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Who knew honest conversations about parenting and pornography could be so laid-back and fun? Join Melody and Marilyn for a series of chats and interviews on their journey to help fellow parents tackle this challenging topic with their kids.

Oct 23, 2019

Girls_Struggle_Too

Could my daughter be struggling with pornography? Isn’t porn a ‘boy’ problem? If she is struggling, how do I talk to her about it? 

 

What kind of person comes to mind when you hear the term “porn addiction”? Man or woman? Boy or girl? Old or young? The truth is … any and ALL of these categories can be affected by pornography addiction. Society typically refers to porn as a “guy thing” or a “guy problem,” but this is a myth.

 

Over the years, we’ve been amazed (and frankly a little discouraged) by the number of people who still believe that porn is a “guy problem.” We’ve heard about households that have different rules for devices for their sons and daughters. And one parent actually approached Marilyn after a presentation and told her straight out that he didn’t believe it’s possible for girls to have a problem with pornography. 

 

As parents, we need to understand that our daughters are just as susceptible to the dangers of pornography as our sons. Girls can struggle too! And that does NOT make them abnormal. The best thing we can do for our girls is to provide them with a safe place to talk about pornography and addiction. If they need help, we need them to know that they have a space where they will be heard, loved, and understood, and NEVER shamed or dismissed because “porn is a guy problem.”   

 

It’s time to get real. Girls struggle with porn too. Let’s talk about it!

 

  1. Remove the shame
  2. Why do girls look?
  3. How to talk to your daughter

 

I. REMOVE THE SHAME 

-The stereotype as a “guy problem” makes girls who struggle feel even worse: they might feel like “a freak” or “something is wrong with me” if they struggle with sexual addiction.

-“When I was eventually caught in college, the dean of students looked at me and said, ‘We know this wasn’t you. Women just don’t have this problem.’” (Jessica Harris)

-Statistics: 

According to a Barna study, one in five women ages 13 and older comes across porn weekly.  

According to Covenant Eyes, 60% of girls are exposed to pornography by the age of 18, 

18% of young adult women use porn at least once a week,

71% of teenagers hide their online activities from their parents. 

-Porn is designed to attract both men and women. We are human. We are sexual. We are wired to be drawn to pornography. 

-We don’t want to normalize porn, but we want our listeners to understand that females are not somehow immune from being attracted to porn simply because they are female.

-In fact, the industry is now targeting women:

“The porn industry has been going after men and children for decades. In recent years, they have been seeking women. The industry knows if they can infiltrate women, including mothers, there will be no more opposition to the business.” (Jessica Harris)

 

II. WHY DO GIRLS LOOK? 

-Sometimes girls have been abused; sometimes not.

-Some media is created specifically for girls to arouse sexual feelings, like erotica.

-One definition of pornography is anything depicted in pictures, video, writing, or any other media that is intended to inappropriately arouse sexual feelings. 

-Where is the line with media that arouses sexual feelings? Examples: Fifty Shades of Grey (erotica) and other “romance novels,” TV dramas and “soap operas” (novelas), sex scenes in movies, anime

-“The Fifty Shades of Grey book series and film franchise cultivates and normalizes rape myths, psychological grooming for abuse, and sexual violence. In the age of #MeToo, the messages of Fifty Shades are not only in poor taste, they are socially irresponsible.” (National Center on Sexual Exploitation)

-Differences between men and women means they’ll likely be attracted to porn for different reasons. 

-Women play the comparison game. We want connection.  

-Girls are looking for a way to define themselves -- this is especially dangerous with porn because the images are so unhealthy, skewed and unrealistic

 

III. HOW TO TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER 

-Some parents have different rules in the house (for screens and cell phones) for their sons and for their daughters--don’t fall into this trap!

