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Nordic study finds that porn enters children's lives earlier than before


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Young people in the Nordic Countries become acquainted with pornography at an earlier stage than before. A fresh study also indicates that their attitudes toward it also differ from those of their parents.
     
About one in three young people can be classified as heavy consumers of porn, according to a recent study on young people and pornography in the Nordic Countries. The study was commissioned by the ministers responsible for gender equality of the Nordic Countries.
      Most boys have their first encounters with porn at the age of 12 to 14, while others are introduced to it well before puberty.
      The survey shows that young people look at all types of porn, but that very few are familiar with illegal types of hard-core material involving children, animals, or violence.
      The increasing emergence of pornography into everyday life has sparked intense debate in the Nordic Countries. There are special concerns about its influence on children and young people; the study examines how the proliferation of porn has affected the concept that boys and girls have of gender issues.
     
Half of the young people surveyed felt that pornography is disgusting, and that it is harmful for people's sex lives.
      The most severe critics were slightly older girls, who also often felt sympathy for the victims of the sex industry. While there was little support for outlawing porn, 68 per cent were in favour of more restrictions.
      Young people are skilled in navigating on pornographic web sites, and many are exposed to sexually explicit material in e-mail spam, and pop-up windows.
      Boys who look at pornography tend to use it as visual stimulus for masturbation, while girls generally look at it just for fun, or out of curiosity.
     
Traditional gender roles are seen to be reflected in the content of porn, with men as active partners and observers, while women are objects, who are judged according to appearance or willingness to serve.
      Boys found that the female models depicted in pornography are good looking, but "plastic". They say that they would prefer natural-looking girls as their own partners.
      Girls find themselves pressured by slender body images and demands of sexual activity. They say that the body images depicted in pornography increase their feeling of insecurity about their own bodies.
      Boys do not admit to comparing themselves or their penises with the dimension of those of male porn models.


Helsingin Sanomat


  30.3.2007 - TODAY
 Nordic study finds that porn enters children's lives earlier than before

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