On Monday, we were visited by Brendan Malone, who spoke to Year 12 and 13 students about pornography.
Brendan has worked with young people tackling difficult issues for over ten years. He travels around New Zealand and Australia and offers both a secular and faith-based approach to the pornography issue.
Brendan spoke to the students about treating others with dignity and not making them into objects. He explained how our brains chemically react to repeated exposure to pornography leading to desensitization and addiction. He discussed the effect pornography addiction has on our relationships and pointed out the support users give to those who traffic and enslave people for the sex trade.
We know that pornography is a much more pervasive issue now than it was before the internet came into being. Our children stumble upon it, even when not seeking it and the age at which students are exposed to graphic pornography is much younger than generally was possible before. We also know that some of our students have a significant problem before they leave school and it is affecting their relationships with others already.
One of the reactions from the students was that the boys felt that it made them look bad. Interestingly, Brendan didn’t once refer to the gender of the person using the pornography. In conversation afterwards, he said that about 23% of people seeking help for pornography addiction problems are women.
From a Christian point of view, the use of pornography fails to uphold our dignity as people made in the image of God. As a habit, it destroys the beauty and joy of the human body that is found in the context of the trusting, loving relationship that is the Christian ideal.
If you wish to find out more about how to teach your child about pornography or if you would like practical tips on porn free living and how to porn proof your home, you could start here: