Have a set of pearls handy? Get clutching 'em because there is absolutely shocking news on the interwebs today. According to some bigwig in children's services, pornography is so widespread these days that entire classrooms of teenage boys have seen it!
In fact, when they surveyed a class of 14-year-olds, every boy and half the girls had gotten a look-see at some naughtiness.
Can you imagine? Teen boys have looked at porn? Next they're going to tell me that they're not really washing their hour for 20 minutes in the shower. My stars!
Yes, ladies and germs, if you haven't yet caught on, I am being sarcastic.
Teenage boys and porn go together like peas and carrots. Always have. Likely always will.
This warning has come out as evidence that parents need to talk to their kids -- particularly their boys -- about what it means to get consent before having sex. On that I completely agree. That's a discussion parents should be having with children of both genders whether there's been access to porn or not. I have a 7-year-old daughter, and while we haven't gone into a lot of detail about sex (she's SEVEN!), we have been talking about the right to say no for years.
But as a woman who remembers what it was like to be a teenager, who once spent time with teenage boys, I'm baffled by the notion that access to porn has suddenly created a generation of boys who -- as Britian's deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz said -- believe they have an "absolute entitlement to have sex with girls, any time, any place, anywhere, with whomsoever they wished."
Teenage boys have watched porn for decades. It hasn't turned them all into rapists.
It hasn't made them nymphomaniacs either. Or destroyed the fabric of America (I still have plenty of cotton hoodies, thank you very much!).
And you can go look at your son's palms. I'm pretty sure they'll be hair free.
The fact is, parents give porn too much power.
Do teenage boys need to be monitored and talked to? Absolutely. There needs to be a talk with kids about the realities of porn, or should I say the lack thereof? And while you're at it, have a good long talk about sex in general, and birth control too.
We don't need to freak out and wring our hands when we face the fact that our kids are sexual beings. Teenagers have hormones. Get used to it! They're not going away.
What would you do if you found out your son was accessing porn?
Image via Dennis Vu Photography for Unleashed Media/Flickr