Easy access to pornography through the Internet is a growing cancer infecting societies around the world. Pornography destroys marriages, undermines family values and contributes to the early sexualization of children, among other harms.
I explain in Stand for the Family how harmful pornography is, as well as things you can do to help protect your family and society. For a limited time, I have posted this chapter from the book here.
While viewing pornography is harmful for anyone, the impact on children is especially insidious. Pornography has emerged as a significant contributing factor in sexual assault crimes among children and even in influencing vulnerable adolescents to develop same-sex attraction. Pornography is also adversely affecting the ability of many young men to develop healthy relationships with women when they become adults.
To his great credit, British Prime Minister David Cameron has not only recognized the harm pornography is doing in that country—especially to children—but he is also launching a comprehensive and impressive campaign to combat it.
We hope other countries around the world, especially in the developing world where traditional family values are under assault, but still largely intact, will look carefully at his campaign and consider following suit.
In a recent speech introducing his campaign, Cameron said he was taking action because he is concerned about “the Internet, the impact it is having on the innocence of our children, how online pornography is corroding childhood.” He also warned that “in the darkest corners of the Internet, there are things going on that are a direct danger to our children, and that must be stamped out.”
Surveys have found that children aged 12 to 17 comprise the single largest group accessing pornography. The average child is reportedly first exposed to hardcore pornography in their pre-teen years. By the time they are 18, most have accessed it.
Here are some key elements of the British government’s proposed plan to protect children from pornography:
Provide family-friendly Internet filters to virtually all individual users in the country. (The government has reached an agreement with Internet service providers (ISP) serving about 95 percent of the country’s users to automatically install these filters for each new customer.)
Opt-out program instead of an opt-in program. Existing customers will be contacted by their ISP and told they must choose whether or not to have a family-friendly filter installed. If they don’t respond, a filter will be added automatically. All users will be able to bypass the filters by means of a password.
The government is working with the most widely used search engines to “blacklist” what Cameron calls certain “horrific” search terms. This part of the effort is still being negotiated apparently but the prime minister has promised to enact laws to force compliance if the search engines do not comply voluntarily.
Enact new laws that would apply the standards now in place for video sales of material with sexual content to all movies that are streamed into the country.
Enact a law modeled after Scotland’s law prohibiting the possession of pornography portraying rape.
Filters will be applied to public Wi-Fi networks “wherever children might be present.”
Helpline pages will automatically pop up on the screens of those who attempt to access prohibited material.
In his speech Prime Minister Cameron stressed that “I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.”
We could not agree more.
We heartily commend the prime minister for launching his anti-pornography campaign and hope other countries will follow the key elements of his template to protect children from pornography as well.
One of Family Watch’s long-term goals is to launch an international campaign to combat pornography beginning with a summit of First Ladies from around the world. We are currently fundraising to get this campaign underway, and we will keep you apprised of developments.
P.S. To keep pornography out of your own homes I highly recommend that you install K 9 Web Protection software on all of your home computers. We have installed it on all of the computers in our home, and it has a great feature that even allows you to block Internet use and make it only available at specified times, so you can more easily monitor your children’s computer use.