When you become a parent, you immediately begin to worry about all sorts of things. Formula or breastfeeding, best and safest car seats, the balance of child care versus stay-at-home parenting, sleep training, when to introduce solids, vaccines. Porn probably doesn’t top that list.

Or at least it didn’t until last week, when a series of articles across the Internet brought to light the pervasive, horrifying, and all-too-common modern problem of preteens accessing hardcore porn online. Right now, if your social media and friends circles are anything like mine, discussions are monopolized with parents talking about smartphones, how to protect kids, if this is really as widespread as these articles imply, and how on Earth we got to this point.

In a viral article for the Dallas Morning News, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa writes about her 11-year-old daughter’s exposure not just to porn but to rape porn. “At a friend’s birthday party, they were playing on the little girl’s phone. The girl handed it to my daughter and said, ‘Boys are disgusting.’ My daughter clicked on a male classmate’s Snapchat story to find a video of him and a few other boys from her class laughing as they watched rape porn. She said the woman was bound up, saying ‘no’ as a masked man approached her.”

Herndon-De La Rosa’s daughter doesn’t have a smartphone of her own. She was exposed to this at a friend’s home, on someone else’s device.

The next article is by Sloane Ryan with Bark, a company that “uses AI to alert parents and schools when children are experiencing issues like cyberbullying, depression, threats of violence — or in this case, targeting by sexual predators.” To help address this problem, Ryan poses online as an 11-year-old girl. In her article, she highlights the interactions aimed at this fictional child, and the screenshots are stomach-turning and vile.

But they’re also important because they reveal the speed at which online predators target children, the words and phrases they use, and their willingness to send pictures and videos of their genitalia to preteens. “Over the course of one week, over 52 men reached out to an 11-year-old girl,” Ryan wrote.

Read more at The Federalist 

Comments are closed.