Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityPornography: The new gateway drug | WSET
Close Alert

Pornography: The new gateway drug

Interview with Sgt. Steve Anders with Southern Virginia Unit Crimes Against Children on the dangers of pornography (WSET)
Interview with Sgt. Steve Anders with Southern Virginia Unit Crimes Against Children on the dangers of pornography (WSET)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Cell phones are giving kids access to a whole new world, including that of pornography, and while parents can use every "protection" out there, officials say it's not always enough.

Brandon and Athena Aronson, who raise their six boys in Lynchburg say it can be a handful and technology doesn't make it any easier.

"We're tired of this garbage being in our children's hands," Brandon said.

While the Aronson's are not experts, they take every step possible to keep their children away from online pornography, which includes monitoring activity and using software protection.

"You might be your teenager's worst enemy for a while but consistency will pay off," Athena added.

Sgt. Steve Anders, who works with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children in Bedford County, agrees.

He said parents need to run "a tight ship" when it comes to cell phones because he has seen the worst of online pornography.

"It's hard core sex acts, it's torture, it's bondage, it's bestiality involving children," he said. "Some of the youngest we've seen the child still had the umbilical cord attached."

Complicating things even more, Sgt. Anders says children are starting to get access to cell phones at a younger age, leading to earlier porn exposure.

According to a Huffington Post article, the average age a child first sees porn is 11 years old. Family Safe Media statistics show 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls have seen online pornography before the age of 18.

Sgt. Anders says children are curious and look it up on their phones, or a friend shows it to them. He says early access to porn is leading to something called "improper arousal patterns".

"And like a drug, your brain can build up a tolerance to the material you're seeing so you seek out more extreme types of pornography to get the same sense of satisfaction and arousal," he said.

Research shows pornography can be a "gateway" to something much more serious like child pornography, even sexual assault. In fact, Sgt. Sanders says almost 100 percent of sex offenders they interview have dealt with porn addictions.

Aaron Gaston, a Next Generation Pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, said exposure to pornography is something they talk about in youth groups.

"The Bible teaches us we are to guard our hearts and guard our eyes," Pastor Gaston said.

Gaston advises parents to get involved in a support community and come up with a strict technology plan. The Aronson's are on board with that plan, because in the end, they say it's worth it.

I want to be able to look at our daughters-in-law and say we did everything we could to teach our sons to be the men they needed to be, to be your husbands.

The Huffington Post said, which is dedicated to providing adolescents with medically accurate, age-appropriate, affirming, and honest sex education, has YouTube videos to help guide the discussion about pornography, including a video called 'Porn: Fact or Fiction'

Sgt. Sanders teaches workshops on the dangers of pornography.

To set up a class, you can call the Bedford County Sheriff's Office at 540-586-4800.

Sgt. Sanders also suggests the website Fight The New Drug as a valuable source of information on this topic. Click here to get to the website.

Comment bubble

Thomas Road Baptist Church also has resources for those who are suffering from pornography addiction. Click here to get more information.

Loading ...