Alert on teenage access to porn
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 pornhub.com and xvideos.com.
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 esafety.gov.au