Victories from the Movement—Good News for Parents!

Victories from the Movement—Good News for Parents!

by Kristen A. Jenson, MA

Thumbs Up Family VictoriesThe momentum is building to warn and protect kids from pornography! Today I get to share some good news that proves all of our efforts are making a difference. (Don’t miss the inspiring message from Sam Gamgee at the end!)

New Video for Kids!

First up, I want to share the newly released video What Do I Do When I See Pornography? In fact, the read-aloud children’s book Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids was used in the development of some of the concepts taught in the video. It was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and targets a broad Christian audience. Getting this message out to kids—victory!

Whew! Last month we traveled to four amazing conferences that I want you to know about. (more…)

It's a Pandemic! UCAP Helps Families Inoculate Kids

It's a Pandemic! UCAP Helps Families Inoculate Kids

by Kristen A. Jenson, MA

Empowering Families at UCAP

KAJ 2015 UCAP title classWhere’s the world’s largest conference to educate the public about the harms of pornography?

Los Angeles? Nope! Las Vegas? Nope! Salt Lake City? You guessed it!

And in fact, It’s been getting so big, the organizers of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography had to move to a huge new venue—the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Keynote with Ed Smart and daughter Elizabeth Smart

To kick it all off, Elizabeth Smart and her dad, Ed Smart, were the keynote speakers. Ed talked about his work with the Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue sex-trafficked children. He shared a sobering, time-lapse map which showed the buying and selling of child pornography in one 24-hour period. Kids who are abducted and trafficked are often used to make child pornography. (more…)

How a Children’s Book about Pornography Became an Amazon #1 Best Seller

How a Children’s Book about Pornography Became an Amazon #1 Best Seller

Happy birthday 5

by Kristen A. Jenson

Good Pictures Bad Pictures is one year old! And still an Amazon #1 Best Seller! To celebrate we’d like to offer you a gift—see the 50% off coupon code below!

New look

Good Pictures Bad Pictures has a brand new look. Yay! Same empowering story told with a beautiful new cover and interior design. We think you’ll love it.

A Year of Milestones

What a year! We started out 2014 with a manuscript that had been rejected by mainstream publishers and a burning desire (did I just write that?) to help parents become more comfortable talking to their kids about pornography. After three long years of writing, testing, re-writing, editing and illustrating, we were finally ready to launch, and so we turned to self-publishing and made the March 22nd Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) conference our deadline!

The three months leading up to UCAP were a blur of late hours, working every weekend, anxiety and a few tears. (OK, more than a few tears!)

I finally got the proof in the mail and immediately ordered 200 books, paying extra to have it expedited. In a nail-biting finale, the second half of our book order arrived at 6:00 pm the night before the conference!

As soon as Good Pictures Bad Pictures was for sale on Amazon.com, we asked our friends and friends of friends to order it and post reviews. The response was overwhelming! And it just keeps on going!

So here’s our year in review…one of the most amazing years of my life.

GPBP birthday cupcakeAmazon #1 Best Seller. Shortly after we launched our book on Amazon, Good Pictures Bad Pictures became and remained a #1 Best Seller! How? Word of mouth, (including social media word of mouth), bloggers, and amazing 5-star customer reviews. If you haven’t already, please consider posting a review! Best birthday gift you could give us!

601 Ranking on amazon

Launched at UCAP Conference. We sold out of books at our first anti-pornography conference. 200 books in four hours!UCAP 2014 GPBP 02Small

National Summit. We introduced our book at the national Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation summit in D.C. and received rave reviews—so many people excited to see this resource for families! Kristen at End Exploitation Summit 2014

Media Attention. Among many other media reviews and interviews, we were highlighted in a national newspaper and popular mommy blog and interviewed by a radio station in London and a TV news show. (See our In the Media page for a list and links.)

Recommended by Therapists. Professional mental health counselors who specialize in pornography addiction recovery use our book cassie kinganto help their clients and their clients’ children. Here’s one therapist’s blog review of Good Pictures Bad Pictures. She read our book to her 6-year old son and highly recommends it to her clients of all ages.

Twitter Party. We were invited to attend our first Twitter party on #OnlineSafety! Check out the highlights here! (And please follow us on Twitter if you don’t already.)

Endorsed by Experts

Our most important endorsements come from parents and grandparents. But it’s cool when experts and leaders in the anti-pornography movement express their support. Look what they’re saying!

