Today’s teens think porn is too easy to find

Half the teens surveyed regard sexting—sending naked pictures and videos—as part of everyday life.

IRL

Published Aug 20, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 6:02 pm CDT

Online porn is so ubiquitous—so easy to stumble upon in message boards, banner ads, and random Bing searches that even hormonal teens are sick of it. Does the Internet have an overabundance of smut, or is it simply too easy to find?

Eighty percent of people aged 10 to 18 in the U.K. said that it’s too easy to stumble across explicit material while searching for something else online. Almost three quarters of the 500 kids surveyed reflected that porn gave people an unrealistic view of sex. More than half said they’d unwittingly seen pictures or videos that made them feel uncomfortable. 

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the body that conducted the research, found that almost half the teens regard sexting—sending naked pictures and videos—as part of everyday life. In a world where parents may not have grown up with a mobile phone, let alone Snapchat, over 60 percent of today’s teens said that adults didn’t relate to young people’s relationships. 

However, the survey suggests that many kids envy previous generations. Three quarters of girls and half of boys said that it would be easier growing up without smut around every corner.

“The relationship skills we build as young people are crucial to how we form our couple, family, social and professional relationships later in life,” said Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of counselling charity Relate. “But the way those early relationships are conducted has changed immeasurably in the last 10 years, leaving a gulf between this generation and the previous ones.”

“This new polling data shows that pornographic images are pervasive in teenagers’ lives and that young women in particular are acutely conscious of how damaging they can be,” said Dalia Ben-Galim, associate director of IPPR.

When dogs complain they’ve eaten too many treats, maybe it’s time to hide the cookies in the pantry. 

Photo via nic519/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Aug 20, 2014, 9:10 am CDT