Hooked on porn
And it’s not just males
ALMOST 90 per cent of young Australian males are watching pornography on their computers and mobile phones daily or weekly.
The largest study into youth viewing habits in more than a decade shows that while women were less likely to watch explicit acts than men, 20 per cent did so regularly.
Public health professionals are concerned that the exposure to pornography may lead young people to engage in riskier sexual practices, including not using condoms.
Young educated males were more likely to watch pornography frequently, the study by Melbourne’s Burnet Institute found. Almost 1000 Australians aged 15 to 29 and recruited via social media answered an online questionnaire.
Overall, 87 per cent of them had watched pornography — the median age of their first viewing was 13 for boys but 16 for girls.
Streaming pornography daily or weekly was the norm for 84 per cent of young men.
While Australian law prohibits people under 18 viewing pornography, lead author Dr Megan Lim said the findings indicated that laws and other barriers — such as age verification and internet filtering software and parental monitoring — were not reducing exposure.
“The internet really has changed the nature of pornography viewing and frequency,” Dr Lim said. “There is concern that children are being exposed to a lot of explicit content, changing not only their perceptions of sex, but their sexual experiences.”
The findings are published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health journal today.