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September 26, 2019 37 mins

Are you holding a smartphone or sitting down at your laptop right now? If so, you’re just a few clicks away from free, hardcore pornography. There are no explicit content warnings, and no age verifications to make you think twice about clicking "play”—which means kids as young as 9 and 10 are being exposed to sex for the first time via sites like PornHub. But what happens when porn becomes a form of sex education? On this special preview episode of Next Question with Katie Couric, Katie talks to a young woman who believes porn led to her boyfriend’s scary behavior during sex, and gets real teens to open up about their experiences with porn. Later, she sits down with anti-porn activist Dr. Gail Dines and sex educator Al Vernacchio to tackle how parents can counteract the alarming messages their kids may be absorbing—not just about sex, but about consent, gender equality, and what a healthy relationship actually looks like. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Next Question with Katie Kuric is a production of I
Heart Radio and Katie Kuric Media. Hi everyone, I'm Katie Curic,
and welcome to Next Question, where we try to understand
the complicated world we're living in and the crazy things
that are happening by asking questions and by listening to
people who really know what they're talking about. At times,

(00:23):
it may lead to some pretty uncomfortable conversations, but stick
with me, everyone, let's all learn together. Today we're talking
about sex, and you may not want your kids to listen,
but you definitely should, and not just your run of
the mill missionary stuff. We're talking about scary sex. And

(00:45):
I'm using the words scary because a recent study showed
that nearly a quarter of women in the United States
say they have felt scared during sex. That's because there
seems to be a culture of coersion going on where
expected and sometimes unwanted sex like anal sex and choking

(01:05):
is happening more and more, and experts believe it has
to do with porn and how it's shaping heterosexual relationships.
In particular. I felt like I was hearing about this
everywhere I went. I was having coffee with a friend,
and she told me that health clinics on campuses, we're
seeing a lot of college students with anal fissures. I

(01:27):
even casually asked my gynecologist about these new and yes scary,
sexual trends when I was getting a pap. Smere how appropriate,
and she answered with an emphatic yes. She told me
she hears this from her patients all the time, and
she had just had this very conversation with a young
woman the other day. So here's my next question, What

(01:50):
the hell is going on here? I'm all for consenting
adults doing what they want, but where is this sexual
pressure coming from? So I asked my doctor if she
was willing to put me in touch with that patient.
He told me that the harder I choke you, you'll

(02:11):
have a better orgasm. He's like, haven't you ever seen
one of those videos where the guys choking the girl
and she just has the best orgasm of her life.
And I said no, He's like, believe me, you will.
That's the patient my doctor had told me about. Trish,
a thirty year old therapist studying to become a psychologist.

(02:33):
She just ended an eight month relationship with her boyfriend.
There were certain things that I felt very uncomfortable with.
When it came to sex. He enjoyed sweet sex, but
there was also a side where he wanted to have
rough sex as well, which made me feel a little uncomfortable.
When you talk about rough sex, what do you mean

(02:55):
by that? Rough sex? Meaning that he liked to choke,
he liked to pull hair, he liked to do anal sex,
which I've never done before until recently. And he just
wanted to almost do a porn like kind of sexual

(03:16):
intercourse almost which didn't feel very authentic, but felt kind
of acted out, almost like he was performing somehow. Yeah,
like he and he was performing like and he wanted
me to perform with him as well. Did you talk
to him about it? No, I didn't. When he would
do certain things, I always expressed a little discomfort. He

(03:37):
would always say, I'm not going to hurt you. I
didn't feel like I could talk to him about it
because I didn't want to be that girl, you know,
that girl that doesn't want to please her boyfriend, that
girl that's you know, just kind of like a wet
blanket almost. You didn't want him to think you weren't
game or fun, yeah, or adventurous and wanted to be

(03:59):
sexy for him, wanted to please him, and that's how
he like to be pleased during sex. Were you surprised
when this happened when he asked for anal sex. I
was surprised. Even when I told him that I wasn't
comfortable doing it, he said that we're going to have

(04:19):
to get you used to it sounds terrible. I think
he had a lot of influence by porn and watching
what's going on in those videos, and he wanted to
act it out with me. Did you talk to him
about porn? Did he ever discuss it with you? He did.
He did tell me that he does watch it when

(04:40):
I'm not home or when I'm not around. One day,
I was on the computer and I went through the
history and I saw that he was watching it when
I was at home, and I saw a name of
a video called Brunet Girl Gets Punished. I didn't bother
opening it because I can only imagine what's that video.

