5 Surprising Places Porn Has Popped Up

Years ago, I heard a story about a man who was shocked and appalled to find graphic advertisements for pornographic content on a paper doll website his young daughter frequented. At the time, it felt like a cautionary tale for how things could be, rather than how they are. The further I explore the Internet and the world, however, the more frequently I see similar situations where websites and places that by all accounts are “kid-friendly” have some connection to pornography. The parent from the paper doll story got the ad removed, but not until after who knows how many kids saw it. The reality is, this situation isn’t unique, and parents who are working toward keeping their kids away from pornography may be surprised to discover the places it can lurk.

 

  1. On Boyscout In a situation disturbingly similar to the paper doll website, a parent was on the Internet searching for tips for her boy scout when she noticed that a page targeted at and used by young boys like her son was advertising Internet pornography. She reached out to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation who were able to pinpoint the source (hint: it’s Amazon), but the fact that it happened at all seems too on the nose to be coincidental. Different statistics say a kid’s first exposure to porn happens anywhere between 8 and 13, with the younger kids tending to be male. Sounds kind of like the demographic for Boy Scouts, right?

 

  1. Your local library. While on NCOSE’s website, I checked out their Dirty Dozen list, where they call out 12 organizations who are actively enabling sexual exploitation. As an avid reader and lover of libraries, I was shocked to find that the American Library Association made their 2017 list, due to their stance against filtering the Internet at local libraries. I hardly use the Internet anymore when I’m at the library, but this knowledge did remind me that in my hometown, the children’s library had computers for kids up to 7th Once you were in 8th grade, if you needed an Internet connection, you went upstairs to where the computers all had privacy screens. It didn’t occur to me why that might be the case as a kid, but now it makes me wonder.

 

  1. On your cable TV. To be clear, I’m not talking about the porn that everyone knows exists on cable TV, but about several different incidents where kid’s programming was accidentally interrupted by pornographic content. Though it’s considerably more shocking when it happens, it’s not just kid’s programming that has seen this problem.

 

  1. Social Media. This one may not surprise everyone, but most, if not all, of the popular social media platforms have porn available on them.

 

  1. Your local store. Similar to the situations where porn made its way on family-friendly cable channels, sometimes a store accidentally plays porn. This can be the case like the one where a Target accidentally blared it over the loudspeaker (I wouldn’t advise Googling this one; most of the results are NSFW), or one where a store that sells TVs found its benign programming replaced by sexual content, but it definitely happens.

 

With all of these cases of unintended pornography exposure, how do we keep our kids away from it? Unfortunately, as long as pornography is mainstream and ubiquitous in society, these accidental exposures are hard to avoid. It’s possible to avoid pornography where you expect it, but it’s not like anyone would be prepared for their child’s Disney movie to be interrupted with hardcore pornography.  The key, I think, is to be prepared. Prevent it where you can, but realize that in our world, exposure is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when. Then, be ready to talk about it, because one of the biggest problems with young kids seeing porn is that they don’t necessarily understand what they’re seeing. If parents aren’t willing to talk about it, they’ll just keep going back to it to learn, and whether you’re pro, anti, or neutral about pornography, you don’t want your kids getting their sex education from it.

 

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know!

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