Peter Nikken for NOS: what to discuss with children when they see sex online

Young children increasingly encounter nudity or sexual images online. A large part of them wants to discuss this with their parents. But that does not always happen, according to Prof. Peter Nikken (ERMeCC). "The subject is often still taboo."

Many parents find it difficult to speak with their children about sex on the internet. Therefore, Nikken answered some frequently asked questions regarding this matter for the Dutch news channel NOS.

How can you prevent your children seeing sexual images?

Nowadays, children spend a lot of time on their tablets or smartphones. One click on an ad is sometimes enough for a pop-up window with images of nude women or people having sex. The supply of apps and firewalls that block such content is changing rapidly, hence parents cannot keep up. Nikken: "That's why it is so important to discuss this subject at home."

What should you discuss?

To what extent parents and their children can speak about sexuality differs per family. "There are many ideas about it," Nikken tells NOS. "Still, it remains important to discuss it and to not cut off the child."

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