Online porn too easy to access, teens say

20th August 2014 at 10:01

 

The vast majority of teenagers believe it is too easy for young people to view explicit images online and say that pornography could be warping children’s views on sex and relationships, according to research. 

A new poll also suggests that accessing porn is seen as typical for young people, with some admitting that it had become common in their year group at school at age 11 or 12. It also reveals that just under half of teenagers believe that sending sexual or naked images and videos is a part of everyday life for young people today.

The survey, published by the IPPR think-tank, asked 500 UK 18-year-olds for their views on pornography as well as sex and relationships education.

It found that 80 per cent of those questioned think that it is too easy for young people to accidentally see pornographic images and videos online, while seven in 10 thought that pornography could have a damaging impact on youngsters' views of sex and relationships.

Forty-six per cent said that sending explicit images and videos was a part of normal life for teenagers.

The results also show a gender divide, with more young men agreeing that porn helps youngsters learn about sex than young women (45 per cent compared with 29 per cent). Girls were twice as likely to strongly agree than porn leads to unrealistic attitudes to sex than boys.

IPPR associate director Dalia Ben-Galim said: "This new polling data shows that pornographic images are pervasive in teenagers' lives and that young women in particular are acutely conscious of how damaging they can be.

"It paints a worrying picture about the way online pornography is shaping the attitudes and behaviour of young people. It is also clear that young people believe the sex education they currently get in school hasn't kept pace with the realities of their digital and social media lifestyles."

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