(05:01):
But I could imagine there's a lot of anal sex
going on, rough sex, hair pulling, and everything that he liked.
I think it turned him on to see a woman
almost telling her boyfriend or whoever she's having sex with. No,
I don't want to the first time he tried to
choke you, did he ask permission or did he just

(05:22):
do it? He just put his hand around my neck
and started gripping it. I was on top and he
was just looking at me, and he just put his
hand around my neck and he started gripping tightly, and
I could feel his grip getting tighter and tighter, and
then I put my hand on top of his and
I pulled it away and I told him, easy, don't

(05:45):
choke me like that. I don't like it. And then
he eased his grip. But that wasn't the last time
he choked you. He continued to yeah, but gently over
the next few weeks. Did you ever feel like you
couldn't breathe? Yes, there was a time where he was
behind me and he put his arm around my neck

(06:07):
and he was almost gripping me in like a in
a chokeold and he was going a little too tight
where I felt like I had to use both my
hands to pull him off, And he was just so
into it that I don't think he realized how hard
he was going. Where I had to scream his name,

(06:30):
and I told him get off of me, and then
I just I was like, I'm not doing this, and
I had a fight with him and that was the
end of that. Do you think porn shaped your boyfriend's
view of what sex should be. Yes, I believe so,
because sex is, in my opinion, it's supposed to be intimate.

(06:52):
It's supposed to be between two people who love each other,
and it's supposed to feel comfortable for you both. It's
not feeling comfortable for the other person. Are you really
having sex? What are you doing? Are you acting out
of fantasy, which I felt like, what was what was
going on? Or are you replicating what you've seen? Yes?
I think he was replicating what he was seeing on

(07:15):
those videos. It was heartbreaking to listen to Trish, and
I wondered how many other young women were experiencing this.
I asked her if this was something she talked about
with her friends. I don't discuss anything with my friends
like that because I don't even know where to begin
and tell them that my boyfriend is doing anal sex

(07:38):
with me and he wants to put his hands around
my neck. It's almost embarrassing to say. I have great friends,
but at the same time, I feel like my friends
would be like, what are you doing in this relationship?
If you're not happy or if he's doing this to you,
you know it's not respectful. He doesn't love you. And
I don't want to hear those things because I do

(07:59):
believe that he loves me. It's just those are the
things that he likes. I remember one time when we
were having sex, I was like talking to him in
a very vulgar way, and I told him, I want
you to put your hands around my neck, just to
see what he would say. I've never seen him look
so excited when I told him to do that. I

(08:20):
just wanted to see what he would say and what
his reaction would be when I said that, and it
turned him on like crazy. Did that give you pleasure?
It didn't give me pleasure when he was doing it,
but it gave me pleasure to see that he was
enjoying it. I can't imagine someone doing that to me.
I would be terrified and more than uncomfortable. I think

(08:45):
I would be afraid. But this was something that you
were willing to do because you saw that he liked it.
Even if you didn't, do you feel this was consensual
I'm going to say yes, because at the end of
the day, I still allowed him to do it, not
because I wanted to, but I wanted to please him.

(09:08):
So in me, I still allowed him to choke me.
I still allowed him to do anal sex with me.
I could have easily said no and fought with him
and expressed my concern and that's not what makes me comfortable.
And we should make each other happy. It's not just
one way. But I didn't do that. I don't know

(09:28):
about you, but I was completely floored. Here's an attractive,
educated woman who allowed herself to be subjected to this.
Clearly porn played a big part in Tricia's relationship, which
she did eventually end. So why is this happening? To
find out, we tracked down the foremost expert on the

(09:49):
effects of violent porn. If he gets his kicks out
of choking you, I'm blocking off your passages while he
is aroused. I would be a big concerned about being
around with such a person now in today's culture. Of course,
he's learned that from Paul. We'll have more on that
right after this. Tricia's story was unsettling, to say the least,

