The Third Talk™ Founder, SME
My name is John Van Arnam.
I am a dad, a coach and a "big-picture" person.
I volunteer as a basketball coach, I volunteer as an advocate. I am a Partner in Prevention on the Buncombe County Prevention Task Force, I worked for the State of North Carolina as a School Safety Program Trainer with the Department of Public Instruction, and the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools. I am the Founder of The Third Talk™ Inc. I have a degree in Psychology and a minor in Child Psychology from Syracuse University. I have been called a 'Sexual Health Consultant', a 'Subject Matter Expert', and a Lecturer. I prefer the term 'Coach.' A coach on the prevention of childhood exposure to online pornography.
To be clear. There is no amount of pornography that could be considered 'safe' for children, or 'just part of growing up.' Period.
This can be a scary topic for parents to think about much less discuss. However we as parents need to put our own fears aside and address it openly and immediately, because this content is available for all of our young people on every device and social media platform they use. We can no longer hope or expect that they will not see this content, or that our children will properly manage their own exposure, or remain unaffected if viewing pornography. We have tried for 20 years to remove it, restrict it, filter it or shake our fists at the problem, however our underage American children still view over 460 pornographic videos every second of every day. We have to act. The Third Talk™ is how I have decided to act.
Q&A With The Founder Of The Third Talk™
How are you affecting change?
Talking to parents and their (11-17 year old) young people, and providing them the language they can use initiate the online pornography prevention conversation. I initiate a family discussion surrounding pornography in a families individual structure and environment, and then showcase the "how and the why" in order to continue that conversation in an ongoing way. I can, have and do successfully accomplish this goal in one family meeting.
What are your expected results?
I want to greatly reduce the number of pornographic videos viewed by our young people, with an absolute end goal of zero. I want to help change our young people's culture from 'porn-culture' to one of respect, communication and care. Even a small reduction in exposure (10%) translates to hundreds of millions of videos that are not viewed by underage people. I want to start a national conversation right here, so we can stop pretending that this isn't a major challenge for our kids.
Why are you doing this?
When your daughter has full confidence in her own physical safety, and any interaction comes from a place of mutual respect and communication, we will know we have turned the tide. When your son can explore his own sexuality without feeling the need to perform on a level he is uncomfortable with, or do things he feels that he shouldn't do just to 'fit in' we are on our way. It starts with our young people, without shame or blame, and a willingness of all parents to meet our nation's youth in the world they live in, not the world we wished they lived in.
Is this a specific ideology, or religion?
The Third Talk™ is information for parents and their people, about growing up in a pornography-soaked internet environment and how to manage that successfully within their own family's principles; and nothing else. There are no ideological beliefs incorporated, and this is not "sex-ed". We are a prevention based education platform, and we are focused on prevention and the communication necessary to establish that goal.
Pornography in the brain of a young boy can alter the interest he has in real people, enhance aggression, depression, fear, shame, loneliness, and even set neural pathways in his brain that might take years of expensive therapy to remedy. This content for young girls can act as a guide or a strategy to showcase what partners "want". We as adults can do a much better job of preparing our children for this inevitable exposure. If you think about it, we're the only ones who can.