Majority of Kids Are Exposed to Online Porn by Age 13, Study Finds

by Kate Anderson

 

A recent study surveying teenagers found that 54% of children under the age of 14 had seen online pornography, with 15% reporting that they had been introduced to online porn before 11 years old.

The study, released Tuesday by nonprofit Common Sense Media, found that 73% of respondents had viewed online porn before age 18, a 31-point increase over data collected in 2014. The average age of first exposure fell around 12 years old, according to the report.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 12 and 22 and surveyed 1,300 teens, asking them to answer a series of questions on a form about online porn and their own experiences. Teens reported that between the ages of 13 and 14, 40% had been exposed to porn, and 60% were between the ages of 15 and 17.

The study also found that many of the teens did not purposefully search out porn and were exposed accidentally. Teens reported that 58% had accidentally come across online porn, and 71% of those respondents also said they had viewed porn within the last week.

Boys and girls reported similar results of exposure to porn with boys at 75% and girls at 70%, but boys were more likely to intentionally seek out porn at 52% compared to girls at 36%, the study showed. Many teens also reported that they had been exposed to violent porn depicting “rape, choking, or someone in pain,” but only 33% said they had seen porn showing someone asking for consent.

Porn websites and social media were the main places that teens saw pornography at 44% and 38% respectively. One-third of the teens who said they “intentionally view pornography” look for it on social media, but the study explained the findings did not necessarily indicate minors were finding professional porn or hardcore porn.

“One possibility is that teens were reporting their consumption of self-generated nude or nearly nude content by nonprofessionals,” the study stated. “Another possibility, given that teens reported seeing pornography shared with them by peers, is that teens were reporting being made aware of content by peers on social media (but that could be hosted elsewhere online).”

James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that parental involvement is key to prevent young children from being exposed to online porn. 

“We all need to play our part to help kids become better critical consumers, starting with having healthy conversations,” Steyer said. “And the online platforms themselves, where kids are accessing this content, need to take far more responsibility and be held accountable for keeping our kids safe.”

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Kate Anderson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Young Man on a Laptop” by OleksandrPidvalnyi.

 

 

 


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