Teens: Porn too easy to stumble across online

Thu, 21 Aug 2014

Most teenagers believe it is too easy to accidentally see pornography online, and that people are “too casual about sex and relationships”, according to a new survey.

In a survey of 18-year-olds, 72 per cent said that pornography leads to unrealistic attitudes about sex.

Most of the young women asked, 66 per cent, agreed that growing up would be easier if pornography was harder to access.

Pressure

Almost half of those questioned for the survey said that sexting – sending sexual or naked photos or videos – is “part of everyday life for teenagers”.

The poll also discussed sex and relationship education and found that of those questioned, more believed it should begin at secondary school than at primary school.

In a broader question on the issue, one teenager explained that they felt pressured by teachers.

The unnamed 18-year-old said: “I don’t think sex should be taught as ‘the norm’. I think people should be made to feel comfortable and teachers should say, you should wait. The law states 16. Don’t be pressured.”

Abstinence

Others mentioned promoting abstinence, with one teenager commenting: “I’m still a virgin and still happy”.

According to the survey, 80 per cent of people agreed that “It’s too easy for young people to accidently see pornography online”.

Over 60 per cent believed that people are too casual about sex and relationships.

Pervasive

The survey was carried out for the think-tank IPPR by Opinium and questioned 500 18-year-olds online in June.

Dalia Ben-Galim, Associate Director of IPPR, 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.”

Warped

Earlier this year a 21-year-old spoke out about the dangers of pornography.

Bethany Becconsall was addicted to online pornography from the age of eleven and she told the Daily Mail how the easy-to-access porn warped her own relationships with boys.