The Daviess County Citizens for Decency, a group concerned about the inroads radical gender ideology is making in Owensboro, recently conducted an audit of books in the Daviess County Public Library. What they found is concerning to say the least. Many books in the teen section contain sexually explicit content. Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram features detailed descriptions of masturbation and sexual contact between two boys. Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold describes sexual encounters in graphic detail. Sold by Patricia McCormick is about a 13 year old girl sold into sex slavery, and it graphically describes her rapes. All these books and many others which aren’t listed here can be checked out by 13-year-old children. Does this seem appropriate?

One of the big debates in our culture is whether or not books containing sexually explicit material are appropriate for children. There shouldn’t be a debate; the answer is self-evidently “no.” But those arguing “yes” claim that banning them discourages freedom of thought and stunts children’s curiosity about the world. While I support freedom of thought and curiosity, giving children porn isn’t the way to accomplish these goals.

Pornography is defined as “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.” It is material that is intended to arouse whoever is watching or reading it. While the authors of these books don’t market them as pornography, books that contain graphic descriptions of passionate sexual encounters are, by definition, pornographic material. And this is to our children’s detriment.

Reading is an immersive experience. When we open a page, the characters come alive in our minds and an adventure takes place. These adventures shape our imaginations and how we view the world. How is our child’s view of reality being shaped by books with graphic sex scenes?

Pornography distorts children’s views of sexuality and reality by normalizing promiscuity, which can make forming long-lasting relationships with people of the opposite sex more difficult. It teaches boys to view girls as objects and can lead girls to accepting abusive behavior. This distorted view of reality can lead to earlier sexual activity which increases the chances of pregnancy, abortions and STD’s. There have also been cases of children going on to watching porn after reading these types of books.

With the material also comes the danger of grooming. In a study conducted in 2011, participants who reported having frequent contact with sexually explicit materials had more sexual partners and engaged in sexual activity at younger ages. It’s no surprise that pedophiles show children pornography. It sexualizes them, exposing them to things their minds cannot handle.

This is why children shouldn’t have access to this type of material. Opponents call this book burning, but no one’s asking for these books to be burned. We’re asking they be placed in the adult section where children can’t have free access to them. This shouldn’t be controversial; it should be common sense.

Children are a precious gift from God, and it is our job as parents to protect them from harm. Keeping pornography out of their hands is a bare minimum requirement for doing that.