Alert on teenage ac­cess to porn

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - LANAI SCARR

DOC­TORS are re­port­ing a climb in the num­ber of young men ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sex­ual dif­fi­culty and young women en­gag­ing in risky prac­tices as a re­sult of ex­po­sure to pornog­ra­phy, par­tic­u­larly violent porn.

A new study of more than 3500 Aus­tralian par­ents has found one in three avoid con­ver­sa­tions with their chil­dren about porn un­til it is too late.

The Uro­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia and New Zealand (USANZ) said it was see­ing more teens and young men suf­fer­ing per­for­mance anx­i­ety and erec­tile dys­func­tion, in part due to over­ex­po­sure to porn and mise­d­u­ca­tion on sex.

“The big­gest trou­ble is that with pornog­ra­phy it is a fan­tasy set up with a lot of un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions.” said Eric Chung, chair of the USANZ an­drol­ogy group

Teen girls are also pre­sent­ing to doc­tors with vagi­nal in­juries and en­gag­ing more in anal sex af­ter ex­po­sure to sex­ual en­coun­ters on­line.

“Young women who I see in prac­tice have this per­verse be­lief that con­sen­sual anal sex is some­how pre­serv­ing their vir­gin­ity,” GP Dr Ginni Mans­berg said.

Cy­ber­safety group Fam­ily Zone’s data shows up to 30 per cent of pre-teens in house­holds with its soft­ware — more than 350,000 daily Aus­tralian users — are try­ing to ac­cess on­line porn, in­clud­ing 22 per cent up to the age of eight.

This in­creases to 29 per cent of 9-12-year-olds and around 45 per cent of 13-17-year-olds. The top sites chil­dren ac­cess in­clude porn­ and

The Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Fam­ily Stud­ies last year found 44 per cent of chil­dren aged 9-16 had en­coun­tered sex­ual im­ages in the pre­vi­ous month. Of these, 16 per cent had seen im­ages of some­one hav­ing sex and 17 per cent of gen­i­talia.

The Of­fice of the eSafety Com­mis­sioner has found one in three Aus­tralian par­ents avoid con­ver­sa­tions with their chil­dren about porn un­til af­ter they have been ex­posed to it, with one in four em­bar­rassed by the con­ver­sa­tion.

Close to one in five par­ents (17 per cent) don’t want to en­gage with their kids at all about the is­sue, think­ing schools should have full re­spon­si­bil­ity.

One in four par­ents re­port be­ing aware their child has been ex­posed to on­line porn.

Of these, 8 per cent said the child was sent ma­te­rial by a stranger, 39 per cent said the child came across it ac­ci­den­tally, 23 per cent said the child was shown/sent the ma­te­rial by some­one they know and 15 per cent re­ported the child sought it out on­line.

ESafety Com­mis­sioner Julie In­man Grant said there was grow­ing con­cern about kids’ ex­po­sure to ex­treme and violent porn.

“(This) is one of the top con­cerns of Aus­tralian par­ents when it comes to the on­line safety of their chil­dren,” she said.

Cy­ber ex­pert Kristy Good­win said the level of ex­po­sure and ma­te­rial be­ing viewed by chil­dren and teens was far re­moved “from a nude cen­tre­fold at the back of your dad’s shed”.

For re­sources on talk­ing to chil­dren about porn, visit the on­line pornog­ra­phy sec­tion at

Kevin Hart

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