I am 17. Is it ok to watch porn? A lot of my friends do it, but I heard something about it being illegal.

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boy-on-laptop-sqIn general it’s not illegal to watch porn, but there are exceptions. In the United States you must be 18 or older to “buy” pornography. Also, if you are watching porn, how do you know for sure if the actors are at least 18 years old? There’s no way to really know. What if you download porn that is of girls and/or guys who are younger than 18?  This is actually considered to be child pornography and if you are caught, it is a federal crime called “possession of child pornography.” If this happens you would likely be labeled as a “sex offender” which can have very serious consequences, such as going to jail. Let’s just suppose you shared this illegal porn with a friend by emailing the pics, now it becomes a more serious crime called “distributing child pornography.” So you can see, it’s complicated and not worth the risk of going to jail and/or being labeled as a sex offender.

You can read more about the effects of watching porn in our latest TeenSpeak blog post, “Let’s Talk About Porn.”