Protecting our young

Our children are being exposed to more digital pornography.

More than 20 percent of children in a recent study conducted by the National Commission for Women and Children reported exposure to digital pornography.

This is a worrying development that we need to address.

More of our children are using devices that connect to the internet. Once you are online, you are going to be exposed to pornography. This is evident by the increasing number of pornographic material being shared, willingly and unwillingly, on WeChat and other social media platforms.

While we, as adults and parents, can take steps like enabling filters on our devices, web browsers, and modems or routers to prevent pornography from being accessed, the efficacy of such a measure will always be limited. There are other devices and platforms outside our “safe zones” that our children will be exposed to.

The most effective way will be to educate ourselves on the issue and then talk to our children so that they know the dangers of pornography.

Pornography is dangerous. It’s a business industry and as a result, some of its content is unnatural, misogynistic, and borders on unethical and criminal activity.

The danger is that it could lead to imitation by our children.

Already we’re seeing some of the impacts. Local video clips and photographs containing pornographic material have been shared on social media affecting the reputations and mental health of victims.

In some cases, we see that our younger generations are sexualising themselves at younger ages, which opens the door to exploitation. In some cases, parents are sexualising their children at younger ages.

The problem is that we’re not talking about how to deal with this phenomenon, both among ourselves as adults, and to our children. We need to start.

As our kids grow, they will become sexually curious. Instead of having them go on the internet, uneducated about sexuality, and view mostly unnatural acts of sexual activity produced by the pornographic industry, it would be better if we arm them with the required knowledge and set them free.

They need to know that online pornography is only one notion of sex and that it is not normal. We need to talk about values, about respect for another and how the images are usually demeaning, usually of women. We need to talk about the law, and how it is illegal to produce pornography in Bhutan and the consequences of breaking the law.

Again, it is important that we educate ourselves, and that relevant agencies raise awareness among parents on the issue. This topic should also be discussed in the schools as part of a sex-education course or as part of media literacy. We need to go on the offensive.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Cinema is not real, and we learn that at an early age even though we watch our superheroes do things totally unrealistic. We all realise the evil sides in what the characters playing some negative roles do. That much cinema we understand and we also learn to differentiate good cinema from the bad ones as we grow up and our taste about a quality movie changes. A lot has to do with the maturity of the mind and the very believe in the quality of a realistic world.

    I have mentioned cinema here as in many ways, even though it’s rather inappropriate, a pornographic clip online becomes an adult movie like experience to us. And when it’s legally banned, there is no way to filter out the good ones from the bad ones. If everything we watch can be considered alright in real life, a many of us will end up having some kind of health issues like sexually transmitted diseases. We all understand HIV/AIDS in today’s time.

    Between what’s right and wrong in a physical relationship, it’s important that we must know the hygienic part of it. So it’s true that we need more awareness about sex education in today’s time if we don’t want our younger generation and teenagers to pick up the wrong habits, especially from the wrong sides of all the pornographic materials online.

    Here we are considering our parents to guide the children especially the teenagers. But reality is that even our grown up adults in a legal physical relationship don’t get the kind of expert counselling when it’s needed the most. It’s not just that we consider sex as a taboo topic in our societies, even the married partners not always feel it comfortable in their very privacy to discuss quality in a physical relationship and problems that may arise as the relationship ages with time.

    Frankly speaking, a society, at times, do need a scope for counselling where sex or quality in it can be discussed for the overall good health of a physical relationship. With that being totally absent, we can only expect our teenagers and young generation to be more and more misguided through whatever poorly and inappropriately made pornographic materials they get to watch over numerous platforms, both online and off-line.

    Good thing is that we are in a position now to openly talk about the bad sides of the pornographic world. But to discuss the good and healthy sides of the very much legal things is still considered a taboo. For us to know what’s bad, there must be ways to know what’s good and acceptable for the quality involved.

    We have already taken our awareness campaigns involving HIV/AIDS, STDs and even matters with personal hygiene seriously and openly. We also very comfortably discuss a third sex now. May be it’s also high time that we introduce sex education that talks both sides of the act…how to not get pregnant for all the reasons and also about the best ways to plan a family being part of a happily married life.

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