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March 11th, 2013
Internet porn & Sex-ed

Does Internet porn mean earlier sex ed?

A father recently sat down to have "the talk" with his 10-year-old son. After he got through the basics on the birds and the bees, the boy asked, "Why do men wear masks when they're having sex?"

Though the father said he had parental controls engaged on his iPad, the son managed to find a fetish site depicting men in masks.

As the anecdote told by sex educator Cindy Gallop so plainly illustrates, kids look at porn. Kids look at porn on the Internet. And yes, let's go further: Your kids look at porn on the Internet. Gross? Probably, yes. But it's reality.

Does sex on the Internet mean your kid needs to learn about sexual education at a younger age?  Explaining to your kids that difference between pornography and what goes on between consenting adults in real life is key, say some sex educators.

You won't want to do it. Your kid won't want to hear it. And unfortunately, because of the Internet, that conversation has to come sooner rather than later. But it may make all the difference to kids when they're grown.

"This is not because 8-year-olds go looking for porn, it's a function of what they're shown on someone's cellphone on the playground, what happens when they go out to the neighbor's house," said Gallop, a fervent proponent of reality-based sex education.

 Preparing kids for a healthy sex life as adults was part of her message Saturday at "The Future of Porn" talk at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin.

When I was a kid there was no porn on the Internet and I still managed to see dirty magazines and videos at my friend's house when parents weren't home.  What chance do kids have nowadays?

So what do you think, America?  Does sex ed need to be taught at an earlier age because of porn on the Internet?  Are there any alternatives?

-W&J's Producer  

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