(10:14):
but not isolated. As we've mentioned, a quarter of women
are experiencing sex with partners that frightens them. So where
is this coming from? When I was growing up, if
a guy would have said to me, would you mind
if I ejaculate on your face and choke you as
I'm having sex? I would have thought she was a
psychopath and run. That's Dr Gail Dines, a professor of

(10:35):
sociology and women's studies. She has spent over thirty years
studying porn and sexual violence, and she's also the author
of porn Land How Porn has Hijacked our sexuality. Okay,
so my question to you would be, you know what
quote your interest about this topic. I was at a
conference in California. A man came up to me. We

(10:57):
started talking. He said, you know, you should really look
into doing something on the effects of porn on young men.
We had a speaker at my son's school and she
really shocked the parents because she asked them questions about
certain sexual acts that their kids were probably experiencing, or

(11:22):
that people were pressuring their kids into doing. Do you
know what those three sexual acts are? What we know
from studies is that the three major sex acts in
porn is number one ejaculating on a woman's face and
increasingly in her eyes. The second major sex act is choking.
First is choking with a penis to the penis so

(11:43):
far down the throat that she begins to gag. The
third major act is one of them of these called
a t M, which actually translates to ask to mouth,
where the penis goes into the anus and then into
the mouth without washing. This sounds extreme. It sounds like,
you know, you have to go spent fifteen minutes looking
for these. These are the things that in eleven year

(12:03):
old boy when he puts porn into Google, this is
the only thing he's going to see. I don't want
to even instruct people how to do this necessarily, you know,
but Google it so it's ubiquitous and it's accessible. When
we're talking about porn hub, which one, but he's free
and he's accessible within six seconds, five seconds, four seconds.

(12:25):
You just put porn hub in and there you go.
And this is where the boys first go to because
it's free and because he's so accessible, and he's anonymous,
and that's drives demand. We spoke to one boy who
had this to say, I am fourteen and the age
that I discovered what pornography was was probably around tennish.
It's not very difficult at all. I mean you can

(12:46):
find it on almost any browser anything. You can find
a way to get it. It's all anonymous and it says, oh,
you're the eighteen plus, But I mean there's nothing to
verify it, like, there's not even a like slider to
put your age or anything like that. No other industry
is as unregulated as the porn industry. This is one

(13:07):
of the things I want to ask is how have
we managed to have this multibillion dollar a year industry
which is virtually unregulated completely. It is an outrage that
this has happened. Just let that sink in. Instant anonymous
access to hardcore porn, seven millions of hardcore videos and

(13:27):
no age verification whatsoever from your phone, laptop, tablet. And
here are the scary statistics. A third of young people
have seen porn by the time they're twelve years old.
Eight percent of top rented or downloaded porn contained scenes
depicting violence against women. How have they been able to

(13:49):
stay under the radar? I would say through complete willful
ignorance on the part of adults who have been charged
with taking care of teens. I have lobbied politicians along
with some very very powerful child lobbyists who've worked with me.
The porn industry is actually targeting young boys. It's not
like the politicians don't know. There is no desire in

(14:11):
this country to go after the porn industry. And let
me just say one thing. Giving out free porn to
kids is the equivalent of me standing out in middle
school giving out free cigarettes. I wouldn't be allowed to
do that. I wouldn't be allowed to stand outside and say,
you know what, I'll be here tomorrow and tomorrow. Porn
harb gets more visitors than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.

(14:31):
Porn is about a third of the Internet. But you
could say it is one of the largest above ground
industries in the world that is trading on misogyny and
violence against women. So a lot of the boys and
young men who are being brought up on pornography are
playing porn sect out on these girls. The women and
girls are the collateral damage of the porn industry. It

(14:55):
sounds to me like it's this tragic alchemy of violent pornography,
toxic masculinity, low self esteem for women, and a hook
up culture, and I would add in I think loss
of real feminism, because once you have a feminist analysis,

(15:16):
it gives you, as a woman a sense of understanding
the world like nothing else and a sense of agency.
My experiences with young women is that they've got nobody
to talk to, nobody has helped them navigate this. They
feel like they're drowning and yet been socialized in this
culture to think that you have two choices. You're either
fuckable or invisible. You heard Trish's story, she was so

