Editors Desktop By Cecily Markland

Teens Fall Prey to Pornography

Editors Desktop

During years I spent raising six children, the oldest and youngest of which were born within seven years of each other—I vividly remember the constant desires to protect and nurture and “train up” my children to be responsible, God-loving, testimony-wielding individuals. Yet, my task as a mom was a bit different than it is for my four daughters who are raising children today.

I never had to think, “I wonder if my son viewed pornography today?” Or, “… I wonder if my daughter is sexting her boyfriend?”

I’m sure I missed some things of consequence that were certainly happening when my children were small—but it wasn’t like today.

Pornography is a little like the dust my mother used to complain about. She would have everything looking sparkling clean and, within hours, there she was, standing in front of her hutch saying, “Look at this dust. How did this get here?”

Indeed, pornography is seeping in at the very seams of our lives, coating things around us and waiting—almost daring us to wipe it clean, only to find another inlet and settle again.

Pornography has been called the “new drug”—its sensational, addictive and, unlike other drugs—it can be free for the taking.

And, it’s not just the kids we need to worry about. While we are protecting our children against the onslaught, our own southern flank may be open for attack.

According to Dr. Donald L. Hilton and his colleague, Dr. Clark Watts, revenue from pornography was $97 billion in 2006 (even more now, for sure). That sum is more than the worth of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. Dr. Hilton and Dr. Watts observed: “This is no casual, inconsequential phenomenon, yet there is a tendency to trivialize the possible social and biologic effects of pornography.”

$97 billion. Yet, we trivialize it, take it lightly. The Arizona Family Council recently held an Anti-Pornography Conference in Gilbert. Their website stated

“Ninety percent of 8- to 16-year olds have viewed porn online—and most of those say they had done so when they were supposed to have been working on homework,” and “Forty million Americans regularly look at pornography.”

It’s staggering. And, sickening.

While much is being done—one of my daughters said they recently had a Primary Activity Day about pornography. The Church site at www.overcomingpornography.org offers invaluable tools.

Yet, until we admit that there could be a problem, until we take a lot at the dust settling around us, we aren’t going to take evasive means.

One of the biggest problems with pornography is that people lie. They lie to others and to themselves, trying to pretend it’s not there, trying to rationalize it away. So, how about taking your finger and writing in the dust—which is a sure way to see whether there’s a problem. First write: Have I viewed pornography in the last week, month or several months?

Next, and this is most telling, ask yourself: Have I set a goal to stop looking at pornography and failed to reach that goal?

Perhaps it’s time to protect our children—and to do a little cleaning of our own.

The Beehive

The Arizona Beehive is a complementary East Phoenix Valley LDS lifestyle and living publication, published six times a year, featuring content on people to meet, places to explore, events to attend and businesses to patronize.