Three-Quarters of Teenagers Have Seen Online Pornography by Age 17

The The internet has turned pornographymakes viewing and sharing much easier than in the days of Playboy and late-night cable TV.

For teenagers, that has spawned countless pornographic photos and videos that invade their daily lives, according to the report. a report released on Tuesday.

Three-quarters of teens have viewed online pornography by the age of 17, with the average age of first viewing being 12 years old, as reported by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit children’s advocacy group. Teenagers are viewing photos and videos on smartphones, on devices at school, and on social media, porn sites, and streaming sites.

The report highlights the prevalence of pornography, with 41 percent of teens saying they saw nudity or sexual behavior online during the school day. The majority of exposure is accidental, with 58% saying they are not looking for pornographic videos and photos but come across them while surfing the web, on social media or through search engines or clicking on ads. .

Teenagers increasingly grapple with the role technology plays in their mental health and well-being. In recent years, legislators have criticized social media platforms like Instagram to exacerbate eating disorders and scrutinize how websites have been used to sell illegal substances such as fentanyl to teenagers.

The impact of online pornography on teens is less well-regarded, but parents and politicians have been caught up in fierce debates about technology safety and whether the discussions around it. around pornography should take place at school or at home. Last fall, sex education courses in Idaho were wrong description in posts and an article such as promoting pornography. The tweets linking to the false report caused outrage online and were mentioned on Fox News. In Louisiana, one new rule will require age verification for porn sites.

“We can’t hide this topic just because it’s uncomfortable talking about it,” said Jim Steyer, founder and chief executive officer of Common Sense Media. federal agencies. “Pornography is an ever more important part of the lives of children with digital access and we need a national dialogue on this.”

Part of the problem is that online pornography is a highly lucrative industry, giving it a strong foothold. While there is little data available on the size of the online pornography industry, an estimate from Alec Helmy, founder of trade publication XBIZ, which surveys payment processors, places businesses revenue for adult influencers and platforms is at least $15 billion by 2022. He estimates internet pornography revenue in 2012 to be $5 billion.

In recent years, online pornography has evolved into a business in which thousands of people have their own streaming, messaging and photo channels advertised on sites like these, Mr Helmy said. Instagram and hosted on platforms like OnlyFans and PornHub.

The Common Sense report is based on a September survey of 1,358 Americans ages 13 to 17. More than half said they had viewed pornography about violent acts such as rape, strangulation or who that is painful. The majority said pornography portrays stereotypes of Blacks, Latinos and Asians. More than half said they felt guilty or embarrassed after watching porn.

At the same time, 45 percent said pornography provides useful information about sex. In particular, LGBTQ youth said it helped them discover more about their gender.

“We have to be careful about saying that all pornography is good or bad,” said Emily Rothman, a professor of public health sciences at Boston University. “There is nuance here.”

Schools, parents and political leaders have disagreed over how to handle the topic. David Miyashiro, superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District in the San Diego area, said he has held seminars and discussions about technology and parent safety but did not directly address pornography. sex in any session. The Middle Eastern refugee community and conservative Christians have expressed displeasure with the district’s conduct of any sex education, he said.

Devices students are given to take home, he said, have filtering software that runs through district servers to block access to pornographic websites and alert school officials to searches. Search for pornographic and harmful content.

“Sexual health and sex education are very family-specific areas,” said Mr. Miyashiro. “A broad policy or stance will sometimes isolate people and can create enemies or friends.”

Shelly Viramontez, superintendent of the Campbell Union School District near San Jose, California, said problems also arise with personal phones that children bring to school. Her school district has taken disciplinary action around sexualization that she and her counselors believe are linked to greater exposure to pornography.

Dr Viramontez said: “This generation of parents is dealing with what no other generation has faced – the amount of access to information in the hands of children.

In the Common Sense survey, teens said most of the content they watch is disturbing. Only a third said pornography included someone asking for consent before engaging in sexual activity. Less than half said they discussed pornography with a trusted adult. According to the report, of those who did, the conversation “encouraged them to think about other ways of exploring sexuality or sexuality other than pornography”.

Teens who intentionally seek out pornography say their top sources are sites like PornHub and YouPorn. Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit and other social networking sites ranked second in terms of sources of pornography.

Instagram, Snap and TikTok ban pornographic material. But the site was used for advertisements linking to pornographic sites. They also prohibit individuals from directing users to pornographic content on other platforms.

In December, YouTube banned PornHub’s channel for repeatedly violating its policy to ban links to sites that violate YouTube’s community guidelines, such as pornography. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has a similar ban on external links and says its algorithms are designed to limit the spread of pornography.

A YouTube spokesperson said it was their policy to “prohibit posting sexually explicit content, such as pornography, for sexual gratification on our platform”. Meta said Facebook and Instagram have automated controls that make it harder for teens to search and find pornography.

TikTok says it doesn’t allow pornography in its “For You” feed, and it has blocked inappropriate searches and hashtags. A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement: “We continue to invest in safe and age-appropriate experiences for teens through strong policies, parental controls, and publicity. technology to combat this content on a large scale.

Reddit declined to comment on the report, but said it does not have a strict ban on adult content. The app is geared towards older users and has a recommended minimum age rating of 17. Users under 17 who participate in group discussions with adult content will be banned from using the app, according to the government. company book.

Snap said it has banned accounts that promote pornography and is “constantly working to improve efforts to combat it”. Snap says content from creators and publishers is moderated before large audiences can see it, which reduces the spread and discovery of content that violates our policies.

PornHub did not respond to a request for comment.

Teachers and parents say they can’t rely on tech companies to block content.

Dr Viramontez said: “You can’t blame technology and not having these conversations with children.


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