Relationship Connection: Protecting children, families from pornography, harmful media

OPINION – The Washington Times recently reported that about 80 percent of children exposed to pornography actually encounter it in their own homes.  Some may be frightened by this report, however I choose to see it as an opportunity to better protect my children.

There is so much we can do as parents to protect our children from the impact of pornography. Most parents just don’t know where to start, or, worse, aren’t paying attention.

Our children are at great risk of being exposed to the fraudulent messages of pornography, which include sexual miseducation, violence, exaggerated body types, and other gross distortions.

We need both “high-tech” and “low-tech” solutions to these challenges.  High-tech solutions include learning more about the ways children can electronically access pornography and how to stay on top of the ever-changing technological landscape.

Low-tech solutions include knowing how to teach children about healthy emotion regulation and how they can reach out for help when they are exposed to pornography and other harmful materials.

Parents need to know they are not helpless and alone in the battle to protect their children.

Concerned citizens of Southern Utah have an opportunity next month to arm themselves with cutting-edge information from some of the field’s leading experts.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Utah Coalition Against Pornography  is hosting the conference “Protecting Children and Families from Pornography and Other Harmful Materials” at the Dixie Center St. George from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This conference was held in St. George three years ago and drew a crowd of almost 1,000. The conference originated in Salt Lake City over 12 years ago and receives the support of multi-faith groups, major corporations, and other groups.

Not only will there be top notch presentations, there will be vendors and other groups offering parents, church leaders, and other concerned community members the latest resources to protect children and families.

The conference will open with a keynote presentation by Clay Olson, the founder of “Fight the New Drug.” There will be two hours of workshops to educate participants on how they can help support and protect children, how to help women who have been betrayed, and understanding what couples need to heal from the impact of pornography.

Terry Wade, a local attorney and church leader, will offer the closing keynote. A panel discussion will follow.

Every day I sit with individuals and couples reeling from the devastating effects pornography has on their lives. Most of the individuals I work with were exposed to pornography in their early teen years. Now that they understand the impact pornography has had on their lives, they are motivated to better protect their own families.

Be proactive and attend this conference so you can gather the latest tools and resources to protect those you love.

Event details

What: The Utah Coalition Against Pornography regional conference – “Protecting Children and Families Against Pornography and Other Harmful Materials”
When: Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. – registration and resource booths begin at 8 a.m.
Where:  The Dixie Center – St. George, UT
Cost: $15 pre-registration online or $20 at the door.

 Stay connected!

 

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: geoff@lovingmarriage.com

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Facebook: facebook.com/GeoffSteurerMFT

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • Phonies October 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Why are so many sanctimonious religious and conservative republican people porno addicts?

    • Craig October 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Why are so many sanctimonious liberals involved in so many scandals…Mark Foley, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart, Eliot Spitzer….
      Hanky panky goes on in BOTH parties.
      Sadly, it’s at the taxpayers expense.

      • Phonies October 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        Why do the sanctimonious religious and conservative republican people guilty of affairs and who watch porn put 10 Commandment signs in their front yards? Probably voted for McCain, despite his history of multiple affairs and worship some “prophets” known for their multiple wives (and child brides) and affairs with other mens’ wives.

  • Seymore Skin October 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I appreciate that this piece is an opinion variety, and even self-serving. But I take issue with the foundation premise that pornography is inherently bad. You start out by telling us that many first-time exposures occur in the home then you immediately portray it negatively using words like ‘frightened’, ‘harmful’, and ‘protection.’ These are biased terms. First time exposure of most things is in the home; we spend so much time there.

    What are your credentials and why do you feel that you can determine what is ‘frightening’ or needs to contained? You are guilty of a selection bias. I see that you work as a councilor and treat individuals and their families–families that may be in jeopardy due to unhealthy use of pornography. But just because some people are adversely affected by unhealthy use of the product does not make the product inherently harmful.

    Some people drink alcohol. Some who drink it, cant control it and it leads to destructive behavior. Does that mean that we need to categorize alcohol as a dangerous item and form a coalition against alcohol?

    Some people have guns. Some people use guns in a destructive way. Should we ban guns and form a coalition to limit gun ownership and use?

    There can be healthy expressions of human sexuality using pornography. The thing by its self is not wrong. It is the unhealthy use of the product that is the concern. Please do not paint with too broad a brush.

  • philiplo October 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I agree with the cooment from Seymore (haha). Seeing the words “protect” and “protection” used made me wonder why the author did not choose “educate” and “education” in reference to pornography. We can not protect our children from the world at all times. What we can do is educate them about dangers and temptations they are certain to encounter in their lives; we can teach them how to make good decisions based on sound human values.
    .
    When (not if) my son discovers pornography, I hope that the values I’ve taught him — respect for people as people, not objects; respect of self — will influence his decisions and actions. I believe it is education, not shame or fear or protection, that will best prepare him for a fulfilling life.

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