University of Bedfordshire call for urgent action over child access to porn

Published May 29, 2013 by misty534

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LECTURERS at the University of Bedfordshire have made an urgent call for children to be educated about pornography following a report by the children’s commissioner last week.

Researchers from four universities identified 41,000 items of academic literature about pornography, undertaking an in-depth analysis of 276 to draw its conclusions.

Dr Llian Alys, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire, and part if the research team said: “In this age of evolving technology and increased technological connectivity, the time has come to address children and young people’s exposure to pornography and its possible effects. We hope that this report will encourage that discussion.”

The research, based on a review of published evidence led by Middlesex University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Canterbury Christchurch University and University of Kent was supplemented by a focus group of young people.

The report, entitled; ‘Basically… porn is everywhere’, found that children and young people’s exposure and access to pornography occurs both online and offline but in recent years the most common method of access is via internet enabled technology; exposure and access to pornography increases with age.

It also found that accidental exposure to pornography is more prevalent than deliberate access and there are gender differences in exposure and access to pornography with boys more likely to be exposed to and deliberately access, seek or use pornography than girls.

The study concludes that there are still many unanswered questions about the affect exposure to pornography has on children – which the Office of the Children’s Commissioner says needs urgent action as extreme violent and sadistic imagery are just two clicks away.

Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England said: “This report is based on an assessment of the available evidence. It points out the gaps in our knowledge as well as providing compelling evidence that exposure to pornography influences children’s attitudes to relationships and sex.

“We are living at a time when violent and sadistic imagery is readily available to very young children, even if they do not go searching for it, their friends may show it to them or they may stumble on it whilst using the internet. We all have a duty to protect children from harm and the time has come for decisive action.”

 

 

byKATHRYN CAIN

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