A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effect that Access and Exposure to
Pornography has on Children and Young People
By Miranda A.H. Horvath, Llian Alys, Kristina Massey,
Afroditi Pina, Mia Scally and Joanna R. Adler
The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England is calling for urgent action to develop children's resilience to pornography following a research report it commissioned which found that: a significant number of children access pornography; it influences their attitudes towards relationships and sex; it is linked to risky behaviour such as having sex at a younger age; and there is a correlation between holding violent attitudes and accessing more violent media.
The report published today by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, "Basically... porn is everywhere" - A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People also found that:
- Children and young people's exposure and access to pornography occurs both on and offline but in recent years the most common method of access is via internet enabled technology
- Exposure and access to pornography increases with age
- Accidental exposure to pornography is more prevalent than deliberate access
- There are gender differences in exposure and access to pornography with boys more likely to be exposed to and deliberately access, seek or use pornography than girls.
It concludes that there are still many unanswered questions about the affect exposure to pornography has on children: a situation the Office of the Children's Commissioner considers requires urgent action in an age where extreme violent and sadistic imagery is two clicks away.
The report is based on a review of published evidence led by Middlesex University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent, supplemented by a focus group of young people. The researchers identified 41,000 items of academic literature about pornography undertaking an in-depth analysis of 276 to draw its conclusions.
The report welcomes the work being done by Claire Perry, MP on internet controls, in her role as advisor to the Prime Minister. It makes a series of recommendations in addition to carrying out further research as follows:
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childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/ content/press_release/content_ 505
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