency helps you think twice about
how you use the Web. They also provide internet filtering software for Mac, PC,
iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Sign up by clicking on the banner below and get 1
most content filters are very successful in blocking inappropriate content
there will always be something that slips through. For the determined user
there are ways around even the best filters, so here is what I recommend:
1.PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
2.PRAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
3.Don't let your children have
computers in their bedrooms. Put your computer in a high-traffic area like the
living room, family room or kitchen.
4.Use the parental controls
that are built in to your computer's operating system to limit the time your
children can spend online.
5.Lock down mobile devices that
have parental controls. See Apple's website
by Luke Gilkerson
The World Wide Web is the greatest invention since the printing press.
Nothing else has so radically shaped culture, media, commerce, entertainment,
and communication. But with these benefits come great dangers all
parents should know about.
7 Internet Dangers
1. Pornography – Warping the minds of youth
Repeatedly viewing pornography, especially from a young age, can radically
shape one’s sexual attitudes and beliefs. Frequent exposures to sexually
explicit material is closely linked to more permissive attitudes about sex,
such as having multiple sexual partners, “one night stands,” cynicism about the
need for affection between sexual partners, casual sexual relations with
friends, and even mimicking behaviours seen in pornography.
2. Sexting – The unsafe ‘safe sex’
Sexting is sending or receiving nude or partially nude photos or videos
through the Internet or cell phones. When teens engage in this risky behaviour,
many things can go wrong. These images are easy to forward on to others. At
times, these images can be considered “child pornography,” and some teens have
already been given felony charges.
- Nearly 1 in 5
teens who receive a sext share
it with someone else.
of teens have sent or posted a nude or semi-nude image of
- Of those who have sent
sexts, 76% of girls and 57% of guys sent it to get someone else to
3. Cyberbullying – The mean way kids treat each other online
Bullying happens on both the playground and in the digital world. Hurtful
words are exchanged. Rumours start easily and spread quickly. Profiles and
e-mails are hacked. And these types of activities are common today:
4. Predators – Those seeking to ensnare our children
The Internet is a perfect forum to meet new people, but some with malicious
intent can use it to “befriend” your child. Internet predators are expert
manipulators, able to foster a relationship of dependence with a teenager. Most
prey on a teen’s desire to be liked, their desire for romance, or their sexual
curiosity. Often a predator “grooms” a child through flattery, sympathy, and by
investing time in their online relationship. These can then turn into offline
relationships or, in extreme cases, opportunities for kidnapping or abduction.
- 76% of
predators are 26 or older.
- 47% of offenders are 20
years old than their victims.
- 83% of victims who met
their offender face-to-face willingly went somewhere with them.
5. Gaming – More risks of exposure to sexual media and interactions
While online and console games can be very fun, educational, and
interactive, there are also hidden dangers. Much of the content of some games
include sexual content, violence, and crude language. Plus, Internet-connected
games enable kids to interact with strangers, some of which can be bad
influences or mean your kids harm.
6. Social Networks – Redefining privacy
Social networks like Facebook are very popular online activities. But
parents should be aware of the image their teens are projecting as well as the
influences they are absorbing online.
7. YouTube – ‘Broadcast yourself’ culture means anything goes
YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing website. But because anyone can
upload anything to YouTube, often videos can break the Community Guidelines for
YouTube, and even those that do not can still be full of sexual innuendo,
provocative content, and foul language.
- 48 hours of video are
uploaded to YouTube every minute (about 8 years of content
uploaded every day).
- Over 3 billion
videos are viewed every day on YouTube.
- Users upload the equivalent
of 240,000 full length films every week.
Sexting Statistics: What do the surveys say?
by Luke Gilkerson
“It’s a way to express your feelings.
If a guy and a girl are in love, instead of saying it face to face, they can
say it through technology.” (18-year-old guy from Brooklyn
Sending nude or otherwise provocative images
of yourself online or through your cell phone is called “sexting.”
Over the last several years this issue has received more and more press, due
largely to more publicized cases involving politicians, athletes, and
Just how common is it? What should parents be concerned about?
Overview of Sexting Surveys
A number of surveys have been done on the subject of sexting.
The Prevalence of Sending Sexts Among Young People
What percentage of young people have sexted?
Estimates run from as low as 4%
to as high as 20%. Comparing the studies, it is safe to say 7-9% of
older teens (14-17 years old) send sexts, while older age groups tend to be
involved in sexting at higher percentages, perhaps 20% or even more.
- Conservative estimates say
4% of cell-owning teens (ages 12-17) have sent a “sexually suggestive nude
or nearly nude” photo or video of themselves. The oldest teens were the
most likely to report having sent a sext: 8% of 17-year-olds have sent
one, compared to 4% of 12-year-olds (Pew Internet survey).
- According to the MTV-AP survey, 13% of respondents (ages 14-24) have
used their cell phone or the Internet to “send naked pictures” of
themselves to someone else. The Executive Summary reports sending a sext is more
common among 18-24-year olds (19%) than 14-17-year-olds (7%).
