is this endangering to a child?


Say a 6 year old finds a magazine. He or she is curious and can make the correlation between the people in the magazine and him/her having the same parts. To the child here is a new use for something they have and they may want to try it out… Now you have a 6 year old asking their little friends to try something inappropriate for the age…

Depending on the adult responses when they discover this behavior they could shame the child so much that they equate those behaviors with something awful and have trouble getting aroused as an adult or they could equate arousal only with the pornography whereby it becomes a need and not something to add some spice to their sex life. Neither of these things is healthy.

It comes to the point of children not being able to understand what they are seeing. Think of the difference in the answer to the question “where do babies come from” when asked by a three, seven, twelve year old child.

Sexual curiousity is normal and healthy but children arent ready for that much information too young. These are really young children in the OP.

I can say that too much exposure to sex too early is a bad thing. I know from experience that it has long lasting effects on adult sexuality and can sympathize with Carlotta. I tended to crawl inside myself a lot during sex and completely tune out any sensation at all. It has taken years and a loving, understanding spouse to teach me that not all sex has to hurt.

I found some pretty hard-core porn at somewhat young age. At first I was just confused, but eventually it sparked a pretty healthy sex interest. Some of my fondest memories of late childhood/early teenagerdom were of my many fun and creative solo-sexual experiences. I got pretty comfortable with my body, and today I’m a multi-orgasmic and sexually confident girl.

So while it might not be what you want to think about your kids doing, it’s not always a horrible traumatic thing…

Judging just the reaction of the child, I would call that normal and innocent. Simply watching prime time television can cause some similar behaviors…

And unless I am missing your point, then I would agree that the “adult response” (the parents’ reaction) would be responsible for creating the unhealthy environment. The more the parent expresses shock at such an awful thing, the more unhealthy the child’s impression. Putting it away and ignoring it would send a much less traumatic message. The kids are much less likely to apply significance to the memory.

And I guess that is what I am questioning, is the information, intrinsically harmful? Or only when it gets attached to something like trauma?

Your personal experience is well beyond simply being exposed to it, like finding it in a shoebox under your parents bed.

Cosmo and magazines of the like don’t have pornographic images, period. They contain nothing more extreme than what one would find on television. However, such magazines have some articles that contain sexual content. A child in the age range the OP was discribing, (2-5, or thereabout) would probably not going to be able to read anything much more complex than, see Sam eat Spam, let alone possess the comprehension skills and the interest to delve into an article about Your Best Orgasm Ever, plus a child would not be able to understand the lingo and double entendres such an article would contain. I’m sorry, but comparing these magazines to hard core porn that features S & M is a like comparing a seven layer cake to an Oreo.

I know my experience was a bit more than finding things in a shoebox under the bed…

I’m probably also not expressing myself well… type tends to do that! (At least for me)

I think it really depends on the information and how it is presented. Information is not intrinsically evil but in the hands of someone unable to process/deal with it it can be harmful. Just knowing how to start a fire for example without understanding the danger can be a disaster.

Anyway I didn’t really wanna hijack the whole thread :slight_smile:

Thank you, Orange. I was just wondering how anyone could actually think Cosmo is comparable to pictures of bondage and S&M for a small child. I also wonder, could a small child understand the difference between pictures of bondage or S&M and violence?

Me too, even sven. But if I hadn’t grow up with parents that were as honest and open about sex with me as they were, I can easily see how things could have turned out differently for me. My parents are fairly radical in regards to how they’ve talked to their children about sex, and I still had feelings of guilt and confusion growing up after being exposed to some porn through a friend of mine. And this was growing up in probably the best possible atmosphere in regards to sexual development I can think of. Had I grown up in the typical modern household–where sex is rarely discussed between parents and children (and rarely frankly at that)–and with such exposure as I’d had, I think it would definitely have done more harm than good.

In some respects, it all boils down to the information isolation issue. You should try to have dialoge open with your kids in regards to sex, because more like as not, your children are going to come in contact with pornography through some source at some point in their childhood. Even still, have some discretion. A four year old shouldn’t be able to just stumble upon the copy of If It Moves, Fuck It that Dad left on the floor, open dialoge or no.

No problem, tmwster. :slight_smile:

In regards small children understanding the difference between bondage/S&M and actual violence, I’m not a child psychology expert or anything, but I say no, they wouldn’t. I think that this is probably the heart of the issue, here. Without an open discussion (and at three years old or so, I think it’s too early to even be that open), I’d have to say they almost couldn’t possibly. How would they?

And to take it one step further, what sort of misconceptions of their father would a child form after having found this stuff?

IMHO, I think you’re operating with a very limited view of what sex is. Pornography does depict human sexual practices. That’s practically the definition of pornography.

I don’t think a child viewing hardcore pornography is significantly worse than a child viewing a very violent movie. I think both are potentially harmful and situations where a child might be exposed should be as few as possible.

It sounds like

1: We we are talking about magazines like Penthouse etc. that apparently now show penetration and the full gamut etc

2: Dad is putting it “up”, (say in a nightstand side table) but not really “away” or out of reach for a curious 5 year old.

The man is a lazy idiot, but to accuse him of “endangering” (in a truly meaningful sense) the 5 year old by not locking the porn away like a loaded shotgun in case the 5 year old goes exploring is bordering on hysterical nonsense.

Unless we’re talking about chainsaws, bestiality or some sort of scat fetish, “hardcore porn” is usually vaginal, oral or anal copulation of some sort. While 5 year old might be mystified I don’t really think a normal 5 year olds head is going to explode or they will have to require a lifetime of therapy if they see pictures of adults doing things with their things.

Would a butcher leaving his copy of “Eviseration Today” out where a surprised 5 year old could find it be considered “child abuse”. How about a medical examiner leaving some autopsy photos of a hit and run around the house. Is that child abuse? How about a mother leaving her document and site address history linking to S&M websites unerased for her 9 year old to link to. Child abuse?

Where do you begin and end on this slippery slope?

Well, I failed to communicate clearly. I wasn’t comparing the level of pornography in an fetish magazine and Cosmo. When Manda JO discussed the amount of emotional damage to a child seeing:

I wondered if the damage was much different to the body image messages Cosmo places on young women in the context of sex. And Cosmo certainly sells sex.

About the only difference, btw, is masterbating with a 12-inch dildo. Provocative dress and the context of sex describes much of the advertising, and subtle lesbian themes are not uncommon.

IMHO, many mainstream religious doctrines generate more sexual hangups than the casual discovery of mainstream pornography. And I rarely see the practice of Christainity considered child endangerment (well, with one recent exception).

I’m not advocating making this material available to children, but I’m wondering if a child endangerment claim is spurious.

Does sexual expression have to be so… dirty?

And, lest this thread be irretrievably hijacked before the OP’s questions have all been answered …

Absolutely. She should consult with her lawyer, of course, but I expect the lawyer’s aid will be more along the lines of how to present the request to the court than whether to raise the issue or drop it. She has a legitimate concern, and she shouldn’t avoid voicing it out of fear of looking like a bitch …