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Porn addiction is turning kids into zombies says charity

This news post is over 7 years old
 

​New campaign launched after extent of porn use among 12 to 13-year-olds is uncovered

A shock new survey lifts the lid on the reach of porn culture into the lives of the country’s 12 and 13-year-olds.

NSPCC Childline research shows that a tenth of all children in that age group fear they may be “addicted” to pornography.

One in five of the 700 youngsters surveyed said they had seen porn images that had shocked or upset them.

Shockingly, the charity also says that 12% of those surveyed said they had taken part in, or had made, a sexually explicit video.

Viewing porn is "a part of everyday life" for many of the children who contact its helpline, said Childline.

If we as a society shy away from talking about this issue, we are failing the thousands of young people it is affecting

One young boy told researchers he was "always watching porn, and some of it is quite aggressive.

"I didn't think it was affecting me at first but I've started to view girls a bit differently recently and it's making me worried.

"I would like to get married in the future but I'm scared it might never happen if I carry on thinking about girls the way I do."

It has now has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the harmful implications of exposure to explicit images among children.

Fight Against Porn Zombies uses animations looking at the implications of overexposure to pornography.

Peter Liver, director of ChildLine, said: "Children of all ages today have easy access to a wide range of pornography.

“If we as a society shy away from talking about this issue, we are failing the thousands of young people it is affecting.

"We know from the young people who contact ChildLine that viewing porn is a part of everyday life, and our poll shows that one in five 12 to 13-year-olds thinks that watching porn is normal behaviour.

"They tell ChildLine that watching porn is making them feel depressed, giving them body image issues, and making them feel pressured to engage in sexual acts they're not ready for."

Dame Esther Rantzen, ChildLine's founder, said: "Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships.

"We know they are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them.

"Girls in particular have said they feel like they have to look and behave like porn stars to be liked by boys.

"We absolutely have to talk to young people about sex, love, respect and consent as soon as we feel they are ready, to ensure that they gain a proper perspective between real-life relationships and the fantasy world of porn."

 

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