Clay-Olsen-sq-201“As far as I’m concerned, reading and implementing Good Pictures Bad Pictures with your kids isn’t an option: it’s a necessity.” Clay Olsen, Founder and CEO of Fight the New Drug

MIM_pic_dawn3“I hear from hundreds of concerned moms and dads who want to help protect their children from sexual exploitation. Finally we have a strong resource to refer them to! Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a great tool for anyone who works closely with children!” Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Don-Hilton-2014_rgb“Jenson and Poyner have given us a valuable and timely tool to teach the neuroscience of avoiding pornography addiction in a way kids can easily understand. Critical doors of communication will open as fathers and mothers read Good Pictures Bad Pictures with their children.” Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD, practicing neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas, San Antonio

matt-fradd“Whether we like it or not, we need to talk to our kids in an age-appropriate way about the dangers of pornography. Good Pictures Bad Pictures is quite simply the best book available to help facilitate this conversation. Get it. Read it. Tell everyone you know about it.” Matt Fradd, Author, Speaker, Anti-porn Activist

Angela Page W4D

“The Can DO Plan teaches essential skills anyone can use to reject pornography!” Angela Page, President Women for Decency

vauna davis ucap“Good Pictures Bad Pictures is the practical, positive, and powerful tool families need. I whole-heartedly recommend reading this with your children regularly so they will develop self-control—the ultimate protection from pornography.” Vauna Davis, Executive Director of Utah Coalition Against Pornography

“I was thrilled to find Good Pictures Bad Pictures. As a parent, it makes opening that sensitive conversation as easy and loving as reading a book together. I love everything about it! It’s honest and open and calm and reassuring. What a beautiful way to empower and protect your child!” Deanna Lambson, mother of 6, teacher and founder of WhiteRibbonWeek.org

Our Awesome Graphic Designer

Evan MacDonaldGraphic designer Evan MacDonald attended a PornProof Kids 101 presentation given by our illustrator Debbie Fox and was so impressed with our mission, he wanted to help us take Good Pictures Bad Pictures to the next level.

With a lot of hard work and late hours (yes, Evan, I did notice the files that came through at 1:40 am), he did just that! Thanks, Evan!

You can also find the book at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Deseretbook.com and increasingly in fine bookstores everywhere.

THANK YOU for being part of PornProof Kids and celebrating with us!

3 Things Your Kids Need to Know about Fifty Shades of Grey

3 Things Your Kids Need to Know about Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Avoidance

I have a confession. I have never wanted to read the pornographic, record-breaking, best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey.

Never. Even. Been. Curious. So I’m pretty sure that puts me in some kind of weird minority. (And yet, on most days I still manage to be happy. How strange.)

But today I am weary of the hype, the promotions and the products (thank you, Target!). As many of you know, the movie Fifty Shades of Grey is being unleashed this weekend—just in time for Valentines’ Day. Oh the irony!

Here’s the plot

50ShadesOfGrey_DSM-says-BDSM-is-mental-disorderBillionaire Christian Grey seduces naïve and virginal Anastasia Steele; stalking her and manipulating her until she accepts his sexual fantasies, which include bondage and inflicting pain (BDSM).

Sounds like true love to me!

The movie glamorizes what I can only call a sexually abusive relationship. But how this fantasy plays out in the real world is very different, as author and expert Dr. Gail Dines points out:

The most likely real-world ending of Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of black and blue. The awful truth in the real world is that women who partner with a Christian Grey often end up hightailing it to a battered women’s shelter with traumatized kids in tow. The less fortunate end up in graveyards.”

I’ve done work for a domestic violence non-profit, and I can tell you this is true.

One outraged mom asked:

50ShadesOfGrey_600x_AnastasiaSteele_2“Do we want our daughters to believe submission to any perversion should not only be tolerated but celebrated? Even more dangerous, do we want our sons to believe women are objects to be used, abused and manipulated for their every whim?”

Definitely not.

What 3 things do your kids need to know about this movie?

Recently I spoke to Karen, a mom who has talked with her three children ages 11, 14 and 16 about Fifty Shades of Grey. What did she share with her kids? Three simple but powerful messages:

1. Do what I do. “I’m not going to see this movie because I don’t vote for entertainment that goes against my values.” (This is called modeling. Talk with your kids about your values and why you believe in them. Your example is more powerful than you think.)

