Protecting Children from Pornography


By Karen Painter, Legislative Advocacy Chair and Religious Alliance Against Pornography (RAAP) Representative

"What's the most important thing to know about the effects of pornography on kids?" Dr. Jennifer Brown, mom to 5 growing boys, (ages 4 to 12), doesn't hesitate to share her well-founded opinion on that question! She insists that parents and policy makers need to understand 2 facts:

  • First, recognize that kids’ brains process porn differently from adults, and

  • Second, that kids’ brains are more vulnerable to porn.

    Why does this matter? Because when we really get the facts straight, we come up with better solutions to protect children - not just in our homes, but also our communities. In fact, what Jennifer learned about the impact of pornography on kids has al- ready helped create new government policies with the best interests of young people in mind. (Dr. Brown helped her home state of Utah declare porn a public health crisis!)

    Pornography acts like a magnet to the brain. It pulls the viewers in to look -even when they find the images dis- turbing or frightening. That's because sexually explicit content triggers a physical response in the body - a chain of events that ultimately floods the brain with unnaturally high quantities of chemicals (dopamine among oth- ers). It's important for parents to un- derstand that whatever response their child may have to porn, it's a natural result of their biology.

"Porn just impacts young people in such a bigger way. There are very specific things about the adolescent brain that make it different from adult brains" Dr. Jennifer Brown

Adults brains' have safeguards in place to protect them from being tricked by these chemical messages. But in the child and teenage brain, these safe- guards are under heavy construction.That is what makes kids more vulnera- ble to the pull of pornography than adults. When pornography is viewed habitually at younger ages it could dras- tically interfere with normal brain de- velopment.

For more information on Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids go to https:// and

Information for this article taken from