Scottish Daily Mail
Porn use is routine for youngsters
YOUNG Scots are beginning to consider pornography part of everyday life, campaigners warn.
New statistics show that the vast majority of under-30s now condone the viewing of sordid sex scenes at home.
A Scottish Government survey found that young adults are three times less likely to object to porn than their parents’ generation and seven times less than their grandparents’.
In a poll of attitudes, only 6 per cent of 18-29-year-olds said that watching obscene material was always wrong, compared with 25 per cent among older age groups.
Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said: ‘This very sad trend comes as no surprise because this is the first generation that has had access to porn at the click of a mouse, 24/7.
‘In previous eras, it was little more than pictures of naked ladies; whereas today’s material is often violent and misogynistic.’
Although the long-term effects are still unknown, she said young people were ‘guinea pigs’ who were likely to be damaged by the sexual imagery.
She added: ‘We know that the relationship counselling service Relate is finding porn being cited as a factor in 40 per cent of cases.
‘It seems that there is now much greater confusion among young people on what constitutes rape and consent.’
The Scottish Government poll interviewed nearly 1,500 adults across all age groups, asking how wrong it was for an adult to watch pornography at home. In all, 21 per cent said it was always wrong.
Among the over 65s, however, the figure was 44 per cent and 18 per cent for those aged 40 to 69. It was 17 per cent for people in their 30s, but only 6 per cent for the youngest age group.
Women were twice as likely as men to disapprove (28 per cent compared with 14 per cent) and religious people three times as likely than those without faith (36 per cent versus 12 per cent).
Meanwhile, those on higher incomes and with better qualifications were more accepting of pornography.
Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said: ‘These findings reflect a widespread erosion of belief in moral absolutes over the past 40 to 50 years.
‘The growing acceptance of pornography is a symptom of a much wider problem, one which threatens to destroy marriages and damage relationships.
‘It reduces those who take part in it to sex objects and inevitably affects the attitudes and behaviour of those who view it. We shouldn’t be afraid to say that that is always wrong.’
The Daily Mail has been at the forefront of a campaign to block online porn, which led David Cameron to force internet service providers to install ‘opt-in’ filters for explicit material.
Recent research has shown watching explicit films can shrink the parts of the brain linked to reward mechanisms and is also fuelling a rise in sex addiction.
Last week, a review of Scotland’s sex offender monitoring system claimed that the growing phenomenon of ‘sexting’ – sending explicit photographs by mobile phone – is leaving youngsters open to exploitation by paedophiles.
‘This very sad trend is no surprise’