Sometimes I despair about the state of our world. This is true when I read of children who are the victims of crimes in Denver, Arapahoe, and Douglas County and across the U.S. But, I especially feel it when children themselves commit horrendous crimes. Not only was a crime committed, but a young soul has fallen to surprising depth. These were my thoughts as I read the news recently and came across a story of two first graders who forced a classmate to perform sexual acts. But, such behavior should not be surprising given our current sex-obsessed culture.
First Graders Force Classmate to Commit Sex Acts
In the article, it was reported that three first-graders were on a bathroom break. During this bathroom break, two of the first graders forced their classmate – a seven-year-old girl – to commit sexual acts. The school found out about the behavior and approached the mother of the alleged victim. She spoke with her daughter, who confirmed she was forced to behave inappropriately.
Pornography is a Likely Culprit for Sexual Behavior
When I read this story, a question was prominent in my mind: “why does a 7-year-old commit a violent sexual act?” The answer hit me square in the face: Pornography is a likely culprit. Today's culture is obsessed with sex. It is everywhere; billboards on the side of the road, on magazines at the checkout counter, online for free at the touch of a button, and in the numerous sex scenes on television during the day. Many children see nudity and sex on a daily basis. A study found that children “spend more time watching television than in any other activity except sleep.” (Huston and Wright, University of Kansas – ‘Television and Socialization of Young Children.') Use of the internet is similar. Access to pornography is no longer difficult or awkward: gone are the days of hiding dirty magazines under your bed. Now, children can access pornography online, for free, at the touch of a button. So, how does it affect their choices and behavior?
Pornography's Effect on the Young Mind
In a study by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, researcher Michael Flood found that early exposure to pornography results in a “range of notable and often troubling effects.” What exactly are these effects?
1.Sexist and Unhealthy Mindsets
“Exposure to pornography helps to sustain young people's adherence to sexist and unhealthy notions of sex and relationships.”
2.Increases Likelihood of Sexual Coercion
“Consumption [of more violent materials] intensifies attitudes supportive of sexual coercion and increases their likelihood of perpetrating assault.”
3.Creating an Unhealthy Sexual Attitude
“Concern exists, among both parents and policymakers, that widespread, premature exposure to pornography is changing the nature of sexual attitudes, behaviors, and intimate relationships and potentially contributing to sexual violence in society.”
Sexual Attitude is Unprecedented: Laws Haven't Caught Up
We shouldn't need experts to tell us that pornography is harmful to the developing mind of young children.
Regardless of research and studies, common sense tells us that viewing pornography is harmful to the developing mind of young children. We shouldn't need experts to tell us this. The difficult thing with situations like the first-graders who forced their classmate to perform sex acts, is that the law hasn't caught up with the times. Thankfully, these children haven't been charged with a crime for their behavior – what good would time in a juvenile detention facility do for them? In Adams, Jefferson, and El Paso County and throughout Colorado, a seven-year-old can't be charged with a crime. They must be at least ten years of age. If they had been at least ten, they could have been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child, or Unlawful Sexual Contact, and faced serious consequences which last into adulthood. According to the news, the school where this occurred has hired psychologists to mentor all the students, new rules have been put into effect, and the teacher responsible for the children during the alleged assault has been fired. All this has been done to “ensure the continued safety of our children.” But, how do you protect children when they themselves are the ones committing the crime? The best way to protect our children is to shield them from the world – from pornography and from twisted depictions of sexuality. Those who espouse unrestricted freedoms will have to wait until children reach adulthood.Request a Free Consultation