It also revealed that early conversation makes kids stronger and insulates them against lowered self-esteem if their romantic partners view porn.

"Talking to kids about the negative effects of pornography appears to build the resilience of emerging adults when they become involved in a relationship with somebody whose actions could otherwise damage their self-esteem," the authors noted.

Parents can even use media, positive or negative, to spark conversations about real life. The team from the Texas Tech University in Lubbock found that children of parents who regularly discussed how pornography negatively affects individuals and society expressed more negative attitudes about pornography as college students.

"Those negative attitudes then translated into less pornography use," said author and assistant professor Eric Rasmussen.

For the study, the team asked over 300 college students about conversations they remember having with their parents as adolescents regarding pornography.

Both girls and boys who were caught looking at porn got more anti-porn talks from their parents. They developed more negative views of pornography and were less likely to report lowered self-esteem when they knew their romantic partner was viewing pornography.

According to Rasmussen, these findings are interesting because numerous studies have pointed out the damaging and traumatic effects, particularly for women, of a partner's pornography habits.

"There is so much to be studied here. The research shows that parents should talk to their kids about pornography," Rasmussen noted.

"This is one of the first studies to look specifically at active parental mediation and attitudes about pornography," concluded the study that was published in the Journal of Children and Media.

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