(15:40):
honest about it. I'm sure you've heard stories like hers
before when you listen to Trish. Was that a fairly
typical Yes? I mean I hear those stories, and I
hear them from younger women. By the way, I've increasingly
been speaking in high schools and I hear them from
high schoolers as well. Very very typical. Now, this is
the norm of what's going on, and I think it's

(16:01):
hard for older women to really know what it's like.
Trit initially thought it was consensual. She liked pleasing her boyfriend,
and she's talked about him getting incredibly aroused when she
suggested he choke her. So was it consensual? No? Because
like all women, and I'm all of us included here

(16:24):
is that we are socialized to please men. And I
cannot believe that any one of us, given a socialization
where we felt truly liberated in this world, would agree
to being choked and being fearful in sex. But you
say yes because really what's on offer, no doesn't exist,
So you have to say yes to what you can stand.

(16:47):
And saying yes and negotiating to what you can stand
is not consent. It's just survival. It's women surviving in
a toxic, patriarchal poorm culture. So no, it is not consent.
And we have unfortunately trained our girls not to really
understand the way in which we have had our voices
taken away from us, our sense of power taken away

(17:10):
from us. Not only are we traumatizing our girls through
porn culture, but we are traumatizing a whole generation of boys.
We now know that most boys across the Western world
use pornography as their major form of sex education. What
does it mean to that eleven year old boy to
masturbate two images of sexual violence? This is a much
deeper issue of traumatizing our boys. And when you traumatize

(17:31):
our boys, sexually and you work into their sexual template
hardcore porn, then what you do is you traumatize our
girls because they then play that out on the girls.
So we are basically laying waste to a generation of
girls and boys through mainstream hardcore free pornography. We wanted
to ask some teenagers about their experiences with porn. This

(17:54):
is what they had to say. I'm fifteen years old
and I'm a sophomore in high school. The first time
I remember seeing porn, it's probably when I was twelve
years old. I'd say the first time I was very
disturbed by um. An image in porn was probably a
reference to like rape. For the most part, women are

(18:15):
portrayed as the almost like the vehicle for the dudes.
Um it sounds weird, satisfaction or whatever. I'm fifteen and
I'm currently a freshman. I believe I was either eleven
or twelve when I first discovered prenography. I know of
videos of like gang bangs or raping women on those sites.

(18:37):
It's is really just not a good thing. It signs
real light them what some people could describe as entertaining.
I know of rumors that girls do like to be
choked but that's not I know for a fact that's
not all of them. The anal sex intrusion thing, I
honestly think that's just messed up. That's probably pretty scared

(19:00):
you a god just assumes that's what they want. I'm
seventeen years old. I'd say I first started to understand
what pornography was in fifth grade. I'd say I first
saw porn around maybe six or seventh grade. I would
have been twelve or thirteen. In porn, females are usually

(19:21):
depicted as the main focus is their body. That's pretty
much it. In the majority of porn, the guys and
not necessarily asking permission to do anything. I just expected
that the woman will go along. I think that it
can lead to like men having that attitude towards women
are just having misogynistic thoughts. There are definitely a lot

(19:42):
of guys that are watching like violent horn. Wow. I
know it's pretty overwhelming and such graphic language. But where
do we go from here? It seems like the genie
is out of the bottle, right, But don't worry, there
is hope, and it comes from a surprising source. A
sex ed teacher at a Quaker school. More on that, right,

(20:06):
after this, So what are you supposed to do with
all this? It's hugely depressing and if you're a parent,
you probably want to crawl into a hole right now.
Alvernacchio is a teacher in Winnwood, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, and
he has what he thinks is the best solution for

(20:29):
dealing with this porn culture. What happens today is that
young people, because of the great vacuum of information or conversation,
they encounter this material and they are curious, and they
are turned on, and they are hungry for information, and

(20:50):
they think, well, nobody's talking to me, this must be it.
We need to be able to not only counteract that message,
but start at a much younger age saying, when you
see stuff like that, that's actually not what sex is about.
That's not what relationships are about, that's not what intimacy

(21:10):
is about. That's performance. That's fantasy, and not even fantasy
in terms of the good, helpful fantasy that can teach
you something useful, the fantasy that is sort of corrupting
and that gives messages that are the opposite of what
we're supposed to be trying to do as human beings.

