According to new studies, most children have been exposed to online pornography, in one form or another, by their early teens. That isn’t the most alarming thing, however.
Worse still is that experts believe youngsters are being desensitized by the graphic depictions of men degrading women they see in porn, and are more likely to emulate the behavior.
It’s quite similar to when you eat something sweet for an extended period of time. Soon the taste buds dull out the flavor because the brain has already adapted to the signals the taste buds are sending it, automatically knowing that what you are eating is sweet. Soon the taste buds no longer recognize that what it is tasting is sweet.
That’s what happens to the minds of young people.
The research also revealed that 53 percent of 11 to 16-year-olds have seen porn online, and by the age of 14, the figure shoots up to 94 percent. For children ages 11-12, 28 percent have been exposed to porn.
Frighteningly, 39 percent of 13 to 14-year-old boys say they want to copy the violent behavior they have seen in those pornographic footage.
In fact, one 13-year-old boy told the researchers that “One of my friends has started treating women like he sees on the videos,” he said. “Not major, just a slap here or there.”
Meanwhile, a 13-year-old girl told them that “a few of my friends have used it for guidance about sex and are getting the wrong image of relationships.”
“A generation [is] in danger of being stripped of their childhoods at a young age by stumbling across extreme and violent porn online,” said Peter Wanless, chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. “Frighteningly, some children are growing up believing they should emulate behavior they see in porn, which can have a damaging effect on their relationships.”
He also urged the government to take more responsibility in the matter to “ensure young people are protected.”
Sex can be a beautiful thing, and the researchers said in the study’s foreword that it is not right for so many children to be stumbling across and learning about sex from degrading and violent depictions of it.
But it seems the phenomenon is only worsening: 14 percent of these children have admitted they had taken naked or semi-naked photos of themselves; half of them shared the photos with their peers.
“This is the first generation to have been raised with technology that’s taken the internet from the front room, where parents can monitor use, to their bedrooms or the playground, where they can’t,” said Anne Longfield on behalf of the NSPCC and the Children’s Commissioner for England.
According to Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, schools play an important role in “preventing harmful sexual behaviour” by teaching children about their rights and responsibilities.
READ: Child Pornography is the Fastest Growing Internet Business
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below or check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful parenting news and tips . Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!