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Wider social impact of porn

Last Sunday's editorial ("No leaving kids to their own devices") was certainly helpful and needful.

While it is not easy to stop teenagers from accessing pornography, given the ubiquity of mobile phones, tablets and computers, parents' vigilance and teaching in a loving and trusting atmosphere can make a significant difference.

We need to realise that it is not just a matter of teens being exposed to unsavoury sexual content. This can lead to addiction to pornography and contribute to other social problems like sexual experimentation with strangers or prostitutes, and a distorted view of the opposite gender as "sex toys".

It is important for parents to set a positive example.

In my medical practice, I was shocked when a mother complained to me that her husband exposed their sons to a pornographic video to initiate what he called "sex education" and to "help them to be manly".

If an individual spends much of his time pursuing "sexual fantasies" by viewing pornography and ignoring the nurturing of a wholesome relationship with his spouse, this does not bode well for their union. If a marriage is not undertaken with commitment, responsibility and fidelity, but only with distorted views of sexual satisfaction, then it is no surprise to see increasing rates of divorce.

Much is at stake in helping children to develop healthy and wholesome concepts of sex and marriage. Pornography and distorted views of sex have no place in this process.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 17, 2016, with the headline 'Wider social impact of porn'. Print Edition | Subscribe