(21:33):
How do you do that, though, would you say to
a boy when he's eight years old or nine years old.
We've heard how young they are when they first are
exposed to porn. Hey, there's this stuff out there called pornography, boys,
and I want you to be aware because if you're
trying to pre empt this kind of cultural conditioning, if
you will, or visual stimuli, you have to introduce it

(21:57):
at a very young age. Absolutely, And parents and carrying
adults might choose to actually talk about pornography with eight
year olds, I don't. What I talk about with eight
year olds is gender equity. And let's look at the media.
What are eight year olds looking at their watching cartoons,
they're playing video games. Let's take a look at the
way that characters are portrayed in those games and are

(22:21):
treated based upon their gender. And are they seeing messages
that male characters are always in charge? Are they seeing
messages that it's unusual to see a group of superheroes
that's largely female dominated. It's usually a bunch of guys
and one or two women. And just beginning to ask

(22:43):
questions about what do you think that's about? Why do
you think there aren't more women's superheroes that you're looking
at in your comic books. What's that saying about the
place that girls and women have in the world. We
begin with what's in one of them, and we help
them begin to ask questions so that when they do

(23:06):
encounter material like hardcore pornography, there primed to ask that question.
Wait a minute, that woman is being used completely as
an object. And I've already been told that whenever we
treat a human being as an object, that's disrespectful, that's devaluing.
So what are the transferable skills that we can do

(23:29):
in sexuality education early on that when they get to
be high school kids in my class and I can
talk to them explicitly and frankly about pornography, that I
can say, you're not just hearing these ideas for the
first time. We've been talking about it for years in
our classes. You know, remember what I said when you
were in nursery school about who gets to be a princess? Well,

(23:53):
that has applications when we look at material like this.
The problem is our culture is oh afraid of talking
about human sexuality, is so afraid of sexuality education because
they don't understand what it really is. That we run
from it and I think parents, and I don't fault

(24:14):
parents for this. Parents don't have training, parents don't know
how to begin these conversations. So part of my job
is also to be with parents and to say this
is how we can do this. These are some questions
you can ask, these are some conversations you can have,
and helping them feel empowered to be able to talk
to the young people in their lives. I think it's

(24:35):
so funny because I'm a progressive sexuality educator, but a
lot of the things I talk about sound like what
people used to refer to as like, you know, good
wholesome values. Because what is healthy sexuality. It's pleasurable, it's respectful,
it's authentic, it's honest. None of those things are about porn.

(24:56):
And so those messages alone are really instrumental when they
then hit this material. So they have some sense, some
critical awareness to be able to say, wait a minute,
I'm not just going to get swept up in this
and just be carried away by it. I'm going to
at least have a moment where I can say what's
going on here. So part of your curriculum is really

(25:17):
values education, absolutely, and you set the table so that
when young men and young women encounter this kind of material,
they can be critical thinkers and analyze it. But you
also talk about porn informed sex ed. And that means
that when they are of the appropriate age, or when

(25:40):
they start to understand that this kind of material is
out there, you talk about it pretty openly. Sure. So,
for example, in my ninth grade class, one of the
questions that I want to ask, and that conversations I
want to have with kids is what does it mean
when we say have sex with somebody? How is that defined?
Because what are culture says, and what the porn culture

(26:01):
certainly says is that sex is about, you know, conquest
and power and penetration. Yeah, a lot of the conversations
about sex, you know, have some kind of requirement of
penile penetration. Right, So I say to kids, if you
are defining sex solely by behavior, you know, a penis

(26:24):
goes into this body part, that's what counts as sex.
What does that definition mean? Look at what it doesn't say.
Doesn't say anything about consent, doesn't say anything about mutual pleasure,
doesn't say anything about connection. So then I get to say, well,
what if we made a definition of sex that wasn't
about what we did, but about the way we did it.

