A Planned Parenthood website for teenagers is promoting pornography to young people, Cybercast News Service reports.
A 2007 article on the Planned Parenthood-sponsored Teenwire.com website advises pornography use as a “lower-risk form of outercourse.” "Many couples can read or watch sexy stories or pictures together," the article states. "They can also share or act out sex fantasies.”
Another advice piece, “Porn vs. Reality,” warns that it is against federal law for anyone under 18 to view pornography. The article then says “however, not everyone follows the rules, and you may run across some porn before you turn 18.” The article says that many people enjoy pornography “alone or with a partner.” It continues, “People have different ideas of what is arousing, and there are many different kinds of porn that appeal to people's different interests."
On the website’s “Ask the Experts” page, one writer assures a student concerned pornography use will affect his grades that “there is no correlation between using pornography and getting bad grades in school.” The writer assured another teenager that masturbation and pornography use did not constitute cheating on his girlfriend.
Cris Clapp, congressional liaison for the anti-pornography group Enough is Enough, told Cybercast News Service that the website lacked key information. “Overall teenwire.com has painted a picture that pornography is harmless fun," he said. Clapp noted that internet pornography includes very graphic content, including violent sexual images.
Clapp cited the November 10, 2005 congressional testimony of author and family therapist Jill Manning, who said, "Children and adolescents are considered the most vulnerable audience of sexually explicit material."
Manning told congress that youth are easily coerced into viewing or producing pornography, and have a limited ability to process material they encounter, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. They can be victims of others’ pornography consumption, and their sexual and social development can be negatively affected by exposure to false or traumatic messages about sexuality and relationships. Pornography also encourages unrealistic expectations in youth about their future relationships.
"However, this legal reality is rapidly losing momentum as widespread availability and accessibility of pornography normalizes illegal exposure," she also said.
Clapp told Cybercast News Service parents needed to be involved in the education of their children. "Unfortunately, parents are outsourcing their responsibility to talk to their kids about healthy sexuality to teachers, the culture and sites like teenwire.com, without any understanding about the sort of misguided messages that our children are hearing," she added.