In the book “A War We Must Win”, author John Harmer criticize the media that denies that pornography, sex, nudity and violence have any long-term negative effect on adults or children. He reinforces his view with the support of Nicholas Van Hoffman’s quote:”Why is it that liberals who believe “role models” in third grade readers are of decisive influence on behaviour when it concerns racism or male chauvinist piggery, laugh at the assertion that pornography may also teach rape? Every textbook in every public school system in the US has been overhauled in the last twenty years because it was thought that the blond, blue-eyed urban children once depicted therein taught little people a socially dangerous ethnocentrism”.
The emergence of the Internet not only revolutionized the communication world, but it also changed the definition of socialization, education, employment and entertainment in a significant manner. The internet provides numerous benefits if it is used in a rational and proper way, but a slight distraction from its conscious use can lead the user in a vicious circle of problems, and children are more vulnerable to this digital witchcraft. The internet can bring awesome results, if we use it in a controlled way.
Teens are always curious to know and discover the things, their inquisitive behaviour often ushers them into the mesmerising world of fascination. In pursuit of finding the answers of their queries and puzzles they often jeopardize themselves in ‘Internet Pornography’ which provides them an easy, but indiscreet access to explore the world.
EARLY EXPOSURE TO ADULT STUFF AND ITS RAMIFICATIONS
Exposure to pornography vitiates the learning habits of children and hinders their mental growth. Images which imprinted on the mind of a child at an early age often reflect on her actions, and this negative exposure propels a child to act out sexually against other kids. These premature activities are nothing but the result of pornographic content which they had encountered on the internet.
A) Pornography compels children towards sexual violence
The Internet has proven a useful tool for paedophiles and sexual predators as they distribute child pornography, engage in sexually explicit conversations with children, and seek victims in chat rooms. The more pornography these individuals access, the higher the risk of their acting out what they see, including sexual assault, rape, and child molestation.
B) Pornography is a major cause of STDs in children.
One grave concern for societies all over the world is, an increase in venereal diseases among children, the impact of indecent and erotic content which is flourishing on the internet. A large number of children and teenagers are now afflicted with STDs across the world. There are cases of HIV POSITIVE children where many succumbed to AIDS. Unwanted pregnancies in children is another devastating problem of the modern liberal societies, and it is a big challenge for various health organizations in the US and Europe to combat this evil.
C) Psychological & Developmental problems in children due to pornographic content.
These days adolescents are facing many psychiatric problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social phobia, hostility, aggression, reduced self-control, insomnia and depression, this problem is more acute in children who are victims of internet addiction.
Now the question arises, How to cope-up with this 21st-century epidemic? Here are some tips for parents and teachers through which they can minimize the risk.
A) Proactive parenting and moral support: Educating your children on the negative effects of the internet is the best way to safeguard your children from bad influences on the internet. Children learn best from their parents as God has made parents the first and best teachers of children. Encourage children to pursue outdoor activities and team games in natural settings. Cultivate habits, including reading, parents should kindle their hidden talent and motivate them for extracurricular activities.
B) Collaborative efforts of parents and teachers: There should be a trio between parents, children and teachers and parents must discuss with the teachers of their children about their overall personality development and at the same time teachers must anticipate if a student is going through any behavioural upheaval. Apart from this parent should communicate with school administration and librarians to create a directory of best kids’ sites by bookmarking them on a home computer.
C) Proper Monitoring by Parents
• Set up the computer in a busy area of the home rather than in a child’s bedroom.
• Use kid-friendly search engines and Web browsers or adult search engines that provide filtering options.
• Block pop-ups, which are commonly used by pornographic sites.
• Use filtering software to block inappropriate content by age category. Keep in mind, content-filtering software alone won’t protect your children online, but it does reduce the risk. Investigate filtering technology.
• Utilize parental controls provided by the service provider, always monitor the activities of your child in chat rooms as most of the time children tempted by sex offenders through chat rooms.
• If you notice something susceptible, don’t overreact, you must have a good chemistry with them and allow them to ventilate their fear and worries. The home should be the most comfortable zone for children.
Apart from these suggestions, there is one thing which works as a panacea for most children. Yes, you guessed absolutely right; ‘Family Bonding’. Children need warm care and they often get astray from the right path when they find themselves alone and desolated. We should spend more and more time with them, Parents should be a helping hand to invite them in a ‘REALISTIC SOCIAL WORLD’ rather than leaving them in a ‘VIRTUAL SOCIAL WORLD’.
Parents as well as teachers should inculcate them ethical values and make them admire to live a healthy and decent life, activities like reading books, going to recreational places, family vacations and educational tours will be helpful in developing the overall personality of their children. Basically, it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor what their children watch and how often they visit explicit sites on the Internet. If parents take all these precautions and guide their children in a sensible way, then no doubt, the internet is an invaluable resource for the learning and growth of the children.