Addressing Online Pornography

Supporting teens:  Do’s and Don’ts

Starting a conversation about online pornography with teens can be difficult but this is the age that they will need the most support to ensure they develop a healthy understanding of sex and relationships and consent.

Watch and see a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ from our ambassador Dr Linda Papadopoulos to be prepared to support teens on this issue.


Do’s to consider

Do talk about unrealistic representations of sex in pornography

Stress that what they are seeing is often a conflation of sex and violence, is dictated by a handful of pornographers that use extreme acts to shock people into watching and has little bearing on reality

Do talk about unrealistic representations of bodies pornography

The body image talk here is key for both boys and girls – everything from hairless bodies to fake breasts, talk about the misrepresentation of reality

Do talk about the impact of sexualisation on young people

Point it out wherever you see it – in signs, in music videos in magazines

Do get them to think critically about the images they see

Don’t let them be passive viewers get them to think about why women are being depicted in this way and the impact it has on expectations in relationships

Don’ts to consider

Dont allow pornographers to talk to them before you

You have the chance to influence how they absorb this material, make sure you take it

Don’t make them feel guilty about what they have seen

You want them to be able to come to you so you need to be on the same side

Don't forget to check in with them regularly

This is not a one-off conversation so raise it again when they get their first partner and talk about their feelings about intimacy and boundaries

Don't make it difficult for them to come to you

Have an open door policy, be patient, be on their side

Resources document

We’ve created an advice hub to offer parents more tips and advice to help protect from online pornography.

Visit advice hub