May 1, 2017 11:45 am
Updated: May 1, 2017 12:36 pm

Talking with your kids about porn: how to do it and what to mention

WATCH: Psychologist and family counsellor Katie Domries joins Global Calgary with details on why it's important to talk with teen about pornography.

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It’s going to be an awkward conversation, but it’s definitely one you need to have – psychologist and family counsellor Katie Domries joined Global Calgary on Monday with advice on how to talk with your kids about porn.

“Parents need to know what’s out there and the risks that are out there,” Domries explained. “They just need to educate themselves in whatever way they feel comfortable.”

“It’s awkward, it is, but I guarantee that if you don’t educate your kids, the porn industry will.”


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Thanks to smartphones and tablets, Domries said it’s easier than ever for teenagers to access pornography.

“It’s a tough thing to study, but the research indicates that about 93 per cent of boys and 62 per cent of girls have been exposed to pornography before the age of 18.”

“The average exposure age is about 11, but they say that’s rapidly falling because of the amount of younger children that have cellphones, iPads and access to computers these days,” she added.

What to warn your kids about

Domries warned when youth view pornography it can cause distorted views of and expectations of what sex and relationships look like, and the objectification of women.

“Depending on the type of porn they’re looking at, it can lead to violent sexual aggression at times, distorted body image issues and [distorted] expectations of what sex actually looks like.”

“One of the big things is it really confuses what consent looks like for both boys and girls,” Domries added.

“A lot of pornography does not depict actual consensual relationships, and that can be really confusing for adolescents to see.”

She advises monitoring your child’s online habits.

“There’s a lot of great parental control systems out there,” she said. “Talk to your kids about that if you’re going to use one of those.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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