(26:47):
What if we said sex was a consensual, mutually pleasurable
sexual activity that help people connect. If that's a definition
that you grew up with around what sex is supposed
to be, then when you come to look at porn,
you're going to say that's not sex. Well, that's not
the definition of sex that I learned now. I know

(27:09):
that's a radical shift, but I think part of what
good sexuality education is about is confronting those assumptions that
we don't want to talk about in society and saying, no,
let's reframe that, let's look at it a different way.
And when we do that, we really can create opportunities
for insight and awareness and for kids to grow in

(27:33):
authentic directions that aren't just guided by these sort of
ruts that they want to get forced into. Are you
an anomaly or do many teachers now use this approach.
I'm not an anomaly. Many of my colleagues are doing
this work, but we are few in number. In the
United States, only twenty states currently mandate any kind of

(27:56):
sexuality education in schools, and only thirteen of those states
require that the education be medically accurate. What Yes, only
three states specifically say that you cannot promote religion in
the teaching of sex said, even our legislation is so

(28:17):
far behind and gives us so little support in doing it.
I happen to work in an independent school. I think
that's where you're seeing a lot of progressive sex said,
Although certainly I have colleagues working in public school systems,
and I get called into a lot of public schools
to give talks to students and to faculty and to parents,
and I'm happy to do that. But you know, I

(28:38):
think where Gail is working really at the level of
a lot of the power brokers. You know, my work
is really a lot in the grassroots. I'm talking directly
to parents and to kids and to teachers and just
trying to say to them, here's ways where we can
all be having these conversations and we can have an
impact on kids, a really powerful positive impact, And why

(29:01):
aren't we doing that? Sadly, we all can have an
al bnachio in our lives. So we're going to close
things out by bringing Gail back in and having al
stick around. What can parents do? What can be done
about the peign culture? We find ourselves then okay, well,
this was the question we asked ourselves, a culture reframed

(29:24):
what can we do? And what was very clear when
we brought together public health experts, pediatric nurses, at lesser psychologists,
sexual health experts, is we need to educate parents. All
public health research shows that the more educated and the
more skilled parents are, the more robust and the more
healthy their kids will be. So when we looked around

(29:45):
and we thought, well, you know what's out there for parents,
to my absolute shock, there was nothing. There was no
online program to help parents. So what we did is
we brought together eight of the top consultants in the
field multiple fields pediatrics, adolescent psychology, sexual health, and we
built a thirteen module online program for parents to teach

(30:09):
parents about puberty, about pornography, about st d s, about
how to even have the conversations with you. Because you
really have a how to website for program. The whole
program set out where you can go on for five minutes,
five hours, twenty hours, is free. You just have to
sign up and anyone can access it. And it's for

(30:29):
parents of tweens. At this moment, we are now about
to build the parents of Teens program, So we started
with nine to twelve year olds because we hope that
you could get to them before the point industry could.
That's up there, fully finished, and then in January the
Parents of Teens program will be up. All I know
this is something you're trying to do not only teach kids,

(30:50):
but you're also trying to equip parents. Absolutely. In my book,
which is called for Goodness, sex Changing the way we
talked to young people about sexuality, values and health, it's
really written for parents and caring adults who want to
get better at talking to young people about healthy sexuality.
It has examples of things you might say, It has
ways to answer questions. It talks about pornography specifically in

(31:13):
one of the chapters, so that's a resource. I think
they're also amazing resources that are there. Amazed dot org
is a terrific website that is doing very short animated
films for parents of middle schoolers, talking about everything from
body image to consent to pornography. So there's good information
out there. We have to help parents get to that information.

(31:36):
What I would say to a parent who wants a
quick solution and this is not my idea comes from
Debbie Roffman, who's an amazing sexuality educator, is lose the
idea of having a big talk around the dinner table.
You know, it's always better to have a hundred one
minute conversations with your kid than having one minute conversation
with your kid. My dream would be to be able

(31:57):
to write those one minute conversation and get them online
so parents can say, here's a woman at conversation about
body image, here's a one minute conversation about consent, here's
a one minute conversation about porn. Because they're all kind
of they're kind of entwined, aren't they. From what I
heard today from Trish, her willingness to do things that
she didn't feel comfortable about that were shaped by porn

