10 Ways Porn Culture Will Target Your Kids in 2020 (Be Prepared, Not Scared!)

by Jan 7, 2020Prepare Kids to Reject Pornography

It’s not difficult to look around and surmise that porn culture targets kids. We meet and hear from parents all the time who are full of fear over this. And for good reason. With the ease of access to porn and its harmful effects on children, porn is a formidable enemy indeed! But fear can be very debilitating. 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”–Sun Tzu

So let’s get to know the enemy so we can gear up for those battles! Here are TEN things to look out for this year as you raise kids in a hypersexualized porn culture AND what you can do about it!

1. Threats on Twitch

Twitch is a popular platform for watching people livestream video games and interacting with them through live chat. Any kind of live content is difficult to police, but Twitch has become a real back alley of the internet. 

While explicit sexual content is banned on Twitch, plenty of users find ways to walk up to the line by wearing skimpy outfits and doing exercises like jumping jacks and squats. Women streaming on twitch are targets of online mobs spewing sexual harassment. 

Children who livestream are subject to grooming behavior, with viewers encouraging them to do increasingly compromising things and recording the streams to use for sextortion

The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a charity in the UK, reported that “Twitch was one of the most prevalent places where children reported being asked to send explicit material of themselves by adults, along with social media giants Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.”

What you can do:

With a lack of parental controls and live on-camera behavior, Twitch is not a safe place to let your children explore. The safest recommendation would be to stay off the platform or only watch together. It’s just too easy to wander into unsafe parts of Twitch or witness sexual content or harassment on an otherwise ordinary stream. 

Parents have very few options to make Twitch safer (like blocking “whispers” from strangers). If your child wants to watch video game streams, try redirecting them to a safer platform like YouTube where parental controls, although imperfect, at least exist and live content is less prevalent. Whatever you do, talk with your kids about grooming and safe behavior online.

2. Turning Kids into Sex Objects through Dance

It’s astonishing how children’s dance often involves sexually overt moves and costumes that objectify little bodies. Mary Bawden is a dance instructor and founder of Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited or DA:NCE, an organization working to reclaim the beauty of dance for children. She is convinced that pornography is fueling the rise in sexualized dance for kids–dance that includes vulgar and hypersexualized moves.

What you can do:

If you want your child in dance in 2020, please thoroughly vet the dance studio you’re considering. Make sure you:

  • view past performances
  • talk to the instructors about their policy on sexualized dance moves
  • think of the time and influence those teachers will have on your son or daughter and make sure you protect your kids from sexual objectification through dance

Stay tuned to learn more on this topic from Mary Bawden herself in an upcoming post dedicated to this topic.

Related:

Sexy Toys and Clothes: Priming Our Kids for Porn and Pedophiles

Sexy Marketing: Two Tactics that Program Young Kids for Porn and Consumerism

3. Dark Web Pulls In Curious Tweens

The Dark Web sounds pretty scary and it is! Here’s what parents need to know in 2020: 

  • The dark web is used to trade illegal stuff–like child sexual abuse images (aka child pornography). People buy illegal drugs and weapons, hire hit men, harass people in suicide chat rooms, learn about hacking, sell stolen goods and promote terrorism. A dangerous place for anyone, especially kids!
  • Tor is one of only a few ways to access this encrypted digital underworld. Tor is a free app and easy to download. It gives anyone the key to the most horrific and dangerous content down in the depths of the Dark Web. But kids use it to get around internet filters, especially at school. A big red flag should go up if your child wants to download Tor onto a smartphone or tablet.

What you can do:

  • Teach kids to stay far away from the dark web! For more info on the dark web, read our parent alert post.
  • Make sure you understand all of the apps on the mobile devices used by your kids.

4. Porn Continues to Fuel Child on Child Sexual Abuse

It’s a growing trend with no end in sight in 2020. Children who view pornography are at greater risk for acting out sexually on other children. In fact, a new study from the University of Melbourne reports that educating children on the negative effects of pornography could have prevented harmful sexual behavior

This problem has become so rampant on military bases that dozens of military leaders (and hundreds of others) attended a symposium this past spring in Washington, D.C. called Out of the Shadows: Confronting the Rise in Child on Child Harmful Sexual Behavior where our founder, Kristen A. Jenson, presented more evidence for how porn fuels this damaging and disturbing trend.

