media mess: the P word

something you will hear often in our church meetings and conferences is the P word.

pornography |pôrˈnägrəfē|nounprinted or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

i wonder if other Faith's talk about it as much as ours do? that would be interesting to know. before i had kids i would shudder when they mentioned it, "why do they talk about it so much?" i would moan.  i would squirm in my seat until it was over. but the curtain has been lifted from my eyes over the last few years and everyday i notice how much it is out there. IT IS OUT THERE. and it is EVERYWHERE.

i watched a show on BYUTV about pornography and young children. By the age they are in high school, they will recieve 93 sexual messages a day through media. Either by tv, movies, internet, social media or texting.   they also said to pick the age you are ready to talk to your kids about sex, subtract 3 years, and you are a year too late. seriously.

pornography is a sneaky little drug, the most addicting of them all and anyone can become addicted. how do we prevent this from happening? be aware of where it is and protect yourself.
"under no circumstances allow yourselves to become trapped in the viewing of pornography, one of the most effective of Satan’s enticements. And if you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior, cease now. Seek the help you need to overcome and to change the direction of your life. Take the steps necessary to get back on the strait and narrow, and then stay there.” (Until We Meet Again, President Thomas S. Monson, April 2009 General Conference)

now i'm not saying we should throw out all forms of media to protect ourselves. abstinence would keep your kids from ever seeing anything questionable, until they moved out of your house. and then what?  if that is what's right for your family then go for it. but i am saying that there are so many good and wholesome things in the media. but we as parents need to be much more vigilant on the defensive side.  i have a little trick that helps me, i treat pornography like cocaine.

would you ever let your kids go somewhere where you knew they were selling cocaine? or making it? or taking it?


would you ever let your kids just take a little cocaine, every once in a while?

obviously no.

Pornography is just as addicting as cocaine, but much more accessible, and much more devastating to your health. it ruins families and it is EVERYWHERE. can you tell i feel really strongly about this?

these days you can't ignore it anymore. i can guarantee that everyone knows someone that has a pornography problem. i think everyone should have a filter set on their computer and tablet and phones. everyone. you never know when something can pop up.

just the other day ty was watching bike jumps on the ipad. i came home and he said, "is there a filter on the ipad?"  "i think so", i said...why?". well during one of the bike jumps movie it just so happened to pop up some really graphic pornography. "Great" i said. i hadn't set the filter on our ipad, and immediately did it. ty and i have an open conversation about any form of pornography. nothing can get too out of hand if we are 100% honest with each other. did we see a billboard, a sign, a movie trailer, commerical, tv show, something that was too graphic? we tell each other. ty knows everything that i have seen and vice versa. there is no mystery, and without any mystery there can be no evasiveness from the other spouse. i don't think we are any "better" than any other married couple. i think we are just as vulnerable to a pornography addiction as anyone else is.  we just try really hard to protect our home and be honest with each other.

one of our favorite filters is NetNanny. you can put it on all your home computers, ipads and iphones. yes, your kids and grandkids can easily watch pornography on their phones. it's just sitting there in their pocket, all day long.

a FREE filter my friend told me about is K-9 protection.  she has used it and is happy with it.

i think on the flip side, as much protecting we need to do on our own part in our homes and on our media devices, the more we need to talk about sex at home. you'll notice the definition of pornography is to elicit "erotic" feelings, not emotional or aesthetic beauty of it.  it's personal when to choose to talk to your kids about it, but i have tried more to have everyday conversations about it. (it's really difficult to get over being weird about it).  our kids are at the age where it's more talk about animals around or property that are "mating" and the mommies and daddies and babies.

but seriously, sex is wonderful! it's the best part of  marriage, in my opinion. it's beautiful and emotionally bonding and can solve even the tiniest arguments (he he).

the media mess (as i like to call it) turns it into a carnal act, like animals in a jungle, instead of what it is and meant to is not just a physical reaction, a lust, a urge, it's an important ingredient in a healthy marriage and something that should be safely guarded and protected until marriage.  i think that the offensive (not offending, but offense like in sports. opposite of defense!) side to the pornography and media mess battle, is showing our affection for each other more often in front of the kids and having an open relationship and conversation about how great it can be in a loving and committed marital relationship.

how are you trying to protect yourself and your family? and how do you talk about sex at home?
*i have a few more posts about media mess coming in the next few days*


Lexie & Sharrid said...

