1 in 3 parents worried children could become addicted to online porn

Share


A third of parents have expressed concern their children could become addicted to online porn, according to a survey.

Parents shared their fears about young people developing distorted views of healthy sex and relationships, with more than half (52%) worried that they may grow up believing online pornography represents typical sex.

The results of the research come after the Government announced the date of new age-verification measures.

They will require people to provide ID to prove they are of age to view explicit content online from July 15. The survey was  conducted by online child safety organisation Internet Matters with 2,044 parents.

It revealed worries about the objectification of women and use of violence, with 47% troubled about the poor portrayal of women and 34% believing that children will become desensitised to brutal or violent content.

“Children seeing content they’re not emotionally ready for can have long-lasting effects if they’re not addressed and parents are right to have concerns,” said psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos.

“While tech solutions such as age-verification can help, there’s always the chance something can slip through the net and parents need to be prepared for that.

“That’s why it’s important parents don’t shy away from having a conversation about pornography, however awkward they may anticipate it to be – it’s essential for protecting your child.”

Websites that fail to implement the new rules face having payment services withdrawn or being blocked for UK internet users.

People will be able to verify their age in a number of ways, including using traditional forms of ID such as a credit card or passport, or by buying an over-the-counter card from shops where verification would take place face-to-face.

The controversial move is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

It has been met with celebration from child protection charities while opponents have argued concern for internet freedoms and privacy.

Chris Price