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Porn: Younger and younger people watch hardcore-porn

Porn in the Internet - easy to find for kids
Porn in the Internet - easy to find for kids
©: HaywireMedia - Fotolia

Nowadays, children are more and more exposed to genitalia and pornography through various online channels. Communication scientists from the universities of Hohenheim and Münster have found this in a representative survey. For this purpose, a total of 1048 children and adolescents were asked which circumstances accompanied them and what feelings they had while watching porn.

Almost half of all people between 14 and 20 years of age, stated, that they watched porn already. In the age bracket of the 14- and 15-year old people it was nearly one third. However, in the latter, half of those kids got in contact with porn by accident.

When are kids confronted with sexual content for the first time

On a study based in Germany, an average of children, age 14.2 encounter sexual media content. Girls, however, are a bit older. The median age is 14.8 years. Males, on the other hand, can be as young as 14 years. However, there are also teenagers who engaged with pornography through the internet as young as 12.7 years.

70 % of all kids in the survey stated that they had their first contact with sexual content through their Smartphone, PC or laptop. Media such as magazines, videos or television no longer play any role in this regard. According to the results of the study, after the first encounter with sexual contents, boys will look for porn more often than girls.

The circumstances and the emotions

"In addition to their user habits on the Internet, we also wanted to explore the exact circumstances of the first online experiences with sexualised content," explains Professor Dr. med. Jens Vogelsang, who heads the Department of Communication Science at the University of Hohenheim. In most cases, the first pornographic contact occurs at home. About 40 % of all films and images with sexual content teenagers watch with their friends.

About half of the first sexual encounter is unwanted or by coincidence

watching porn via smartphone
watching porn via smartphone
©: alephnull - Fotolia

Only half of all teenagers seek their first sexual content consciously. However, it happens more often in boys than in girls. For example, the researchers defined unwanted contact if this content was shown by a third party when teenagers were surfing the net.

Professor Dr Thorsten Quandt from the University of Münster commented on this with the words: "Parents and teachers only play a subordinate role. The lack of orientation by educators is a serious problem.” And he continues:” The study clearly shows that the first sexual encounter takes place online at a very early age and with partially harmful content.

Pornography is a taboo

Only 4 % of all adolescents discuss their initial contact with their parents or teachers; more than half of the adolescents do not talk about it.

However, according to the results of the survey, the willingness to discuss those things, also depends on the feelings and circumstances of the child, when it had its first sexual encounter. "If the young people were excited by the content, the willingness to talk about it was much lower than if they found the content amusing or repugnant," says Prof. Dr. med. Vogelsang. In his opinion: "Talking about one's sexuality is still a taboo among many young people. They are left alone with it with or they explore it with friends."

A new image for pornography?

Prof. Dr Vogelsang also suggests the findings from the study indicates that the image of the lonely man who uses porn is ,at least, partially wrong. For a large proportion of adolescents, their first contact with pornography is linked to a social context.

Prof. Dr Quandt sees the use of pornography not as a marginal problem of media use but is relatively widespread among young people. This study was, for the first time, able to publish statements of young people of their first encounter with "public intimacy". However, in the future, this area will be further explored.

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