What you can do:

  • Understand the risk: Children’s brains are naturally wired to imitate what they see adults do. That makes them especially vulnerable to the negative effects of pornography.
  • Teach children the 3 R’s: Recognize what porn is, Reject it with a plan from Good Pictures Bad Pictures, and Report exposure to pornography immediately to a trusted adult.
  • Teach kids the 3 big red flags of child abuse: bribes, threats and normalizing. Read more about the 3 big red flags here and download our popular Body Safety Toolkit here.

5. Video Game Porn Bots

What?! Yes! Porn bots! Your kids are playing their favorite video game on Xbox or Playstation when a chat request pops up in the corner of the screen. The username is usually some mix of random words, numbers, and a woman’s name. 

If your kids interact with the bot, they will be asked for their age and invited to participate in a private video chat to help the ‘woman’ warm up for a job doing “private webcam shows.” Clicking the provided links will send your kids to a website that will either try to harvest their email for porn sites to spam or to get a credit card number to steal money directly. This problem has existed since 2017 but has only gotten worse.

Some of these bots will stop interacting if your kids indicate they are under 18, but that shouldn’t be the only thing protecting your kids from dirty conversations, porn, and fraud. 

What you can do:

The key here is to make sure that your Xbox Live or PlayStation Network accounts are set up correctly

Related: 

Online Video Games: Top 10 Tips to Keep Kids Safe

“Can I Play This?” Video Game Decisions Made Easy in 4 Quick Steps

6. Mainstreaming Porn: Explicit Attempts to Normalize Porn Use

Be aware that the sex industry and those who support it are doing all they can to make their destructive products sound more acceptable! Watch for changing terms attempting to rebrand  pornography and exploitation – prostitutes are now called “sex workers” and pornography is called “sex films”. This switch makes it seem like anyone who opposes “sex films” is anti-sex. Their claims to be sex-positive and empowering for women are just another way to confuse the public with smoke and mirrors.

At least one porn distributor created their own sex ed program to “educate” young people (would you trust a Sexual Wellness Center from a porn site?) Another live sex web cam site keeps a therapist on call to help viewers get over their concerns about exploiting the women on the site. There are even people advocating for calling pedophilia just another sexual orientation that should be accepted.

What you can do:

  • Continue to educate yourself so you won’t fall for these deceptions! 
  • Engage your older children in conversations about the porn industry’s tactics.

Related: 

Hugh Hefner, Playboy and Sexual Exploitation: 5 Powerful Lessons to Teach Your Kids

Girl Power! Preparing Your Daughter to Fight 50 Shades of Lies

7.  Salacious Content on Streaming Services

This warning is not new, but since Netflix continues to release racy content it is worth reviewing. The Netflix app has a rating of 17+ for a reason! Kids can easily accidentally come across material you definitely do not want them to view. We’ve written about just a few of these shows in the past here and here.

What you can do: 

Set up parental controls on your streaming services.

Many will tell you to just set up a separate profile for the kids–easy! But that’s not enough. The profiles are not password protected and kids can easily switch profiles. Your best line of defense is to set up parental controls. Some parents find it annoying that they have to enter a password so that they themselves can watch content, but it’s a small price to pay to protect your child from mature content!

Here are some quick tutorials on how to do this on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney Plus. It’s good to note that Disney Plus currently does not have anything above PG-13 and the content is nowhere near what we are talking about with Netflix and others, but there may still be some things you don’t want younger eyes watching, so we’ve included them here as well.

More of a visual learner? Here’s a video to help you set controls on Netflix:

*NOTE: In the video he mentions to just select a rating for a specific profile rather than setting up a PIN on the entire account. As noted above, we caution against this method as kids can easily switch to a different profile to view higher rated content. We recommend setting up a pin as is shown in the first part of the video.

 

Our friends over at Bark have a really simple FREE tool you can use to find out how to set up parental controls on all the devices and services your child uses. Just tell Barkomatic what your child uses and they will send you ONE email with instructions on how to set up parental controls on ALL your devices. Doesn’t that sound much better than looking up everything on your own? And if you want some help monitoring your child’s use on all that, Bark can help you with that too!

Note: That’s an affiliate link for Bark–thank you for supporting Protect Young Minds!