- Another estimate says 9% of
teens (ages 13-18) have sent a sext (Cox survey).
- More liberal estimates say
20% of teens (ages 13-19) have posted or sent a nude or semi-nude image of
themselves. Additionally, 33% of young adults (ages 20-26) have done the
same (National Campaign survey).
Why such a large range of estimates?
- First, some of the samples
were limited. The National Campaign and Cox surveys come from non-probability online panels, which may not represent the general
- Second, some of the
surveys, like the Pew Internet survey, limited their questions to include
only sending images through cell phones, and did not include posting
photos or videos to social networks or other websites.
- Third, not all surveys
sampled the same age groups. The Pew study, which yielded the lowest
percentage (4%), also included the youngest sample (12-year-olds along
with teens). Eighteen-year-olds were included in the Cox survey, yielding
9% who were sexters. The National Campaign survey included 18- and
19-year-olds, and yielded the highest percentage (20%).
The Prevalence of Receiving Sexts Among Young People
What percentage of young people have received sext messages?
older they get, the more prevalent it is.
Among younger groups
(12-years-old), it could be as low as 4%. Among 17-year-olds, it could be as
high as 30%. And among older teens and young adults, these percentages are
likely even higher.
- Conservative estimates from
Pew Internet indicate 15% of cell-owning teens (ages
12-17) say they have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude
images of someone they know. The results show a steady increase as kids
get older: 4% of 12-year-olds receiving these images compared to 20% of
16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds.
- The Cox survey found similar results: 17% of teens (ages
13-18) have received a sext.
- Of the 14-24-year-olds who
took the MTV-AP survey, 21% said, “Someone sent me, on my cell
phone or on the Internet, naked pictures or videos of themselves.”
Additionally, 8% said they participated in a webcam chat during which
someone else performed sexual activities.
- More liberal findings from
the National Campaign’s survey show 31% of 13-19 year olds
have received sexts, as have 46% of young adults (20-26-year-olds).
The Visibility of Sexting regardless of how common sending, receiving, or showing sexts is, surveys
it is a fairly visible activity among teens and young adults.
- When 535 students from 18
schools in South West UK responded to a survey, 39% said at least one of
their friends has “shared intimate pictures/videos” with a boyfriend or
girlfriend. When the same students were asked how many incidents of
sexting in the past year they were aware of, 50% said “one or two”
incidents, 19% said “a few,” and 24% said it happens regularly or all the
time (SW Grid for Learning).
- The National Campaign survey revealed 49% of teens (13-19)
believe sending sexts is fairly or very common among people their age; 65%
of young adults (20-26) said the same for their age group.
Who Sexts Are Sent To when sexting occurs, who is the intended recipient?
The most common
person a sexter sends a picture or video to is a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- In the National Campaign survey, 69% of teen sexters (13-19)
identified a boyfriend or girlfriend as the recipient; 60% of teen sexters
(13-18) said the same in the Cox survey; as did 59% of sexters in the MTV-AP survey.
- Sexts are also sent to people
whom the sexter is interested in dating. In the National Campaign survey,
30% of teen sexters said they have sent them to “someone I wanted to date
or hook up with”; 18% said the same in the MTV-AP survey; 21% in the Cox
survey said they have sent sexts to “someone I had a crush on.”
- Sexts are also sent to
friends: 27% of sexting teens in the National Campaign survey report
sending sexts to one or more good friends; 14% of sexting teens in the Cox
survey said they had sent a sext to their “best friend”; 11% of sexters in
the MTV-AP survey said “a good friend.”
- Smaller percentages send
sexts to people with whom they are less familiar. The National Campaign
survey states 15% of teen sexters sent the sexts to “someone I only knew
online,” and 7% to “someone I just met.” In the Cox survey, 11% of sexters
send they sent the sexts to “someone I don’t know.”
The Harms Associated with Sexting – Not Just a Legal Matter
On several occasions, teens who have sent, received, or forwarded nude
images have actually faced child porn charges—a felony crime. While some states
have downgraded the law to classify sexting as a misdemeanour, in most places
this is not the case.
While potential criminal charges is one of the major harms that can come
from sexting, it is not, by any means, the most widespread harm.
1. A Predictor of Sexual Activity and Attitudes
Sexting is just one more example of the sex-on-tap culture in which we live.
According to the Adolescent Health Survey
, which surveyed 23,000 high school
students in the Boston
area, students who have had sexual intercourse are five times more
likely than virgins to be involved in sexting.
According to the National Campaign survey
, the most common reason why a teen
sends or posts a sext is to be “fun/flirtatious” (63% of sexters).
Additionally, 43% said they have sent sexts as a “sexy” present for their
boyfriend or girlfriend, 25% “to get a guy/girl’s attention,” and 24% “to feel
Cyberbullying expert Kate McCaffrey
says, “The Internet is saturated with sexual
imagery. It’s the norm.” In this world of digital sexuality, “Girls generally
feel some sort of pressure to give something sexually that they’re not
comfortable doing,” she says.
