When the ex-editor of a men’s magazine tells you that pornography is a problem, that’s probably reason enough to listen. I definitely took notice in a recent article by Martin Daubney, where he called it the “most pernicious threat facing children today”.

After being asked to be a presenter for a documentary on porn, Daubney sat in with sex consultant Jonny Hunt as he talked with a classroom of 13 to 14 year olds. The juxtaposition was shocking to Daubney – who isn’t exactly innocent due to his magazine editing days – but what he blatantly saw were wide-eyed, nervous and awkward kids, who knew more than the adults in the room about the kinds of highly degrading things often depicted in pornography.

The last thing I want to do is go into detail about what is featured in hard-core porn, and I would need a fair bit of time to list all my thoughts on its destructive effects. What I do want to bring up, however, is the fact that parents are too often oblivious, if not naive, to the exposure their kids might be getting to pornographic material.

Here’s the thing: this kind of material is so much more accessible than we stop to consider. You don’t have to go out, sneakily purchase a magazine, and then hide it under your bed – it’s served up to you in the privacy of your bedroom. When the kids were asked where they had seen certain things, they tended to cite Facebook – “‘It just pops up whether you want it or not, sometimes via advertisements. You don’t have any control over it.’ A girl added, ‘On Facebook, you just scroll down and it’s there. If any of your friends like it, it comes up on your home page.’”

And it’s true – just as the advertising on my profile’s home page features clothes and other girly things, I can only imagine that the advertising on a male’s page would be like. Even if all this advertising were hidden, we can’t control what every person of some 800 Facebook friends is going to share or even just like, which then could appear on our own feeds. The stuff is everywhere!

As disastrous as it all seems, I have recently noticed a fair few decent articles on the effects of pornography – I’m glad to see that the topic is becoming more widely discussed in mainstream media. But I’d also like to see more parents facing up to the fact that porn isn’t as far away from their kids as it may seem.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.