Porn seen by a quarter of children under 12, survey finds

Young men increasingly expect young women to behave like porn stars, survey looking at the effect of porn on young people also reveals

One in four young people watched internet porn by the age of 12 or younger, worrying new statistics have revealed.

A survey commissioned by the BBC asked young people for their opinions of online pornography for the documentary Porn: What's the harm? and found that seven per cent had seen porn when they were aged 10 or younger.

More than half of the 1,000 people aged between 16 and 21 surveyed said watching porn online at a young age had affected their expectations of sex - with many reporting that young men expect young women to behave like porn stars.

A third of young people said they had stumbled upon porn by accident, but many admitted to using it to fill in gaps left by school sex education or to find tips and techniques.

Dr Miranda Horvath and Dr Madeleine Coy, two of the UK's experts on sex and pornography, said there was a clear difference between the way girls and boys experienced online porn.

One in five of the young women questioned said they had never seen internet pornography, but only four per cent of young men gave the same answer.

Fifty per cent of the young men who took part in the programme said they look for porn every day or quite often (at least once in week), in comparison to ten per cent of young women who said the same.

Jameela Jamil, who presents the programme said the results made her concerned over the changing sexual expectations of young adults. "I worry about the new generation of men whose first real introduction to sex is what they see on their laptop," she said.

"They think we are supposed to look, sound and move like that. What’s scarier is that I worry young women are starting to think the same."

Porn: What's the harm? is being broadcast on BBC3 tonight at 9pm.

Comments