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May 2024: Mental Health and Porn

Culture Reframed is the premier science-based, global organization working to stop the emotional, behavioral, and sexual harms of pornography to children and youth. Join our online community to receive updates on our work, announcements of upcoming events, and the latest news related to pornography and youth.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to call attention to the dangerous impact of porn and hypersexualized media on developing young minds. While studies show that its negative effects are detrimental to the mental health of adults, for adolescents, the impact is especially concerning. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tools and resources to provide you with more information on the topic and help you navigate the issue with young people.

This month, we’re also sharing our views on age verification laws that are quickly spreading across the United States. While age verification has its limitations, this is a welcome change in a space that has been historically unregulated despite decades of research showing the harms of pornography to young people.

Age verification legislation mirrors Culture Reframed’s mission by preventing emotional, behavioral, and sexual harm from pornography to children and youth. Legislation is a powerful way to raise awareness of this issue. We’re excited to see this response to the research we’ve been doing for years — it is a stellar example of how the work of Culture Reframed moves people to action.

 

– Dr. Gail Dines

Founder & CEO, Culture Reframed

 

Mental Health, Pornography & Young People

Pornography has negative effects on the mental health of adults – but for adolescents, the impact is especially acute. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are calling attention to the dangerous impact of porn on developing minds.

Our website offers a variety of resources that address pornography’s effect on the mental health of young people, as well as tools to guide parents and caregivers to help our kids build resilience to sexually explicit content. We invite you to explore these tools and resources here:

How Age Verification Laws Protect Young People from Online Pornography

“The porn industry has hijacked the lives of our young people, and before age verification legislation, it operated in a virtually unregulated space,” says Dr. Gail Dines, Founder & CEO of Culture Reframed.

In a new interview, Dines shares her involvement in the age verification legislation passed in Louisiana, the first state in the U.S. to do so. The new laws trending across the country restrict access to pornography websites by users under 18 years of age. Says Dines, “Culture Reframed and age verification laws share the same goal of bringing to the forefront a science-based, nuanced, and deeper understanding of why it is time to advocate for a porn-free world for our young people.”

 

Understanding the Relationship Between Mainstream Porn Images and Child Sexual Abuse Images

Over the last two decades, there has been an increase in images of young-looking female performers on mainstream porn sites. Culture Reframed Founder & CEO Dr. Gail Dines presented a session about the relationship between mainstream porn images and child sexual abuse images during Culture Reframed’s virtual conference, The Impact of Pornography on Young People: Research, Practice, and Solutions. Read more and watch the full presentation here.

Upcoming Events

UK Thames Valley Police Annual Conference
June 3 | Virtual

Dr. Gail Dines and Dr. Mandy Sanchez will deliver a Zoom presentation on the harms of porn to young people at the Thames Valley Police Conference, the largest police force in England. They will address an audience of police, lawyers, and educators on the research that documents the harms and public health solutions. The presentation will invite participants to consider how to adopt public health strategies to alleviate the issue of porn and how to bring about change on a systemic level.

2024 Krimes Against Kids Conference
July 24-26 | Orlando, FL & Virtual

Culture Reframed’s Dr. Mandy Sanchez joins a roster of presenters dedicated to protecting children at the 2024 Krimes Against Kids Conference. Presented both in person in Orlando, FL, and online, the conference is designed for professionals who work with children, including law enforcement personnel, child protective service personnel, victim advocates, attorneys, therapists, counselors, prosecutors, and social workers.

This Anti-Porn Crusader Wants to Close the ‘Naïveté Gap’ Parents Have About Pornography

A new article from Deseret News chronicles Dr. Gail Dines’ path to launching Culture Reframed and the organization’s mission to help parents and caregivers better understand the risks associated with pornography and their kids. Learn more about Dr. Dines and her insights on what parents need to know, how they can protect their kids, and how society’s views on pornography are shifting.

Tune In: A Guide for Parents to Raise Pornography-Resilient Kids

Culture Reframed’s Dr. Gail Dines joined the Inside Sources podcast with Boyd Matheson to discuss how to protect kids from harmful exposure to pornography in our rapidly changing digital landscape.

What others are saying

The Troubling Trend in Teenage Sex (New York Times)

“It’s not uncommon for behaviors to be normalized in porn, move within a few years to mainstream media, then, in what may become a feedback loop, be adopted in the bedroom or the dorm room,” writes Peggy Orenstein as she explores the growing trend of rough sex among college students. Read now.

Google Is Lowering Deepfake Porn in Search Rankings (Mashable)

Traffic on sites featuring nonconsensual and AI-generated porn via Google has been down in the last month as the company lowers this kind of content within search rankings on its engine. Read now.

Should Australia Ban Children Under 16 From Social Media – and How Would It Actually Work? (The Guardian)

Governments across Australia want to explore banning social media for some young people to protect them from harmful content and the negative impacts of excessive time online. Some experts are skeptical that a ban could be implemented safely and effectively. Read now.

Why Talking to Teens About Pornography Is Essential (Irish Examiner)

In a discussion with the Irish Examiner, experts from CyberSafeKids explain why talking to teens about pornography is essential, considering the temptation children face to watch accessible videos while experiencing normal hormonal surges and sexual curiosity. Read now.

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