Porn-related taboo, stigma, fear of being judged, and shame are barriers to open conversations. Validating young people’s questions and reflecting on why they may be asking the question can help to open conversations.
Young people want adults to change the way they talk about porn. Negative adult messages often don’t match young people’s own porn experiences and can increase shame and stigma. Binary responses (e.g., porn is bad or wrong) can shut down conversations, but open and curious questions can help build critical thinking.
Health professionals may not have all the answers to porn-related questions. Delaying an answer until you have time to gather relevant information, or referring the young person to other supports services, can sometimes be the most helpful response.