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Children Who Access Internet Porn More Likely To Have Sex Younger

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Report says children who access internet porn more likely to have sex early

A study into the effect of online porn on children has found that youngsters who view inappropriate content on the web are more likely to have sex at a younger age and engage in 'risky behaviour'.

The academic study, led by Dr Miranda Horvath at Middlesex University, concluded that adults need to discuss the issues surrounding internet porn with their children, but without 'heavily polarised' moral views.

It says that action is needed to 'develop children's resilience to pornography'.

Dr Miranda Horvath said: "It is clear that children and young people want and need safe spaces in which they can ask questions about, and discuss their experiences with pornography.

"The onus must be on adults to provide them with evidence-based education and support and help them to develop healthy, not harmful relationships with one another.

"When pornography is discussed, it is often between groups of people with polarised moral views on the subject."

She said that her report used evidence-based research to draw its conclusions and further the debate, rather than coming from an ideological viewpoint.

The report was put together for England's Children's Commissioner, who will be making recommendations to the Department for Education.

The report's researchers found that access to porn can lead to young people engaging in 'risky behaviours' such as sex at a younger age, unprotected anal sex and the use of drugs and alcohol during sex.

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It also said that access to porn can influence young people's sexual beliefs, developing unrealistic attitudes about sex, bad attitudes towards relationships and beliefs that women are sex objects.

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Wales Online reports that among it suggestions, is the recommendation that all schools deliver effective relationship and sex education, including safe use of the internet.

The report also suggested that the Department for Education should rename 'sex and relationships education' (SRE) to 'relationships and sex education' (RSE).

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