WARNING! Your child could be acting in porn movies behind your back.


It is a fact that today’s adolescents watch much more pornography than even their parents know — and it’s shaping their ideas about pleasure, power and intimacy. On average, boys are around 13 and girls around 14, when they first see pornography.

The mainstream websites don’t verify one’s age and the phone allows them to watch porn away from the scrutinising eyes of adults. Besides, there’s a decent chance their parents don’t think they are watching porn.

Parental naïveté gap.

Majority of the parents underestimate what their kids see online. Pornography is now so pervasive and easy to access online that teenagers often stumble across the most graphic images by mistake, and avoiding pornography altogether is increasingly difficult. Even those who don’t intend to seek out pornography can end up watching the images alone in secret.

The situation has been worsened now by the fact that children are performing sexual acts in front of webcams on mobile phones and in cyber cafés for online 'clients'.

Terres des Hommes Netherlands’, a Dutch child rights organisation that has worked in Kenya since 1968, found that online child sexual exploitation was a real threat in Kenya.

According to a research conducted in February, there are an estimated 750,000 online individuals looking to connect with children at any moment.

It revealed that Kenyan children are actively sharing nude photos with strangers online. Worse still, there is evidence to suggest that children are becoming increasingly involved in live streaming of sexual acts from private residences and cyber cafés.

One form of abuse is live performance by children of sexual acts in front of a webcam or mobile phone camera. This is instantaneously transmitted to online adult viewers.

Other forms include the distribution of child pornography and online sexual grooming in which sex predators prepare their victims for eventual exploitation.

Whereas girls used to be the ones most exploited, currently young boys are becoming increasingly involved. These children are actively befriending strangers online and often receive requests to share intimate photos of themselves, activities which mostly take place in private residences as well as through the unregulated cyber café industry.

Cyber cafes in Kenya offer access to public chat rooms, social media, video chatting and other file sharing software. Some also provide private back rooms where their customers, including children, can enjoy greater privacy as long as they pay.

An early fixation with pornography can damage teenagers’ lives for years to come. As school pupils across the country are introduced to sex through explicit videos online, few realise how their time spent watching pornography will affect their brains, relationships and studies later in life.

Children and young teenagers are often emotionally confused by the sexual videos they find online, and can struggle to cope with the emotions that come with sexual feeling. They treat it like candy, seeking a quick thrill, but it can be detrimental to their relationships.

To limit the potential of online child sexual exploitation committed in cyber cafés and in private rooms, the government must take steps to better regulate the operations of cyber cafes in the country. 

It needs to strengthen existing laws to expressly criminalise online child sexual exploitation and through regularisation of usage of cyber cafés.

(Heavily borrowed from an article by the The Standard Media Group)

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