2. A Precursor to Virtual Slander
Sexy digital photos or videos can easily be forwarded or shown to
Danah Boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, says
in nearly every school she visits she hears the same types of stories of
sexting gone awry. The stories become quickly formulaic, she says. “Formula #1:
Boy and girl are dating, images are shared. Boy and girl break up. Spurned
lover shames the other by spreading images. Formula #2: Girl really likes boy,
sends him sexy images. He responds by sharing them, shaming her.”
- According to the National Campaign survey, 14% of teens (13-19) said
they have shared a sext with someone other than the one it was originally
meant for; 29% of teens said they have had sexts shared with them that
were not meant for them to see.
- Similar estimates were
found by the MTV-AP survey: 18% of young people (14-24) said they
have shared sexts sent to them with another person. The survey also
indicates more specific sexting activities: 10% said that someone had sent
them naked pictures or videos of someone else that they know personally,
while 13% said someone had showed them pictures.
In more serious cases, this can also lead to something referred to as
“sextortion,” when people use the pictures of videos as a form of blackmail.
Bullying Statistics: Fast Facts About Cyberbullying
Written by Luke Gilkerson
The American Academy of Pediatrics calls
the “most common online risk for all teens.”
Cyberbullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false,
embarrassing, or hostile information about or to another person.
Types of Bullying Online according to the
, there are many types of Cyberbullying:
Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and
relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances.
Deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending
messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation
and affect his or her relationship with others.
Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.
Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include
Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on
websites, forums, or blogs.
- Outing and
Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing
information, this is then shared online.
Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behaviour,
displaying suicidal tendencies.
of online teens say they have been targets of a range of annoying
or potentially menacing online activities. 15% of teens overall
say someone has forwarded or posted a private message they’ve written, 13%
say someone has spread a rumour about them online, 13% say someone has
sent them a threatening or aggressive message, and 6% say someone has
posted embarrassing pictures of them online.
of online girls report being bullied compared with 26% of
online boys. In particular, 41% of older girls (15-17) report being
bullied—more than any other age or gender group.
- 39% of social
network users have been cyber-bullied in some way, compared with
22% of online teens who do not use social networks.
of teens (12-17) say “people are mostly unkind” on online social
networks. Younger teenage girls (12-13) are considerably more
likely to say this. One in three (33%) younger teen girls who use social
media say that people their age are “mostly unkind” to one another on
social network sites.
of teens on social networks have experienced someone being mean or
cruel to them on a social network site. There are no
statistically significant differences by age, gender, race, socioeconomic
status, or any other demographic characteristic.
of teens who use social media (12-17) say they have had an experience on a
social network that made them feel nervous about going to school
the next day. This is more common among younger teens (20%) than
older teens (11%).
of social media-using teens say they have seen someone be mean or
cruel to another person on a social network site. 12% of these
say they witness this kind of behaviour “frequently.”
- When teens see others being
mean or cruel on social networks, frequently
55% see other people just ignoring what is going on,
27% see others defending the victim, 20% see others telling the offender
to stop, and 19% see others join in on the harassment.
of teens who have witnessed others being cruel on social networks have looked
to someone for advice about what to do.
- 67% of all teens say bullying and harassment happens
more offline than online.
in 6 parentsknow their child has been bullied over social
media. In over half of these cases, their child was a repeat
victim. Over half of parents whose children have social media accounts are
concerned about Cyberbullying and more than three-quarters of parents have
discussed the issue of online bullying with their children.
of middle school students were victims of Cyberbullying in the
past two months. Girls are more likely than boys to be victims or
teens (those who spend more than three hours per school day on
online social networks) are 110%
more likely to be a victim of Cyberbullying, compared to those who
don’t spend as much time on social networks.
Anti Bullying Campaigns and Programs
Effects of Bullying
“While bullying through physical intimidation has long been a problem among
teenagers, Cyberbullying by using computers and smart phones to send rumours or
post cruel messages has become more prevalent in recent years,” explains
Dr. Jennifer Caudle
. “Even though there might not be physical injuries,
Cyberbullying leaves deep emotional scars on the victim.”
- appearing sad, moody, or
- avoiding school
- withdrawing from social
- experiencing a drop in
- appearing upset after using
- appearing upset after
viewing a text message
In extreme cases, physical bullying and online bullying can drive a child or
teen to deep depression and even suicide (sometimes called “bullycide”).
Since 1983, over 150 children have taken their own lives due, in part, to the
extreme pressure of being bullied.
When it comes to suicides related to Cyberbullying, some names have
made national headlines
in recent years.Ryan
(2003) may be the earliest known case of suicide provoked by
Internet taunts, but unfortunately many others have followed: Jeffrey
(2006), Rachael Neblett
(2006), Megan Meier
(2010), and Amanda Cummings