Canada: Rural Teens Even More Likely to View Porn than Urban; Parents, Sex Ed Somewhat Oblivious to Childrens’ Porn Viewing Habits

Science Daily reports these findings from a new University of Alberta study

A total of 429 students aged 13 and 14 from 17 urban and rural schools across Alberta, Canada, were surveyed anonymously about if, how and how often they accessed sexually explicit media content on digital or satellite television, video and DVD and the Internet. Ninety per cent of males and 70 per cent of females reported accessing sexually explicit media content at least once. More than one-third of the boys reported viewing pornographic DVDs or videos “too many times to count”, compared to eight per cent of the girls surveyed.

A majority of the students, 74 per cent, reported viewing pornography on the Internet. Forty-one per cent saw it on video or DVD and 57 per cent reported seeing it on a specialty TV channel…

The study also revealed different patterns of use between males and females, with boys doing the majority of deliberate viewing, and a significant minority planning social time around viewing porn with male friends…

Thompson [Sonya Thompson, a masters graduate student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and author of the study], formerly a sex education teacher, is concerned about the health and social messages pornography sends. Excessive early exposure to pornography may be harmful in terms of expectations going into relationships. “What kinds of expectations will these young people have going into their first sexual relationships? It may be setting up a big disconnect between boys and girls and may be normalizing risky sex practices.”

Almost half of rural youths in the survey reported seeing pornographic videos or DVDs at least once, compared to one-third of the urban participants. Thompson is unsure why rural teens access porn more on video and DVD, but suggests that parents may think distance acts as a buffer. “Maybe they have a false sense of thinking they are far away from unhealthy influences.” Rural boys also reported a lower incidence of parents talking with them about sexual media content. Urban girls were most likely to have had discussions with their parents.

And while the majority of teens surveyed said their parents expressed concern about sexual content, that concern hasn’t led to discussion or supervision, and few parents are using available technology to block sexual content.

“It indicates there is plenty of room for better parenting around pornography use. Parents need to improve dialogue with their children and their own awareness level. They have to be educated enough to be the ones setting the boundaries in the house,” Thompson said…

Teachers also need to tackle the issue in sex education classes, she added. “Obviously it’s a huge influence on kids and it needs to be talked about. There’s a whole subculture we are not addressing.”

See also:

The Creation of a Pornography Addiction
“In a majority of my cases, the earlier the exposure to pornography, the deeper the client’s level of addiction. In most cases I see involvement with pornography starting between ages ten to fourteen… [C]hildren and teenagers are faced with sexual decisions before they fully understand the consequences of their own sexual behaviors.”

Young New Yorkers Talk about Porn’s Effect on their Relationships (explicit language)
A 20-year-old college student who bartends at a popular Soho lounge describes how an I-porn-filled adolescence shaped his perceptions of sex. “Looking at Internet porn was pretty much my sex education,” he says. “I mean, in school, it was just, ‘Here’s a gigantic wooden dildo, and now we’re putting a condom on it,’ whereas on the Internet, you had it all. I remember the first time I had sex, my first thought as it was happening was, Oh, this is pornography. It was a kind of out-of-body experience. I was really uncomfortable with sex for a while…”

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