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Protect Children Not Porn: Require Age Verification & End Child Exposure to Adult Content

Protect Children Not Porn: Require Age Verification & End Child Exposure to Adult Content

US Congress, President Biden, VP Harris, Subcommittee on Children & Families, Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, & Law, Xavier Becerra (Sec. of the Dept. of HHS), Sundar Pichai (Google CEO), Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO), Tim Cook (Apple CEO)

Why Should You Sign?

Millions of children today are a few clicks away from the most graphic and violent sex acts imaginable, and their early exposure to porn can produce life-altering consequences. Big Porn and Big Tech platforms which host pornographic content have shown reckless disregard for kids and it’s time to unite in calling for effective online safeguards to protect children, not porn

Sign the petition and join this movement to save children from a lifetime of porn addiction, harmful brain rewiring, and dangerous sexual behavior. 

What we’re calling for:

  1. All websites hosting pornographic content must require their site visitors to verify their age with a government-issued ID, validated by a third-party platform.
  2. All internet-accessing devices sold must come with safety filters turned on (adults can disable).
  3. Lawmakers must pass legislation requiring effective safeguards be put in place to protect children from porn exposure online.

Why Child Exposure to Porn Is a Big Deal

Eight-year-old Caleb grabbed his mom’s phone one day while she was chatting with friends and did a few curious Google searches. His search instantly brought up images of naked women’s backsides. He clicked on one of those out of curiosity and, after a few clicks, ended up on Pornhub within SECONDS. 

Caleb’s mom, Brittany, later checked her iPhone history, and recalls, “I instantly felt like I needed to throw up once I saw the videos he had viewed on Pornhub in that 45 minutes. I had never seen such graphic and violent content as his little brain had to try and make sense of in that short timeframe. And each time he clicked on one of their videos, the page simply ‘recommended’ new videos that were increasingly more and more graphic—including clips of violent gang banging, anal sex, group sex, and terrible depictions of racism, unlike anything I could’ve imagined in my darkest nightmares.” 

Stories like this were once rare, but kids today are being raised on hardcore porn. The average age of porn exposure is now 11. A recent estimate of U.S. youths indicated that 84% of males and 57% of females ages 14-18 have been exposed to pornography. New research from security technology companies suggests that even young children, under age 10, now account for 22% of online porn consumption among minors. 

And for many kids, they didn’t go looking for porn, it came looking for them. One study revealed that 62% of 11 to 13-year-olds who reported having seen porn described their viewing as mostly unintentional.

What’s even more alarming is that many researchers and child protection experts view early exposure to porn as a form of child abuse. Science has proven porn use causes the erosion of willpower and shrinkage in the part of the brain involved with decision making, motivation, and academic performance. It’s not uncommon for 12-year-olds to admit they can’t stop watching porn. For a child, this could profoundly alter the trajectory of their entire life.

“I found it in the 6th grade and still haven't escaped. I am tired of fighting. It's been a long battle and I'm sick of this disgusting monster that has overtaken me. I hate how widely accepted porn is in our society and how easy it is to find. You can find it anywhere... It's been 9 years and I'm still fighting.” -Nicholas

What Exactly Are Kids Seeing?

One study revealed that 45% of Pornhub scenes included at least one act of physical aggression, such as gagging, slapping, or choking. Scenes depicting child sexual abuse, incest, and gang rape are incredibly easy to find—sometimes the porn itself is real sexual crime on film. With very little regulation on porn tube sites, where users can upload whatever they want, it’s virtually impossible to tell which videos are not criminal. 

“At the age of 16 I was curious about sex so I started searching Pornhub. I came across a video titled ‘Anal Rape Punishment’ and now it’s seared into my memory. The camera angle was at the top corner of a trailer bedroom, like a security camera. There was nothing but a mattress in the room. The girl was tied up and bent over screaming in pain and trying to kick and get away. He just kept grabbing her harder. I was sick to my stomach. I just watched a man rape someone.” -Elijah

A Devastating Impact on Children

In addition to the harmful brain changes mentioned above, studies have shown that, for children, the implications of porn use can include self-isolation from family and peers, as well as increased levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Studies have also revealed a connection between porn consumption and harmful sexual behavior, including an increased likelihood of committing sexual harassment and rape. One study showed that about 70% of high school boys who were frequent viewers of porn—including content that featured violence and the abuse of children—reported that porn made them want to try out what they had seen. 

“When I was in middle school, I had a boyfriend who had a serious porn addiction and would send me videos he downloaded off Pornhub. He would tell me if I don’t act like them and do exactly what they were doing he would kill me. He gave me an ultimatum: have sex with me by your birthday or kill yourself. I tried to kill myself and failed. He then knocked me unconscious and proceeded to rape me. When I asked him why he did what he did, he told me it was just a kink he caught while watching porn. He said ‘it’s just BDSM, look it up, girls love to get raped and threatened with death.’” -Rebecca*

Who Is to Blame?

Our society would never allow a child to walk into a store and be handed a free pack of cigarettes and a bottle of vodka. Yet millions of sites hosting porn have made the online world a minefield for kids who, whether they intend to or not, are seeing this content in their own bedrooms.

Porn companies are doing almost nothing to protect kids from accessing their content. With no age restrictions on most sites hosting pornographic content, it seems obvious that these "adult" companies—who profit off the web traffic—don’t mind kids having an all-access pass to videos of the most deviant sexual scenarios imaginable, all within a few clicks. 

And it’s not just porn sites who are to blame. Twitter, who openly allows porn per its terms of service, only requires users to be 13. Google’s “SafeSearch” isn’t safe when it can be disabled in moments by clicking a box, and even this feature is turned off by default. 

Big Tech and Big Porn have consistently shown a reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of children online. They’re harvesting the innocence of children, and it’s time for them to be called to account. As a society, it’s our job to put the pressure on.

It’s Time to Fight

We believe there’s still time to create a society where children’s sexual templates aren’t shaped by the deviant fantasies of porn producers and criminals. Where children can thrive and be free from the life-altering consequences of porn exposure during the most formative years of their lives.

We’re in an urgent hour and we need your voice in this fight! Sign and share the petition today.

Learn more at exoduscry.com/PCNP 

*These are true stories collected by Exodus Cry. Some names have been changed to protect privacy. See more stories at exoducry.com/pcnp