Children exposed to explicit content
“Children are always and have always been exposed to pornography. Think about movies we watch on television. Sexual scenes appear – they might not be explicit, but don’t take it for granted that children don’t know or see what’s happening,” warns Dr Boitumelo Diale. She is an Educational Psychologist, and Head of Department of Educational Psychology at University of Johannesburg.
Instead, Dr Diale urges parents to grab the opportunity to explore what the child knows about sex, sexuality and gender. “Be ready to get into an argument and be ready to say to them, ‘I am not sure’, ‘I don’t know the answer’, ‘Let’s, together, go and investigate and comeback as a family and re-look at the aspects’, she says.
“We buy children smartphones, starter packs and they have access to internet at school. They are exposed to pornography. How do we protect them beyond the exposure?” she asks.
Dr Diale insists that the child’s reaction to pornography depends of the family values. “A child who comes from a family grounded on values, emulates what they see at home. They would not be easily found sleeping in a corner watching porno on their own.”
She advises parents to take seriously age restriction warnings that reflect on television screens. She says, “The age restriction is not put there because of boredom, someone does not know what to put up there or it is just a form of animation.”