Annie, this is the first post of your I've read sadly...anyway, the best way that my family protects ourselves is that we do not have any TV channels. Yes, we have to go without sports...our favorite shows we can Netflix or watch online. But, there is just too much on the TV, commercials, TV sitcoms and their commercials, ect. I need to start filtering our computer as our boys are now old enough to get into websites and youtube and they are harmless children who want to watch somebody beat a Nintendo level or play a game on NickJr. but now that they are able to do it themselves I really need to filter. Having a good sexual relationship with your husband helps. I have already talked to my boys a little about it. I feel like I have to! The main thing I have talked to them about is to not let anybody touch them. We have full family nights about that topic about 2-3 times a year and that will increase which kind of leads into sex questions and such.

Annie Leavitt said...

lexie, that is great that you don't have live TV. we went without it for 2 years in provo and it was great.

yes, i think all families have to have filters on everything now. good thing there are free options out there.

Emily said...

Annie, you write so well. I love that your posts are entertaining, thought provoking and inspiring. Thank you for being so wonderful!

The fight against pornography is something that I have been very passionate about for a long time. I am so grateful for women, like you, who are vigilantly watching over and striving to protect their families from this poison that is so prevalent today.

There are so many helpful resources available for teaching our children about these sometimes 'hard to address' subjects. One of our very favorites is "Protect Their Minds" by Janeen Brady. I think it is so important that children understand the dangers of pornography, before they experience the feelings that it stimulates.

Parents have the HUGE responsibility to teach by example. Often, there are movies that are so good...except for that one little part. Shirts that are really stylish, but slightly revealing. We must have the courage to turn it off, to throw it out, to show our children that we will stand strong and immovable for that which is virtuous.

Oh yes, there is so much in this world that is virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy...that we can feast our eyes and our minds on. May we be found ever seeking those things!

Thanks again, Annie! You are the best!

Vyanca said...

I never had a filter on our computer because it is in our family room and I always felt like I was right there so I didn't need it. Until the day my 10 & 6 yr old boys were looking up hunting guns they wanted and a graphic pic of something a person was doing with their gun other than hunting!!!

Unknown said...

This is Candi not Cate. Thank you for writing this. I 100 % agree with everything you said. Thank you for the free downloads. I'm trying to be more proactive about this subject to protect my family.

Its always been so uncomfortable for me. Its a subject that is not discussed in our family (my mom still spells words haha). I really want to be more like you and talk openly about the subject with my family. I even just bought a book on talking to your kids about sex for the Desseret book store. My baby isn't even one but i figure by the time he is 3 I'll have to teach him body parts and I don't want to make it uncomfortable!

When I was at BYU-Idaho my english teacher discussed how anything that has the intention of getting one aroused is porn. She said there is no difference of a man looking at pictures as a women reading a novel (even if its "clean") and the intention is to arouse. I've thought about that so much and try to look at the intention of literature and movies.

Rosemary said...

The rest of the world is unfortunately having a different discussion about this. See this recent New York Times parenting blog post about pornography. NO ONE on the forum seems to think an absolute ban for their kids is the answer; in fact, when I made a lame attempt to say that's what I'd do (I sound like a total fuddy-duddy) several people attacked and made fun of me. It's really frustrating when you see what you're actually up against from other parents, not just the media.

Annie Leavitt said...

Oh rosemary...I just checked it out. I can't. Relieve these parents are defining "good" pornand "bad".

Very scary and discouraging. More moms need to speak up that feel strongly about the dangers of it on society.

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