Set up a PIN on your devices.

Setting up a PIN on your Apple TV, Amazon FireStick, Roku or other device gives an added layer of protection.

Know what your kids are watching. 

If your child wants to watch a new show, read reviews about it on a site like Common Sense Media first. If you’re feeling okay about it after that, watch an episode or two as well to make sure you are still comfortable.

Frequently look at the viewing history to see what shows your kids have accessed. 

You can do this in Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Disney Plus does not currently have a way to check viewing history, but is reportedly working to change that.

8. Home Security Hackers

Home security devices such as Ring doorbells and hidden cameras are being hacked, allowing intruders to spy on kids in their own homes. One video shows a strange man’s voice taunting an 8 year-old girl in her own bedroom. 

Bad actors were able to get hold of passwords used on other sites, and if the same password was reused on the Ring account they could log in. Hackers can watch the live stream from the camera, harass owners through the camera’s speaker, watch archived video of the family, and get the phone number and address of the owner. ABC news reported, “This is just the beginning of a larger issue with the Internet of Things – everything being connected makes everyone vulnerable.”

What you can do:

  • Password protect your WiFi.
  • Turn on auto-updates for each product.
  • Use unique, strong passwords for each product and enable 2-factor authentication.
  • Use a password manager such as LastPass or KeePass.

9. Tik Tok–A Predator’s Playground

No doubt about it, kids love Tik Tok! It’s a short video platform that lets contributors be creative with music, dance, and stickers. Unfortunately, Tik Tok can also be a dangerous portal to pornography and predators. 

Here’s what you need to know about Tik Tok in 2020:

  • Tik Tok is the No.1 non-gaming iOS app in the U.S. It used to be called Musical.ly until it was recently bought by a giant Chinese social media company.
  • Tik Tok does not have adequate privacy settings–and does not allow for parental controls.
  • Tik Tok’s rating is deceiving. It’s rated 12+ in the Apple App store, but Fix App Ratings believes it should be rated 17+ because of the adult content and hypersexualized lyrics available on this app.
  • Tik Tok exposes your child to ANYONE in the world who has downloaded the app–anyone can reach out to your child and chat with them! Children routinely are approached by adults posing as children. In one instance, girls thought they were chatting with a local boy with cancer–instead they were talking to a 28 year old male from Kentucky. 

Watch this video warning parents about Tik Tok.

 

What You Can Do:

  • Please don’t let your young children use this app. Help them find fun in safer ways! 
  • If you’ve allowed your older tweens and teens to use Tik Tok, hold ongoing conversations about the fact that their music video uploads don’t ever go away. Help them understand the concept of a digital footprint and the dangers of online predators. 

Read more about Tik Tok here and here

Related: 5 Reasons Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

10. Porn Shop In A Pocket

Kids showing other kids pornography is one of the biggest problems with exposure now, because of all the mobile devices they have access to. Whether they are best buddies, classmates, or cousins, too many kids have unregulated access to what some call a “porn shop in a pocket”. 

Related: Growing Up With Smartphones: Millennials Warn Parents

As you teach kids a plan for staying safe from pornography, remember that much of the exposure happens with other kids around, which adds a social dynamic to the situation. Refusal skills help kids resist peer pressure, maintain their self-respect and say NO to exposure to pornography, sexual advances, or other risky situations.

Prepared kids are ready to speak up for themselves even when they are worried about looking uncool or naive, being left out, or being ridiculed. 

What you can do:

  • Give kids the skills they need to refuse pornography. Get started at our Prepare & Prevent page and by reading the Good Pictures Bad Pictures books with your children.
  • Teach kids that when someone offers to show them anything on a screen, they should ask “What is it?” before looking.Have kids practice how to respond if another child shows them anything like pornography.
“Have you wanted to talk to your kids about pornography, but didn’t know what to say?! I’ve felt that way for quite some time and finally found a solution – Good Pictures Bad Pictures. . . I highly recommend this book to all people with children. A must have for all parents!” – Amazon Review. CLICK HERE to learn more about Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.

Remember who the enemy is

Always remember who the real enemy is–porn culture and the porn industry! You need a proactive battle plan that will keep you on the offensive and help you to arm your children with the tools and tactics they need to resist pornography. We’re here to help!

Protect Young Minds Staff

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