THE TRUE IMPACT OF PORNFeb 02, 2024
'It's not a matter of IF my child will see porn, it's a matter of WHEN.'
- Melinda Tankard Reist
My time with Melinda Tankard Reist was nothing short of a brutal reality check.
She is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate, best known for her work addressing sexualisation, objectification, harms of pornography, sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence against women. With a write up like that, it would be silly to expect a conversation wrapped in fluff.
A stark warning
In my teenage years, I had no idea the negative impact of pornography on one's mental health, attitude, identity and relationships as a whole. All I knew is, it was the forbidden fruit and therefore I wanted it.
It was only when I became a parent myself that I realised I had certain habits I was not proud of and would not want my little one to know of, let alone be exposed to. Anything done in hiding is not healthy, which leaves us with a choice to make. In my mind, I needed to be rid of it.
Breaking the addiction was not easy but I can say it helped knowing that I have a God in Heaven who loves me regardless of the things I do, who was going to honour me for committing to the process of change, as well as give me the ability and determination to do so. I can confidently say I am completely free of that addiction and if I can be, anyone can.
The thought however that children are not just accidentally exposed but are in fact targeted with pornography and at such a young age, not only breaks my heart but angers me to the core. If pornography is so damaging to adults, I cannot even imagine the scale of damage it is doing to the young minds of today; our judges, police, medical practitioners, psychologists, government leaders, parents and teachers of tomorrow.
In this episode of Under the Rug, you will learn exactly how pornography impacts. This is a stark warning that if we don't act now, both individually and collectively, we will mass-produce a generation of porn consumers resulting in misogynistic and abusive behaviour at a scale like never seen before.
Melinda Tankard Reist says that a recent journal advises that adolescent boys are now the most prominent cohort of sexual abusers of children. She goes on to say that sexually aggressive acts in schools are being reported in the thousands on a daily basis.
"This is a disaster for the boys, this is a disaster for the girls, for relationships and to be honest, I have to ask myself, 'What kind of civilization are we forming here?' Because all the things we once held to be valuable have been eroded by the indoctrination, the impact and the proliferation of the global porn industry."
She goes on to say that the porn industry has created porn sites based off of children's most popular cartoon characters.
'They can be searching for Dora the Explorer, Atomic Betty, Dorothy the Dinosaur and My Little Pony and see porn. This is deliberate because the porn industry needs to groom the next generation of porn consumers. Yes we see accidental exposure but much if it is deliberate. That is the business model of the porn industry and as a result we are seeing children acting out on other children in ways that have never been recorded before in history.'
This is not okay but it's happening on our watch.
Concerned parents are contacting Melinda almost everyday describing exposure to pornography by their children as young as five and six.
There is hope
What is evident about Melinda is her genuine heart and compassion for those who are trapped in porn addiction. She not only wants people to be able to walk free from it, she provides practical tried and tested tools to do so.
Parents and teenagers will be surprised that she doesn't take on a heavy handed approach when it comes to family members who own up to their addiction. She expresses the importance of making sure that you are a safe space for loved ones to come to. You are for them and you will support them as they implement the recommended pathways to combat their addiction.
What to expect
Our conversation uncovers the dangers of pornography on society as a whole, whilst also drilling down to it's impact on individual families, men, women, girls and boys. We are no longer just talking about 'vanilla porn,' where two people are having sex. We are talking the most popular genre of porn today which is hardcore violence that includes sadism, rape, torture and extreme degradation of women. Survivors who have left the porn industry have shared stories of how their experiences have left them mentally, emotionally and physically scarred.
The whole purpose of addressing this issue is to equip you as teenagers, men and women, parents, teachers, faith and community groups, leaders and governments around the world to be made more aware of what's going on around us in order to be better equipped with practical tools so that we can all rise up, take responsibility and join the efforts in making changes to the trajectory of our future, and ultimately shift the condition of society globally.
'The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.'
- Melinda Tankard Reist
Melinda is a force to be reckoned with and spells out in no uncertain terms the condition of our society today. A society that is made up of you and me. Therefore, we cannot be 'scrolling in the shadows' hoping for someone else to fix things. It starts with us.
I have been horrified to learn from my readers and listeners that psychologists, counsellors and pastors are advising that pornography is healthy and will improve marriages and relationships. This is an absolute lie and my advice to you is, find yourself another psychologist, counsellor or pastor and make sure they are one of integrity and virtue.
If a compass doesn't provide the coordinates, how does one know where they are going? If men and women of integrity who do still carry a moral compass don't rise up and lead the way, the next generation will fall into the precipice of demise on our watch.
We have a responsibility before our children, our partners, our loved ones who ultimately make up our society, and therefore we cannot sit scrolling in the shadows, we must take action now.
Buy Melinda's book 'He Chose Porn Over Me'
Book Melinda to speak at your school or youth/community group
Join Melinda's movement Collective Shout and stand up against sexploitation
Read the Kids Exposed article
Visit Melinda's website here
Recommended Reading for Parents:
For parents to read to children from six years and up - Good Pictures, Bad Pictures
Simple and easy to read for those difficult conversations - How To Talk To Your Kids About Porn
Melinda's new book 'He Chose Porn Over Me'
Help For Men And Boys:
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