Reading Between the #Hashtags: Teens, Sexting, and Pornography
When parents think of social media, they usually think of it as a place where children and teens communicate with one another or post fun pictures of their everyday lives – not a platform for pornography. Parents mostly consider popular websites like Pornhub when they work to block their young children from accessing porn, but one thing that parents should look out for is the adult content that could be floating around their kids favorite apps.
Popular platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter offer free and easy access to x-rated content by simply typing porn-related words, hashtags, and/or emoji’s with double meanings (aka 🍆= penis, 🍑= butt). Much of the content found on these teen-friendly websites shows unrealistic, violent, and humiliating sexual acts that could negatively influence the developing mind. Since teens spend about 9 hours a day online, it’s important for parents to ask questions, talk to teens about their family values regarding sex and porn, and monitor social media activities.
At Healthy Futures of Texas, we want to provide parents with the knowledge and skills that help guide their children to the healthiest sexual choices possible. We provide free parent workshops that address specific needs, such as discussing pornography, or evidence-based programs like Families Talking Together that empower parents to start and maintain a healthy, open line of communication with their children about sex.