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Survey Reveals Porn Is Part of Everyday Lives for Teenagers

New research shows that a majority of teens are being exposed to online pornography every day.

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By Desiree Bowie

08/26/14

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A new survey revealed the results of a poll of 500 British 18-year-olds in which the majority warn of the “damaging” and “addictive” effect of sexual images and videos readily available online.

The survey showed the teens felt an intense social pressure involving compliance with pornographic norms. Eighty percent of the young adolescents reported on the easy availability of explicit images and videos in new media.

Forty-six percent of the participants have indulged in 'sexting,' the act of sending sexually charged text messages, in their everyday lives. A majority of the adolescents admitted that porn was making their life harder. Almost half the boys and two-thirds of the girls admitted that even if porn were less accessible, it would not make growing up any easier.

One out of 10 survey participants admitted that by the young age of 11, watching porn was common and 70% said that it was normal among their classmates to watch porn. Fifty-five percent of the young adolescents happened upon explicit images while on the internet, making them worried and uncomfortable, while only 1 out of 10 told their parents about it. About two-thirds of the participants believed that porn is addictive.

Children as young as 11 are regularly exposed to online porn, and by the age of 14, a whopping 45% are watching explicit content on the web, according to the report by the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank.

Associate Director of IPPR Dalia Ben-Galim said, “The research shows that pornographic images are pervasive in teenagers' lives” and “paints a worrying picture about the way online pornography is shaping the attitudes and behavior of young people."

Around 72% of the young adolescents believe that unrealistic attitudes towards sex are created because of pornography. This leads to pressure on young women to act and look a certain way, while only a small percentage of pressure is put on the young men.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “Given the rising levels of pornography which is very much in the public domain it is essential that sex and relationships education should be a statutory part of the national curriculum.”

“If this does not happen in schools, a golden opportunity is missed to provide young people with some of the tools they need to lead safe, healthy and happy lives,” Blower added.

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