Parenting the Internet Generation Pt. 1 will primarily focus on potential threats that exist in the digital world. We are engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation. While this is a hard fight in the 21st Century, it is imperative that parents, mentors, educators, etc. are aware of the dangers and digital distractions that are out there.

Here are just a few potential threats that this generation has and/or could be exposed to:

1. Internet Pornography

Stats you need to know:

· 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to internet porn before the age of 18.

· 83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex on the internet.

· 70% of boys have spent more than 30 consecutive minutes looking at online porn on at least one occasion.

· Only 3% of boys and 17% of girls have never seen internet pornography.

· 2/3 of young men and half of young woman say viewing porn is acceptable.

At the click of a button, literally hundreds of millions of pornographic images and videos are available online—no credit card and no age verification required. Because a child’s brain is still in critical stages of development even through the teen years, more and more psychiatrists are concerned about how early exposure to sexual media hinders healthy sexual development. Porn is a part of an overall societal message that treats sex as a commodity and sees people as objects.

2. Online Predators

The internet is an amazing tool for kids and teens to connect with people all over the world. But not everyone they meet online is safe. Here are a couple of things you need to know:

· Most internet sex crimes against youth are committed by offenders who do not hide their age or sexual intentions.

· Most predators prey on a teen’s desire to be liked, their desire for romance, or their sexual curiosity. Often a predator may “groom” a child through flattery, sympathy, and by investing time in their online relationship. Predators are expert manipulators, able to foster a relationship of dependence with a teen.

· 50% of the time the teen describes themselves as “in love” with the predator.

It is noteworthy that most sexual predation does not occur with total strangers through internet communication. Young people have a much greater risk of sexual predation from their schoolmates, community, and family.

3. Sexting

“Sexting” is a slang term for sending erotic or sexually suggestive messages, photos, or videos. A survey was done by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to explore the prevalence of sexting. The survey found that 20% of teens overall have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves, and 39% have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages.

This trend reveals a deep problem among youth. Sexting is just one part of the overall sex-on-tap culture in which we live. If they desire to be accepted by someone they like, teens and young adults often give into the pressure to become someone else’s pornography.

For more information on these internet threats and others, click here

Parenting the Internet Generation Pt. 2 will discuss strategies and give resources on how to help your teen develop healthy habits when exploring the digital world.

Parenting the Internet Generation © 2012 CovenantEyes

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