Floyd Godfrey, PhD


The Impact of Pornography on Children and Teens: A Guide for Parents

Floyd Godfrey, PhD

In the age of digital proliferation, the exposure of children and teens to pornography is an increasingly prevalent issue. This unregulated encounter with adult content sends misleading signals about human sexuality, significantly impacting their understanding and behavior. Drawing upon the insights of renowned professionals in the field, such as Patrick Carnes and Stefanie Carnes, this article aims to shed light on the psychological ramifications of such exposure and emphasize the importance of healthy, educational discussions at home.

Misleading Messages and Their Effects

Pornography, by its very nature, distorts the reality of human relationships and sexuality. It presents a skewed perspective that often glorifies unrealistic expectations, aggression, and objectification. Children and teens, whose brains are still developing and are highly impressionable, may accept these portrayals as normative, which can confuse their understanding of consent, equality, and respect in relationships. The work of experts like Carnes and Carnes highlights the disconnect between the world of pornography and the reality of human sexuality, stressing the impact this has on young minds.

Incorporation into Daily Interactions

The incorrect messages gleaned from pornography do not stay confined to the screen; they bleed into the daily lives and interactions of children and teens. Schools and peer groups, being the primary socializing environments, become arenas where distorted views on sexuality are often manifested. This can lead to inappropriate behavior, skewed perceptions of relationships, and an increased risk of engaging in sexual activity at a young age without a full understanding of the implications.

The Importance of Healthy Education and Discussion

Combatting the influence of pornography requires more than just filters and screen time limits. It necessitates open, honest discussions about human sexuality within the safety of the home. Parents and guardians play a crucial role in providing accurate, age-appropriate information about sex, consent, and relationships. By fostering a supportive environment for questions and discussions, parents can help children navigate their curiosity and confusion in a healthy manner. This approach, supported by the evidence-based recovery strategies of professionals like Abbie Ashton and Kim Buck, emphasizes education and therapeutic intervention as vital tools in addressing the challenges posed by exposure to pornography.

Support for Parents and Adults

The task before parents and adults working with children is undoubtedly challenging but not insurmountable. It is important to educate oneself, not only about the dangers of pornography but also about the dynamics of healthy human sexuality. Resources from organizations such as iitap and SASH, offer valuable insights and strategies for addressing these issues. Engaging in workshops, consulting with therapists, and participating in community discussions can equip adults with the knowledge and tools needed to guide the younger generation through these turbulent waters.


The digital era has made the ubiquity of pornography an unavoidable challenge, but it is one that we can navigate through informed action and compassionate dialogue. By understanding the impact of pornography on young minds and fostering open discussions about sexuality, we empower our children and teens to develop healthy, respectful relationships. The journey may be fraught with difficulties, but with the right support and resources, parents and adults working with kids can make a significant difference.

Floyd Godfrey, PhD is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sex Addiction Specialist. He has been guiding clients since 2000 and currently speaks and provides consulting and mental health coaching across the globe. To learn more about Floyd Godfrey, PhD please visit his website: www.FloydGodfrey.com


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