In Cyber Safety, Internet Safety Trends

Young Teenage Porn Exposure: Young Teens Watching Porn

Young Teenage Porn

As a child grows and goes through puberty, different parts of their body start to develop. With these developments come new feelings and urges. Sexuality is one such drive that starts to appear during puberty. These feelings are incredibly new; teens often feel unable to control themselves and want to explore this new desire. Seeing someone naked can spark a teen’s curiosity. With the advent of home computing, the Internet and smart phones, teens have access pornography and other adult-based content at a moment’s notice. Pornography is legally available for individuals over the age of 18 in the USA, but very few websites implement any effective barrier to prevent underage access. Ultimately, as a parent, it is up to you to decide what your child ought to see online. This article aims to inform the reader about the situation of teenage porn exposure.

 

The Rise of Teenage Porn Exposure

Before the Internet, individuals under the age of 18 really did not have much access to pornography. They either needed someone older to purchase it for them, or they would have to find another ways to obtain it. However, with widespread access to the Internet, teen porn access and exposure has become more common than ever.

According to a study published by the University of Hew Hampshire on teenage porn exposure to under 18s:

  • 93 per cent of boys said they had been exposed to Internet pornography.
  • 62 per cent of girls said they had been exposed to Internet pornography.
  • 70 per cent of boys reported to have spent at least 30 minutes looking at online porn at least once.
  • 35 per cent said they watched porn on more than 10 occasions.
  • 23 per cent of girls said they looked at porn for over 30 minutes on one occasion.
  • 14 per cent of girls said they did so more than once.

 

Exposing Situations

According to a report compiled by a company that sells family internet security software, the Internet is causing more teenage porn exposure than ever before. Their report claims that of all teenagers under the age of 18:

  • 83 per cent of boys said they had seen group sex on the Internet.
  • 57 per cent of all girls said they had seen group sex on the Internet.
  • 39 per cent of all boys and 23 per cent of all girls said they had seen bondage online.
  • 32 per cent of boys and 18 per cent of all girls said they saw acts of bestially.
  • 18 per cent of all boys and 10 per cent of girls have seen rape or other forms of sexual violence or simulated sexual violence online.
  • 15 per cent of all boys and 9 per cent of all girls have seen child pornography.

 

These statistics raise a few interesting points. Most importantly, accessing child pornography is a serious crime. Bestiality and violent or gratuitous pornography my also be illegal depending on where you live. It is vital that your teen understands this. However, the situation with teenage porn is not a bleak as this report might suggest. Remember, the creators of the report sell family Internet security software, and they also have a specific focus on Church and Christianity, so they have a reason to focus on the dangers of teenage porn habits.

It is also important to take into account what teens report on the effects of porn on their self-image. Turning again to the study from University of New Hampshire:

  • Only a minority of teens (12 per cent of boys, 19 per cent of girls) surveyed reported that seeing porn online has had a strong effect on their attitudes or emotions.
  • Only a minority felt unattractive or inadequate as a result (15 per cent of boys, 19 per cent of girls).
  • Over 50 per cent of boys felt disgusted by Internet porn.
  • 50 per cent of boys felt shame concerning Internet porn.

 

Significantly, the University of New Hampshire study emphasises the lack of social scientific research on the topic of teenage porn exposure, and points out:

“While this study provides noteworthy findings, generalizations cannot be made from this convenience sample, which includes retrospective reports from students at one public university with a largely homogenous student body.”

 

It Happens at Home

While you might not believe that teenage porn exposure is happening in your home, according to the Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later (2006), 79 per cent of all unwanted pornography exposure takes place inside of the house, rather than at school or elsewhere.

With the rise of Internet porn availability there has also been a rise of software designed to control teenage porn exposure. The same study found that over 50 per cent of parents or guardians surveyed said there was with sort of software on their children’s computers. Up from 33 per cent in the year 2000.

Some trends, however, are reversing. The amount that youth Internet users communicate with people who they do not know in real life has dropped from 40 per cent in 2000 to 34 per cent as of 2005.

When it comes to blocking, filtering or other technological methods of limiting your teenager’s Internet access, it is worth considering that they may understand this technology better than you, and are often be able to circumvent it. While these methods may well have a place in how you approach teenage porn exposure with your child, they are no replacement for frank, open discussion about sexual issues, education and firm rule setting based on trust and respect.

 

Conclusion

Seeing Internet pornography during teenage years these days, ether intentionally or without wanting to, is statistically highly likely. Of course it can have an effect on now a teenager thinks about sex and relationships, and as such must be dealt with carefully and in a considered manner. It is also important to remember that the vast majority of those surveyed said that seeing porn online were not seriously distressed, upset or felt like it changed their opinions. However, the more teens are exposed to sex online, the earlier they start to have sex, and the more likely they are going to have unprotected and casual sex. Girls who view porn online are twice as likely to engage in oral sex than those who have not seen the content online, while boys are not only three times more likely, but they usually partake in this activity within two years of first seeing the content. All of these lead to teens having sex at a younger age and all the risks that accompany that.

However, before taking a moralistic attitude to Internet pornography and teenage porn exposure, it is worth comparing the sexual issues of your own generation to those who have grown up around Internet pornography.

 

You need to decide how to set up your boundaries and come up with a way to protect your child from the sexual content found over the Internet. There is no right or wrong approach to controlling teenage porn access, only informed or uninformed approaches. The information above is provided to help you form an objective opinion on teenage porn exposure, how you use this information is up to you.

 

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