Enhancing Porn Literacy In Adults & Kids—While Confronting America’s PornPanic

For centuries, pornography was seen as a problem of immorality. In the 1970s, as feminism became a political force, and the religious right expanded its political power beyond its religious base, the problem of pornography was transformed: it became a public health danger.

Predictably, when broadband internet brought porn into every American home in the year 2000, the stage was set for a PornPanic, which continues to this day. Although pornography is a legal product used by some 50 million Americans each week, this PornPanic colors our perceptions of what porn is, who uses it, why, and most importantly, its effects—on marriages, on children, on individuals, and on society.

This talk discusses the simultaneous phenomena of increased porn availability and increased anti-porn activism. Issues covered include:

  • The narrative of porn as a public health danger—and its interface with issues such as reproductive rights and school sex education;
  • Couples conflicts about porn use—and how honest talk about sex can help resolve those conflicts;
  • The myth of porn addiction;
  • Real data on the impact of pornography on sexual violence and child molestation;
  • Why building “porn literacy” in young people (as opposed to the abstinence model) is essential to their digital and relationship health—and why adults find this so difficult.

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