Children Producing Porn - What Should Parents Do?

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Promises
They had met at a pizza restaurant in Welkom and the man apparently promised to buy her a car and an expensive cellphone. He also bought her airtime for her phone.

Airtime
According to news reports and many concerned Christian youth ministries, the above incident is becoming common in South Africa, especially by teenage girls desperate to make a quick R30 for cellphone airtime.

Texting
Much concern (and rightly so) has been raised about pornography being made of children (child pornography or child abuse images) and being exposed to pornography themselves, but more recently there is the emerging trend of children producing pornography of themselves or “sexting”.You have probably heard of texting (or smsing) — sending short messages to someone via some sort of mobile device. “Sexting” is a slang term for sending erotic or sexually suggestive messages, photos, or videos.

Disturbing
The US National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com commissioned a survey of teens (ages 13-19) and young adults (ages 20-26) to explore the prevalence of sexting. The survey found that 20% of teens surveyed had sent, or posted, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves, and 39% had sent or posted sexually suggestive messages. The study found that 51% of teen girls surveyed said “pressure from a guy” is one reason girls send a sexy image, and 52% of girls who had sent images did so as a ‘sexy present’ for their boyfriend.

Pressure
In Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry, researcher Nina Furnell notes, “When considering the enormous pressure placed on young women to appear attractive and to participate in a hypersexualised culture which rewards exhibitionism, it is not surprising to learn that so many girls and young women are producing nude or semi-nude images of themselves.”

Courting Abuse
The social pressure to send these sorts of messages comes mostly from a desire to be flirtatious, but the long-term ramifications are very serious.

Unexpected Consequences
First, digital messages and images can be easily distributed to those not intended to see them. Some may find that their sensual digital escapades can come back to bite them later. According to a poll conducted by MTV and Associated Press, nearly 1 in 5 people who receive a sext share it with someone else, and more than 1 in 7 are shown a sexy photo not originally meant for their eyes. What happens when these photos are distributed around the school or to potential employers?

Criminal
Second, sexting can have legal ramifications. Technically speaking, a nude or semi-nude image of a minor is considered child pornography. In some cases, teens have received a criminal charge for producing and distributing child pornography.  

Lust
Last, the trend reveals a deeper problem among youth. Sexting is just one part of the overall sex-on-tap culture in which we live. In their desire to be accepted by someone they like, teens and young adults give in to the pressure to become someone else’s pornography.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” Matthew 18:6-7

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

Resources

Here are some helpful free e-books, downloadable from Covenant Eyes :
Parenting the Internet Generation
Parenting in a Sexualised Culture

A Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying
The Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days
Porn-Free Church: Raising Up Gospel Communities to Destroy Secret Sins

Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives

Resources Available from Africa Christian Action:
The Bible and Pornography
Finding Freedom from Pornography
The Secret in the Pew – Hope for the Porn Addict
How to Block Porn On Your Phone
Fight the New Drug

Book
Make a Difference: A Christian Action Handbookfor Southern Africa by Miriam Cain (R59, plus postage).

DVDs Available
Every Young Man’s Battle DVD (58 minutes, R155)

Somebody’s Daughter DVD (62 minutes, R135)

Available from Christian Liberty Books: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 021 - 6897478, or www.christianlibertybooks.co.za .

Compiled by Taryn Hodgson
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Claremont
7735 Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: 021-689 4481 
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: http://www.christianaction.org.za/
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Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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