50ShadesOfGrey_600x_truelove_22. Get savvy about media messages. “The main character acts just like a sexual predator. He looks for a young woman who is an easy target, and then he manipulates and grooms her to use and abuse for his own selfish purposes.” (This helps kids cut through the hype and see what the main character is really all about. It’s so important for kids to become media savvy—peeling away the glitz and pyrotechnics to analyze the values and messages portrayed by protagonists. By the way, Karen’s oldest son had heard that the book was about a woman who liked to be tied up during sex and the book showed guys how to do that. Wow! That’s completely opposite of the truth.)

3. Remember what creates true love. “The glamour of a super wealthy lifestyle is used in this movie to make what is twisted and demeaning appear acceptable and even desirable. It portrays sexual violence and calls it love. It’s not love; it’s the opposite of love.” (This helps kids understand sexual integrity. Define clearly how sex can be healthy and beautiful and your kids stand a chance of rejecting the poison peddled by popular culture. Check out this post on sexual integrity.)

What would this proactive mom of four tell her six-year old about the movie?

Karen says that she and her husband have spent a lot of time talking to their kids about showing respect for their own bodies as well as for the bodies of others.

“I would tell him that the movie teaches people to be disrespectful to each other and that showing disrespect can never make people feel happy or loved.”

Can porn-proofing help kids find true romance as adults?

GPBP_Cover_3

Click on cover to purchase

 

I think so! One evening I was signing books at a local bookstore. Another author was there signing copies of her (clean) romance novel. I grabbed a copy and set it at my table, explaining that for kids to grow up and experience true romance, they’ll need the messages of Good Pictures Bad Pictures. Turns out, porn-proofing and romance go hand in hand! (Read what one romance author thinks of Fifty Shades of Grey here.)

Ultimately we need to teach our kids that long-term romantic love is centered in the heart and the mind more than in the body. Because in the end, that’s where true love lives or dies.

What have you told your kids about Fifty Shades of Grey? What have they heard about the movie?

More resources

Because the issues mainstreamed by Fifty Shades of Grey are not going away anytime soon, here are a list of articles that will help parents prepare their kids to reject the 50+ lies about romance in Fifty Shades of Grey (and throughout popular culture).

"Look Mommy! That's Pornography!" How a 5 year old sparked a grocery store chain to cover up Cosmo

"Look Mommy! That's Pornography!" How a 5 year old sparked a grocery store chain to cover up Cosmo

Serious girl pointing aside; isolated on the white background

by Kristen A. Jenson

Happy New Year! I hope you’re feeling more empowered against pornography today than you were a year ago!

May I share some success stories from 2014 with you? (Among them is how a 5 year old sparked a major reduction in soft core porn in her city’s grocery stores and how our book played a part!)

1. Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a #1 Best Seller!

GPBP_Cover_3

Click on cover to purchase

You’ve helped get the word out about Good Pictures Bad Pictures and it has regularly been #1 in all of three of its categories on Amazon (and has been getting more and more attention online with great reviews in newspapers and blogs). Thank you!!!

For me, this is personal. Every copy means that another family has a comfortable resource for talking to their kids about pornography and a plan to empower those kids to reject it. This realization makes me cry happy tears!

(And now it’s available on Kindle! If you’ve purchased a print version, get the Kindle version for only $0.99 for a limited time.)

2. Kids are speaking up!

They are using the CAN DO Plan to name pornography when they see it—and that is motivating their parents to make a difference. In fact, one mom who read Good Pictures Bad Pictures to her 5 year-old daughter is the reason that a major grocery store chain in the Midwest (Hy-Vee) is going to move and cover all Cosmopolitan magazines to keep them out of easy sight of kids. (Keep reading!)

3. The anti-porn movement is gaining energy!

Dawn Hawkins

Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of PornHarms.org

Here’s proof that we are making a difference. This amazing story was shared by Dawn Hawkins, the executive director of Morality in Media/PornHarms.com in a recent letter to supporters.

Father Sean Kilcawley attended our Summit. He directs many efforts in Nebraska to help those struggling with pornography and also the partners of those who struggle. He met Kristen Jenson at our summit. She wrote a book, Good Pictures Bad Pictures, for parents to read with their kids and she regularly educates adults on how to address these issues with children.

