It’s not at all surprising that a host of news outlets and researchers are reporting a spike in the use of online pornography during the current Covid-19 pandemic. People of all ages. . . children, teens, and adults alike. . . are hunkered down during the stay-at-home quarantine with extra time, stress, social distancing, loneliness, and boredom on their hands. Consequently, the temptation for those already engaged with pornography is to run to this fallen expression of God’s good gift of sex with greater frequency. And with people of all ages able to access their devices due to increased time, the playground of the internet offers greater opportunity for pornography to find them.
This perfect storm has been seen by pornographers as an opportunity to build their audience. As an example, the world’s largest online porn site, Pornhub, made their exclusive subscription-based premium content free for 30 days. Consider this sad fact: during the 3-week pandemic shutdown in India, porn use increased 95%. In the end, it’s not only Covid-19 that’s going viral, but sexual immorality and the scourge of pornography as well. It’s frightening to think about what the fallout might be.
For parents and youth workers this is a moment that cannot be overlooked or missed. First, we need to help our kids understand that sex, sexuality, and gender are all good gifts from God. Second, we need to help them understand what to do when, not if, they encounter pornography. . . if, by chance, they are one of the few innocent and naive kids left. Third, we must equip ourselves not only for the aforementioned tasks, but to handle the temptation we will experience and face not only now, but for the rest of our lives.
Here are some resources we’ve put together than can help. . .
First, check out our Sexual Integrity Initiative. The website is loaded with all kinds of free resources to help you point your kids away from sexual brokenness and towards sexual flourishing.
Second, download and familiarize yourself with this free handout, A Parents’ Primer On Internet Pornography. This handout offers a succinct overview and response strategy.
And third, carve out some time to listen to this latest episode of our Youth Culture Matters Podcast. . . which features a conversation with Michael Cusick about how to navigate the issues related to increased pornography use during this pandemic.