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eight in 10 boys 'view porn sites'

  1. Eight in 10 boys 'view porn sites' Courier Mail 3rd March 2003

    03mar03
    MORE than eight in 10 boys aged 16 to 17 have visited hardcore pornography Internet sites, a survey shows, with other studies suggesting it could lead them to violent sexual behaviour.

    A study released today confirmed viewing of hardcore pornography was widespread among teenagers and regarded as normal behaviour, especially by boys.

    A Newspoll survey commissioned by public think tank the Australia Institute found 84 per cent of 16- and 17-year-old boys and 60 per cent of girls of the same age had exposure to Internet pornography.

    It found 73 per cent of the teenage boys and 11 per cent of the girls had watched X-rated videos.

    Almost 40 per cent of the boys, but only two per cent of the girls, had deliberately sought out sex sites on the Internet while about five per cent of the boys were identified as weekly users of pornography.

    The Australia Institute said teenagers were exposed to sites depicting rape, sexual torture, bestiality, coprophilia and incest.

    "A wide range of studies indicates that young men who use violent pornography, or who are frequent users of pornography, are more likely to engage in sexual aggression," it said.

    Report author Michael Flood, from the Australian National University, said stumbling on sexually explicit and sometimes violent material on the Internet was emotionally disturbing for some children.

    "We also believe that exposure to pornography, and especially violent and extreme pornography, will inform young men's belief that it's okay to pressure a girl into sex," he told ABC radio.

    "We also think that particularly regular consumption of pornography and again, violent and extreme pornography in particular, is going to inform some young men in particular taking up sexually aggressive and sexually harassing behaviours."

    Dr Flood said despite the Government introducing laws to restrict pornographic material on the internet, they was failing.

    "It hasn't stopped anyone in Australia from being able, easily, to access this material," he said.

    Australia Institute director Clive Hamilton said Newspoll surveyed 200 children aged 16-17 - 100 boys and 100 girls - from Sydney and Melbourne over the telephone late last year.



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