Pornhub Launches “Sex Ed” Site

Pornhub Launches “Sex Ed” Site

Pornhub Launches “Sex Ed” Site. Is This a Play to Market to Kids?

By Crissy May* 

I grew up in a family that displayed pornographic pictures around the house, encouraged aggressive sexual talk, and never addressed the healthy side of a sexual relationship. Due to these experiences, I entered my marriage not knowing how to have a healthy relationship with my spouse. I had to relearn everything that I had learned in order to have the wonderful experience of a healthy intimate relationship.  

Think back to when you were a teenager. Where did you go to learn about sex and intimacy? Did you ask your friends or parents? Did you look in books at the library or use the internet? According to recent research done by Steiner-Adair & Baker (2013) as well as Cohn (2009), teenagers are seeking advice and knowledge about sex from the internet more and more each year. According to the latter study, the most prominent source of “information” is online pornography.

Recently PornHub, the most popular porn website in the United States has opened a new webpage on sexual education. The biggest concern that anyone should have about this “educational” resource is the desired outcome of its creators. PornHub’s main concern has always been about promoting business and making money. This means that while this webpage may look like a reliable source for some sexual advice, it can also be used as a way to promote their pornography business. In other words, any teenager who access this webpage may come across content that would encourage the use of pornography which leads to unrealistic and confusing ideas about sex.

When looking at the main page, one might think that PornHub is trying to inform their customers about contraception, sexual autonomy, and consent; however, at a closer look, it becomes clear that its main goal is to encourage unhealthy sexual views.  While none of the articles contain pornographic pictures, some such as “What Happens at Play Parties? Notes from a Study” provide links to suggestive articles about BDSM and sex parties, some containing mild porn. While another article describes sexual positions and encourages the reader to look deeper by using very explicit descriptions. PornHub has also “conveniently” added a link at the bottom of all the pages to their main website; leaving easy access to their pornographic content.

Another way that PornHub draws teenagers into their business is by providing information that is appealing yet essentially incorrect. For example, while searching through The Sexual Wellness Center’s articles on contraception, I came across an article titled “Outercourse”. This article states that outercourse is abstinence since it prevents pregnancy; however it still encourages you to do any other pleasurable sexual acts. This just isn’t “abstinence.” In other words, PornHub is trying to win over teenagers by telling them appealing “advice”; such as one can be abstinent and still have sex.   

It is always important to remember that the safest and most reliable place for a teenager to learn about sex is from their parents. If we, as parents do not reach out and provide a safe place to learn and talk about sex, we are allowing them to become exposed to harmful and demeaning information. We can teach them through conversations about consent, sexual health and identity, and the difference between the pornographic “ideal” of sex and a healthy one.

These conversations should be open and safe for your child to ask and speak. For more information about how to talk to your children about sex check out our book 30 Days of Sex Talks. Other books that will help you with this critical subject are How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography and 30 Days to a Stronger Child.

*Author’s name has been changed to protect anonymity.

References:

Cohn, D. (2009, May). Teens, sex and the internet: A pilot study on the internet and its impacts on adolescent health and sexuality. Drexel University School of Public Health.

Steiner-Adair, C., & Barker, T. H. (2013). The big disconnect: Protecting childhood and family relationships in the digital age. New York City: HarperCollins.