When Father Kilcawley learned about this incredible tool, he brought it back to NE where he suggested to his supporters that they get this book and read it with their kids. One woman…did just this. After reading the book with her 5-year-old, the little girl pointed to Cosmopolitan Magazine in the checkout line of the local Hyvee grocery store and identified that it was pornography. (HOW GREAT THAT THIS LITTLE GIRL COULD DO THAT!)

The mom realized that she had to do something about it. She took it to the manager to complain and she wrote a letter to the corporate headquarters. A little while later, the VP of Hyvee called her personally and told her that the stores in her city would be moving and covering all Cosmo magazines out of easy sight of young children. VICTORY!!!

Dawn Hawkins makes the point that as we work together as a coalition, miracles are happening. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that Good Pictures Bad Pictures helped a 5 year old girl to spark this positive change.

Epiphany–kids can and will play a part!

As we teach kids to reject pornography (and all sexual exploitation), THEY will help spark the changes that need to happen. Our kids will call for more accountability so that we act to clean up the public landscape of magazine covers, billboards and TV commercials. They will complain about online porn in video games and on YouTube and in the app stores.

Copyrighted illustration from Good Pictures Bad Pictures

Copyrighted illustration from Good Pictures Bad Pictures

I’m not saying that they have the responsibility to do this work, but when kids point out pornography, the adults (including the vice presidents of grocery store chains) will start to listen and respond.

I know that 2015 will bring many more victories as we work diligently to inform parents and empower kids to reject pornography.

What can you do to help? Share PornProof Kids and help others get informed and empowered!

Can Soft-Core Porn Damage Your Child's Brain?

Can Soft-Core Porn Damage Your Child's Brain?

can soft core
Is a child’s brain affected or even altered by the “soft-core” sexualized images that are all around us? And if so, what are the long-term effects of porn exposure for that child and for our society at large? Could it be that we’re in the midst of a public health crisis?

That’s what Dr. Jenny Brown, a dentist in Bountiful, Utah and busy mom to young boys, wanted to find out.

Jenny Brown with son

After years of research (much of it done late at night after her kids were in bed), Dr. Brown has carefully pieced together a body of research* (see below for a link to her paper) documenting this alarming conclusion:

Exposure to soft-core porn negatively affects a child’s developing brain.

On a recent trip to Utah, I was able to talk with her about her research, which she is currently preparing to submit for publication in the journal of Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology.

Sobering Conclusions

Here are a few of Dr. Brown’s findings:

  • Children exposed to sexual images experience “neurological stress” —their brains are simply not mature enough to handle the “neurochemical blitz” brought on by exposure to soft-core porn.
  • The part of their brain called the basal ganglia (we call it the feeling brain) which is involved with more reflexive, instinctive, and impulsive behavior is made stronger as a child is exposed to more and more sexualized images.
  • As the feeling brain gains strength and efficiency, the pre-frontal cortex (or thinking braindecreases in response to viewing sexually explicit images. Not good because the thinking brain is the part of the brain that “overrides immediate gratification and augments self-control.” (Learn more about your two brains here.)
  • Continued exposure to pornography “causes the viewer to become more impulsive and less able to critically think” (among other problems).

Dr. Brown wants her work to help legislatures pass laws to protect kids from what she and many other experts feel is a public health crisis brought on by pornography.

But in the meantime, what can you do to protect your kids?

Your Plan of Action

happy kid with magnifying glass

Begin by looking at your world through your child’s eyes. Ask yourself:

  • Where does my child get exposed to sexualized media? Make a list of offenders. (Grocery store magazines, catalogs, TV, movies, malls, billboards, online ads, etc.)
  • What can I do to limit the amount of sexualized media my child is exposed to? (One of the grocery stores I used to shop at had “Family Friendly” checkout lines that didn’t have risqué mags displayed—you can ask your local store to provide the same option. I know this is just a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start!)
  • How can I help my child understand that sexualized media is inappropriate? (Explain the lack of privacy, dignity, respect for our bodies which they portray.)

Just like we “child-proof” our homes to keep little children out of danger, we can work to “porn-proof” our environments to protect the developing minds of our kids.

What have you tried? Please share your ideas by leaving a comment–working together we can better protect our kids.

*Read Dr. Brown’s entire draft of The Physiological Effects of Innocent Exposure to Soft-core Pornography on the Developing Brain. (Dr. Brown gave us permission to share it on ProtectYoungMinds.)

Do you have friends or family who could use some help porn-proofing their kids?

Let them know about Porn-Proof Kids!