-Here are some guidelines to help you talk to your girls:

  1. Read personal stories from recovering women and parents who have also struggled with female addiction. Some examples we recommend are Jessica Harris, Crystal Renaud, and Lacy Bentley. See “Resources Especially for Girls” below for more information about their work and others.
  2. Acknowledge the fact that girls struggle with this problem. Provide a Construction Site (a safe place in your home and family where you can talk about anything--including female addiction) and support your girls!
  3. Be protective not accusatory when you’re talking to your daughter. Remember, we’re on the same team. Porn is the enemy--not each other!

-Don’t assume your daughter isn’t curious about sex. Access to information is everywhere!  

-“Parenting Mistake! 3 Words That Could Shame Your Daughter by Jessica Harris (Protect Young Minds) : “not my daughter” (Jessica Harris) 

-Here are some ideas to help you bring up pornography with your daughter in a non-threatening way:

  • ”Guess what I heard … “ Put it in third person. Talk about another family (or even a news article) and how pornography came into the picture. Then ask what your daughter thinks about the topic.
  • ”Tell me about it …” Treat your daughter like she is the expert. Our kids LOVE to feel like they know more than we do. Use that! Rather than lecturing, ask her what she knows about pornography. Then listen. 
  • ”Something crazy happened to me the other day …“ Tell your daughter about how you bumped into porn by accident. (Parents: Hasn’t this ever happened to you? You think you’re clicking on something innocent and BAM! Pornography!) Then ask your daughter, “Has that ever happened to you?” 

 

Challenge: Check out one of the personal stories or articles on female addiction in the links below. 

 

Related Links & Articles:

“Raising Strong Girls in Today’s Porn-saturated Culture” (ParentsAware) 

 

“Porn addiction is not just a “boys’ problem” anymore” by Lacy Bentley (Educate and Empower Kids)

 

“When You Catch Your Daughter …” by Jessica Harris (Educate and Empower Kids)

 

“Parenting Mistake! 3 Words That Could Shame Your Daughter by Jessica Harris (Protect Young Minds)

“Dads Kill Porn” by Tim Rarick, PhD

 

Talking with Our Daughters about Masturbation by Dina Alexander (Educate and Empower Kids)

 

My Daughter, the Porn Addict: Four Tips to Help Your Child Through A Porn Addiction by Haley Hawks (Educate and Empower Kids) 

 

“How My 14-Year-Old Daughter’s Experience With Porn Brought Us Closer Than Ever” (Fight the New Drug)



Resources Especially for Girls:

 

Coaching Session with Lacy Bentley (Free 30-min session for our listeners)

SPECIAL OFFER: Do you have a daughter who is struggling with addiction? Or know a woman who may be suffering? Lacy Bentley,author, speaker and women’s recovery coach, is offering a free 30-minute coaching session exclusively for our listeners. Simply click on the link to sign up for your slot: https://calendly.com/lacybentley/savvy 

 

REAL Love Tribe on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/reallovetribe/

An open forum for discussion about love after addiction, trauma, and those who are seeking to connect more deeply. Facilitated by Lacy Bentley, author, speaker and women’s recovery coach. 

 

Beggar’s Daughter (https://beggarsdaughter.com

Jessica Harris, porn addiction that started when she stumbled on porn at age 13. “When I was eventually caught in college, the dean of students looked at me and said, ‘We know this wasn’t you. Women just don’t have this problem.’” Dropped out of school, tried to become a porn star, has now devoted her life to telling her story, helping other women, and changing the conversation about female porn addiction. 

 

Dirty Girls Ministries (https://dgmcommunity.com/

Crystal Renaud, addicted to porn as a young girl, tells her story. DGM offers online recovery groups, online community, accountability, and a coaching/consulting network for churches and individual women.

 

Christian Women and Porn (http://www.christianwomenandporn.com/

Their book, “Christian Woman’s Guide to Breaking Free From Pornography,” and a free download of their 30-page eBook, “The Misery of Porn and the Joy of Purity.”

 

The Grace Spot (https://thegracespot.com/

Free ebook “Restored” coming soon. Sign up on their website. The Grace Spot exists to educate all people on the reality of female pornography use and to break the stigma that only men struggle with this issue. Links to support groups (live and remote), filtering software articles and tips to help overcome female addiction.