UK & World News

  • 20 August 2014, 4:54

Internet Porn 'Too Easy For Teens To Access'

Eight out of 10 18-year-olds think it is too easy for young people to see pornography online, according to a new survey.

Viewing pornography becomes "typical" as early as 13, according to the research carried out by Opinium on behalf of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The think tank says 46% of those surveyed said "sending sexual or naked photos or videos is part of everyday life for teenagers nowadays".

And 77% of young women say "pornography has led to pressure on girls or young women to look a certain way".

A total of 75% agree "pornography has led to pressure on girls and young women to act a certain way".

Esme Ossrich, 15, told Sky News: "People are having sex from a younger age because they've watched porn, and they think they're ready to do it.

"They should get rid of it. People should have to have IDs. Being able to access it from when you're 11 years old is just sick."

Beata Kuczynska, also 15, told Sky News: "I know people who are underage who have had sex because they've been influenced by pornography.

"They should make it a lot harder to access."

Dalia Ben-Galim, IPPR associate director, 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.

"The images and the type of pornography that young people can access quite readily is much more explicit and more violent than young people have been able to access in the past."

The survey also found 72% of 18-year-olds said "pornography leads to unrealistic attitudes to sex".

And 66% of young women and 49% of young men agreed that "it would be easier growing up if pornography was less easy to access for young people".

Matthewos Alem, 17, told Sky News: "It changes young people's minds and their perception on women, how they see them."

But experts warned that the problem should not be blamed just on the internet.

Clinical psychologist Dr Lucy Maddox said: "It's not the only medium where issues of sexual identity and relationships are coming up.

"It's more about the way we talk about these issues in general as a socaiety and in our families, rather than something just to do with technology."