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The ubiquitous nature of Internet porn has mad it easily accessible to most users, no matter their age. But how young is too young?
New research into how Internet porn is used suggests younger children are turning to it as a means of learning about sex.
Researchers interviewed nearly 150 young people, educators and even porn workers for their report.
According to the findings, the average age at which kids begin seeing such content online is now 11 years old. The report was offered at a recent conference at the Institute of Education at London University.
As the study put is, “Porn has become a cultural mediator in how young people are understanding and experience sex. Porn is our most prominent sex educator.”
“The average age at which kids
begin seeing such content online is 11.”
Children involved in study indicated it was not difficult or uncommon for young people to access porn. Experts are concerned with the type of images and information they are introduced to.
Researchers found a surprising 88 percent of scenes in pornographic films show elements of physical aggression in them, most of which were aimed against a female participant.
As one teenage boy put it, “A lot of what I know about sex is because of porn.”
According to Mary Clegg of the British Association of Sexual Educators, much of modern sex education is based on a don’t-do model, which she views as an incomplete solution.
“Young people are hungry for more explicit information,” she said. “They’re curious and they’re hormone-driven.”
Part of the concern is children are left not knowing how to interpret what they see. This can lead to misunderstandings about how most people experience sex.
Or, as the study explains, “To be unable to critique imagery is equivalent to being illiterate in the modern world.”