(32:20):
that was consumed by her boyfriend. And so it all
seems to be connected, doesn't it. And you have to
work on these core values. But when it comes to
porn itself, what is the best thing a parent can do, Gail,
in terms of really being an antidote to the violent
porn their kids might be consuming. Well, I think the

(32:41):
most important thing is to talk about gender equality. And
when we say respect, it's not just about respect for women.
It's self respect for boys as well. We have put
the bar very low on how boys think about their
own bodily integrity and their own bodily boards. And we
spend a lot of time in the program and culture.
If I'm talking about how do you teach a boy,
then in fact he's got his own boundaries and boarders

(33:03):
to respect, not just also respecting girls boundaries and boarders.
And I think the most important thing is what Al
said is you scaffold you start at an early age.
You obviously don't talk about one which is a five
year old, but you can talk about the factors. What
right does somebody have to touch somebody who they don't know,
And then as you go up develop mentally, that becomes

(33:24):
around sex and what right do they have to do that?
So you have to have many conversations. And I have
to say this porn culture gives you a thousand teachable
moments a minute. You're just going down the stream and
you've got this big picture from Victoria's Secrets of a
woman with barely any clothes on. There's a teachable moment.
Ask your kid, how often do you see a woman
walking through the street like that? And why is it

(33:44):
a woman? Up there and not a man. What do
you think that says about the difference between women and men?
You have that conversation and then you move on. You
don't do these long lectures because then, of course, you know,
you could think, to your most stupid person in the world,
abound eleven or twelve, and it doesn't want to hear
too very long. So use everything you see as a
quick teachableman, and then move on and go and get
an ex screen. But use the culture and all the
toxic things the culture offers you to basically reframe it

(34:08):
in a more progressive feminist way. And conversely, al you
have to have positive Well that's what I was just
gonna say. The other thing that I want to add
is boys are learning so much today about toxic masculinity,
which is really important. But we also need to teach
boys about what does positive, non toxic masculinity look like.
So we want to help we we want to absolutely

(34:30):
make sure boys know when they're straying into or when
they're being socialized into toxic masculinity. But what does masculinity
look like that's not toxic. I don't know that we're
doing a good enough job to help boys know that
so that also have that model and help parents kind
of give their boys the values that will teach them

(34:52):
how to respect girls, their boundaries, all the values that
you want to impart on them. That is the job parents,
once you have a kid, Your job is to take
on the culture in all of its greatness and all
of its ugliness, in order to make sure and protect
your children. That is really your job as a parent,
And you know what, it's a job also of every adult,

(35:13):
because really they're all our kids. Your kids are my kids,
my kids are your kids. We are in this collectively,
and the next generation is only as healthy as our kids.
Gail and Al, thank you both so much. I've learned
so much, and I think this is such an important conversation.
I can't thank you enough. Wow, are you as freaked

(35:34):
out as much as I am? I guess kids are
naturally going to be curious about sex. A friend of
mine told me recently she had found some hardcore porn
that had been downloaded on her desktop. She found out
it was her eleven year old son, and he had
shared it with his nine year old brother. The good news, though,

(35:54):
is they had a conversation about it. The bad news
most kids are doing this without their parents knowing. I
don't think we're going to ban porn on the internet,
and I'm not even sure laws will work, but clearly
we need to be talking about this with our kids,
and as our guest Trish showed us, with our partners too,

(36:14):
and I think porn informed sex said is absolutely imperative.
Thanks so much for listening, everyone, and until we meet again,
make sure to follow me on Instagram. I'm at Katie
Curik and sign up for my daily newsletter is called

(36:34):
wake Up Call, and you can do that by going
to Katie Currek dot com. Next Question with Katie Curic
is a production of I Heart Radio and Katie Curic Media.
The executive producers are Katie Kuric, Lauren Bright Pacheco, Julie Douglas,
and Tyler Clang. Our show producers are Bethan Macaluso and
Courtney Litz. The supervising producer is Dylan Fagin. Associate producers

(36:55):
are Emily Pinto and Derek Clemens. Editing is by Dylan
Fagin and Old Berlante. Our researcher is Barbara Keene. For
more information on today's episode, go to Katie currect dot com.
And follow us on Twitter and Instagram at Katie correct.
For more podcasts for My Heart Radio, visit the I

(37:18):
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