One In Three Children Watch Internet Porn

23/11/2010 16:12 | Updated 22 May 2015

10 year old, internet, porn, porn sites, childrenOne third of children in the UK have watched explicit pornographic images on the internet by the age of ten, a new study has revealed.

Four in five teenagers regularly look up pornographic photographs or film on their computers or mobile phones, and the average age of a child first exposed to pornography is just 11.

The figures were compiled from polls by YouGov, research in America and a study by child behavioural expert Tanya Byron.

Campaigners are warning that exposure to these images inflicts 'serious mental harm' on children and prevents them forming healthy adult relationships in later life.

They are calling on the Government to force websites to carry cigarette-style health warnings alerting children and parents to the nature of the site, they said.

Miranda Suit, director of campaign group SaferMedia, said: 'The new generation of mobile phones is making accessing pornography easier with two-thirds of children admitting they had accessed explicit material on their handsets.

'Worryingly most parents are oblivious to how easy it is for children to download images.'

'Many [children] who see these images think that hard core pornography is a true depiction of sex, or they become desensitised to the brutality of the films.'

This exposure would damage their ability to have normal relationships and leave them with the impression that women are 'objects who do not mind being abused'', she said.

'The Government must act now to protect our children and must clamp down on this £60 billion industry, which has been allowed to circumvent the restrictions placed on traditional broadcasters,' she said.

Tory MP Claire Perry will today lead a ministers debate on regulating the internet to stop easy access to pornography.

She will call for service providers to make householders 'opt in' to accessing porn sites at home.

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