Because we live in the digital age, the time-honored tradition of “having the talk” with your offspring—metaphorically called ”the birds and the bees”—just isn’t going to cut it any more. Now, unless you discuss both sex and porn with your next of kin, there’s a good chance they’ll end up using the latter as the basis of their sexual education, not to mention otherwise inno channels like Snapchat and Tumblr that XXX images are often shared on. That would be bad: using porn in place of sexual education is akin to learning how to drive by watching Fast and the Furious.
Believe it or not, research has found that 90 percent of young people will encounter hardcore pornography online between the ages of eight and 11 years old. This is a huge concern as depictions of sex in porn often lack real-life information that’s necessary for navigating real-life sexual relationships, such as contraception and consent.
To ensure children receive a proper education, a new initiative called Give The Talk wants you, the parent, to start teaching your kids about sex and pornography in new ways. The campaign’s video, featuring adult actress Monique Alexander, uses a tongue-in-cheek script to make a rather pressing point: It’s not the adult industry’s responsibility to educate our youth on sex. That part’s up to parents, who they correctly say are far more qualified. According to the campaign’s team of sex educators, you’ll need to follow four crucial rules when speaking with your youngens about sex in the 21st century.
BE THE SEXPERT
It’s important to make sure that a parent presents sex as an open discussion with their children. Parents should want their children to feel comfortable broaching sexual topics so they go looking for answers online, where they’ll end up losing themselves in a vortex of hardcore scenes. Part of the parent’s responsibility is to answer as many questions honestly. This means killing the stork narrative.
At the same time, if you don’t know the answer to your child’s query, say something like, “That’s a great question. Let me find out for you.” As long as you prove to be a helpful resource, a child will return with additional questions should they arise.
MAKE IT AGE APPROPRIATE
“The Talk” should happen sooner than you think. As soon as your son or daughter expresses any form of curiosity about their bodies or sex, immediately open the floor for them to discuss things. That way, they’re inclined to press further. A big mistake parents make, Give The Talk says, is giving sex organs pet names. Apparently, such associations give a child the impression that it’s not okay to talk about these body parts.
ADDRESS PORN MATTER OF FACTLY
When it comes to addressing porn directly, the lesson should be taught as soon as a child gets access to the internet. The organization suggests you make it clear that there is a lot of stuff on the internet, from fun things like games and videos to everything that’s not appropriate for children. It’s also important to note that, if they do happen upon such content, that you inform them that it is a fictional form of entertainment for adults.
KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
While labelled “The Talk,” this discussion should be regarded as an ongoing conversation. Keep bringing the subject up when it’s appropriate. For example, if you hear about someone sexting or you witness a scene on TV where a kid is caught watching porn, parents should ask their children what they think about the situation. Give The Talk mentions it’s perfectly normal for a parent to be nervous to breach these topics, but it’s important that these conversations occur.
Watch Give The Talk’s video below.