This past weekend I had the extreme pleasure of attending an all-girls conference in Westerville, Ohio. This time around my responsibilities were really light—just taking part in a Q/A session and then talking with parents during breaks at our Parents Who Fight resource table. Honestly, I loved being able to just casually connect with other moms and talk about their online safety concerns one-on-one.
Most of the moms I spoke to already had daughters who were using social media or who had their own devices. I was encouraged to hear some of the parameters these families were putting in place such as not allowing phones in bedrooms at night and doing random text message checks.
But one thing concerned me. When I asked moms if they had talked to their daughters about pornography yet, all of them but one said “no” or “not really.” I think that most moms would answer the same. We’re just not talking about it.
Girls Struggle Too
With women, pornography can be a very touchy subject. Men somehow grow up being more comfortable talking about such things. Fathers and sons seem to have these important conversations at a much younger age and with more frequency. But the reality is that women and girls struggle with porn too.
photo cred: FightTheNewDrug.org
Girls are not only curious about sex (just like boys) at a young age, but they are also bombarded with sexual messages in virtually every form of media. From Instagram to Cosmo, they are told that sex makes them powerful. With so many of the boys they’re interested in regularly feasting their eyes on porn stars, girls often search those same web sites or social media profiles for cues about how to be sexy or attractive. It’s a dangerous, deceptive, and completely unhealthy way for young women to develop their understanding about who they were created to be and what sex is like. Porn is violent, demeaning, and a total robbery of worth for the human soul.
I’m not a mom of girls. But I have a lot of wonderful young ladies in my life who are at the very beginning of puberty and the transformation years of young womanhood. I love these girls and I am challenging their moms to have some really hard conversations with their daughters. Will you be courageous enough to talk to your daughter about the dangers of pornography?
You’re not alone. Here are some great resources to help you:
• For younger girls (ages 7-11): Good Pictures, Bad Pictures
• For tween girls (ages 11-13): How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography
• For teen girls (ages 13 and up): Anything on fightthenewdrug.org (videos, articles)
• For girls who are currently struggling with looking at pornography: Dirty Girls Come Clean