Effects of Internet Pornography Exposure to Children
In the past times pornography was viewed as an issue of adults only and for this reason children had no access to any pornographic materials. However, with the recent upsurge of internet use amongst the people there has been an increase in the number of children having contact with pornographic content. This has gained a lot of popularity mainly among adolescents aged 10-17 years. These children surf the web in search of porn sites to satisfy their heightened urge on sexual content. This presents a shift of character from the earlier generation of children and the new age kids. Consequently, exposure to pornographic substance among children has had very severe effects on their behavior as they grow up. Recent research has proved that over 90% of children amid 12-18 years have access to pornographic materials through the internet. These statistics depict a generation that is full of great urge on sexual content, these calls for intervention in order to control the levels of moral decadence amongst the adolescents. This paper seeks to find out how exposure to pornographic materials by children through the internet has impacted their behaviors. The paper shall further analyze the findings accomplished by other researches in order to deduce the implications of children exposure to pornography.
Mitchell and Ybarra (2005) conducted a national survey on contact to internet pornography amongst kids and adolescents. The study focused on the behaviors of children when online and while they are offline. It also finds out that majority of adolescents below 14 years have access to offline pornographic materials such as magazines. Conversely, there are still a majority of them who search for porn in the internet. A majority of adolescents above 14 years were determined to have regular admission to pornographic content on the internet. The study also reveals that boys are the most affected as compared to girls. Most of the boys interviewed confessed to be seeking sexual materials on the internet while a smaller number of girls did that. Most of these adolescents have access to the internet for approximately four days a week and during these sessions some of them participate in pornographic chat rooms.
In most instances the respondents confirmed that there were some levels of parental control towards access to pornographic sites. Regardless of any control measures put in place these adolescents found their way to seek pornographic materials on the web. The study also discloses that a majority of adolescents who have contact with online pornographic content also have a deprived emotional bond with their parents or guardians. The survey also indicated some psychosocial challenges amongst the adolescents which are as a result of their pornography- hunting behavior. About 50% of these adolescents signified some levels of substantial or sexual abuse in their lives. This portrayed the delinquent conduct amongst these children. Consequently, exposure to pornographic content on these children resulted to substance misuse and major depressions. Internet pornographic exposure amongst the adolescents was estimated to have a positive correlation with the relationship with their parents and care givers. The study concluded that children with poor parental relationships were found to be highly exposed to internet pornography.
Another study by the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (2011), reports that there has been a significant increase in the number of children viewing pornographic content on the internet. A survey of two thousand three hundred and forty three Dutch children between the age of 12-18 years revealed that publicity to pornography over the internet was related their superior sexual ambiguity. For this reason, the adolescents sought pornographic materials to gain clarity of their sexual convictions. This further indicated that these adolescents adopted a positive approach on sexual affairs with informal buddies. Lengthened contact to pornographic materials was shown to result to overstated sexual opinion amongst the adolescents. In severe cases this could lead to bestiality, group sex, sodomy and other undesirable sexual practices. A meta- analysis of the study revealed that disclosure to pornography adds directly to the growth sexual dysfunctional behaviors amongst children who experience pornographic materials. The study also asserted that exposure to pornographic content among adolescent’s leads to the development of sexually violent behaviors. This consequently increases the number of rape cases amongst the youths. The study suggests that pornography is a meager sex mentor and might result to poor sexual practices amongst the adolescents. This is linked with the unrealistic sexual performances that are depicted in pornography. It is also indicated that exposure to pornography impacts the language amongst the youths and how they do piercings on specific body sections as it is shown on these pornographic materials.
Taking a clear analysis of these articles, it is certain that exposure to pornography by children has quite a number of implications on them. To begin with, exposure to pornographic content, results to poor relationships between parents and children. This further can lead to depression amongst the adolescents which consequently makes them to be isolated away from their families and friends. In some cases, this can have severe mental and psychological challenges on these adolescents which can negatively impact on their capabilities (Kraus & Russell, 2008). Exposure to pornography on children is also viewed to have in development of immoral behaviors amongst the youths. These behaviors include; increased consumption of alcohol and other drugs abuse by adolescents, this consequently propagates the possibilities of rape or other sexual abuses amongst the adolescents. Access to pornography by adolescents is also believed to have some severe implications on their sexual growth which can create bottlenecks to their future sexual relationships. The behavior of sexual aggression developed amongst these adolescents can lead to sexual violence in their relationships with partners which would result to disharmony in such families. This may also be coupled with sexual harassments among the young adolescent girls and boys. Finally, exposure to pornography would result to social change where adolescents may start practicing sexual acts that are not acceptable to the society. This includes sex with animals and other decadent sexual practices which are not healthy to these children.
In conclusion, exposure to pornography among the children has been extensively promoted by the widespread use of the internet and other media types which allows access to the x-rated sites. This has, however, resulted to adoption of undesirable behaviors by the youths. These include; sexual aggressiveness, psychosocial challenges and substance abuse among the adolescents. The continued exposure to these contents has severe implications on the youths especially on their future sexual relations and their current sexual endeavors. It is portrayed that this causes depression and isolation from social life amongst the youths which consequently can cause rigorous psychological and mental challenges. Pornography can also result to a rise in detrimental sexual practices amongst the youths which can negatively affect their sex affiliations. The study also depicts that exposure to pornography can lead to increased sexual harassments among the adolescents. In a nutshell, the paper describes how exposure to pornographic content impacts on the behaviors of children due to the ill characters adopted from pornography. Considerations for future research would be pertinent in finding the relevant ways of controlling exposure to pornography amongst the children. However, this would be supplemented by researching on the effective ways of rehabilitating adolescents who are already addicted to pornography.
Kraus, S. W., & Russell, B. (2008). Early sexual experiences: The role of Internet access and sexually explicit materials. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(2), 162-168.
National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (2011). FACTS FOR PREVENTION: The Impact of Pornography on Children and Youths. 1-4.
Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchelle, K. J. (2005). Exposure to Internet Pornography among Children and Adolescents: A National Survey. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 8(5), 473-485.