Monday, January 25, 2010

Boys who see pornography are more likely to harass girls: a new study's findings

[image is from here]

I want to personally and professionally thank Michael Flood (creator and moderator of, linked to on the right side of this blog in the important web pages section) for conducting this research project. The results don't surprise me at all, and I think it's always good for those who "need studies" to have those resources and results to confirm what so many of us already know.

January 24, 2010

Boys who see porn more likely to harass girls

Maurice Chittenden and Matthew Holehouse

BOYS exposed to porn are more likely to indulge in casual sex and less likely to form successful relationships when they grow older, according to research carried out in a dozen countries.

The report, Harms of Pornography Exposure Among Children and Young People, also found that young boys who see pornography are more inclined to believe there is nothing wrong with pinning down or sexually harassing a girl.

Michael Flood, who carried out the study at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, said: “There is compelling evidence from around the world that pornography has negative effects on individuals and communities.

“We know it is shaping sexual knowledge. Some people may think that is good. But porn is a very poor sex educator because it shows sex in unrealistic ways and fails to address intimacy, love, connection or romance. Often it is quite callous and hostile in its depictions of women.

“It doesn’t mean that every young person is going out to rape somebody but it does increase the likelihood that will happen.”

Research in the UK suggests that 60% of boys under 16 have been exposed to pornography, accidentally or deliberately. The average age at which they first saw porn has dropped from 15 to 11 in less than a decade. The average amount of time they watch porn on the internet is 90 minutes a week.

John Carr, an adviser to the government and secretary of the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), said: “We had a case in west London where a boy in the first year of primary school was bringing pictures to school and was acting them out in the playground during the break. When they did a home visit the dad was downloading it and it was all over the house.

“It is not an argument for banning it but it is an argument to find better ways to make it harder for kids to get hold of it.”

Such is the international spread of porn through the internet that youngsters in Asian and African countries see blonde white women on screen and then regard tourists with the same attributes as sex objects, Flood says.

However, Thaddeus Birchard, a psychotherapist who runs a sex addiction practice in London, said: “We are entering a period of moral panic and this is part of it. Children are not receiving sex education at home. Sexually explicit material on the net can even help educate them.

“The internet is a way of being sexually addicted but it does not cause the addiction. What causes it is the relationship between the child and their parents. Almost always they are maternally deprived.”

Petra Boynton, a psychologist, said: “Children are not necessarily looking at porn for gratification. They are doing so because they are bored and not supervised. Often when children look at more extreme porn it is done for bravado so they can laugh and say how disgusting it is.”


kurukurushoujo said...

Sexually explicit material on the net can even help educate them.

With all due respect and not being as anti-pornography as many I have to say that this is completely naive or at worst willfully ignorant. Has this guy even seen some of the material available on the internet? How are children supposed to be educated by facials, bukkake and completely impractical sex positions only done for the camera? Seriosuly, man.

What causes it is the relationship between the child and their parents. Almost always they are maternally deprived.

First, it's the parents and in the next sentence it's the mother's fault. Soooo transparent. Obviously, boys get addicted to pronography because their mothers don't love them enough. *rolls eyes* Couldn't have anything to do with their fathers, naaaah. Just look at that totally responsible dad who had pornography "all over the house".

Jeeeez, I'm beginning to think that people warning about moral panics are as badly invested in their own imaginary version of reality as people who talk about moral panics. On one hand it's "Oh noes, we have to protect our children from sexuality", on the other hand it's "Oh noes, we must not talk shit about any aspect of human sexuality whatsoever". *arrgh*

raytherah said...

“The internet is a way of being sexually addicted but it does not cause the addiction. What causes it is the relationship between the child and their parents. Almost always they are maternally deprived.”

Good old blame it on the mother tactics. I was enjoying the article up till that point.

Julian Real said...

THANK YOU, kurukurushoujo!!!!

I TOTALLY agree with EVERY point you made, and probably should have made it when introducing that piece. But I'm SO VERY GRATEFUL you came along and made those very points and in some ways am glad I didn't, so that visitors here can know exactly how you feel, and that you are not alone, nor am I, with those concerns and aggravations.

Yes, the piece blames moms and parents when the pornography industry makes it's "product" so ever-present that it really doesn't matter what a parent says: young people and not so young people are ingesting so much pornography that the horrible lessons it teaches about people and "sexxx" overwhelm most consumers.

To have children exposed to pornography is a form of sexual abuse, in my opinion, and I base that not just on the fact that it is so obviously age-inappropriate, but not matter one's age, the material itself is vile and hateful of women and girls. And it teaches how to make hate look "sexy" which is so inhumane. The corporate pimps should be in jail for crimes against humanity. Or people should be able to sue them for damages.

So I applaud your comment, and hope everyone who reads it does as well.


Ditto Kurukurshoujo - I've just sent similar analysis to an international feminist network, citing the same 'mother-blaming' denials in this article.

I too focused on how obviously it must have been the mother's fault for not ensuring the father kept his porn collection away from her son and not preventing her son from taking daddy's pictures to school and then committing similar violence to other children.

Thaddeus Birchard and Petra Boynton are completely non-credible since they excuse/justify/deny the realities of porn teaching boys (because it is boys despite the gender neutral term 'children') sadistic male sexual violence against women and girls is normal because 'no human was harmed.'

I believe the term is 'refusal to see the elephant in the room' or in this case - refusal to see how male-centered society allowed and promoted pornography because it was supposedly all about 'individual (male) freedom.'

Women's and girls' right to be accorded dignity and respect is apparently irrelevant because claims porn promotes male sexual violence against women is just a 'moral panic.'

aileen said...

I think my sexual abuse and seeing porn for the first time at age 10 had had nothing but a detrimental effect on my sexuality. I'd hate to think of what it would do to someone who doesn't question everything.

Julian Real said...

@Jennifer, Thank you for that analysis and information. For how many more decades will mothers be blamed for the crimes of the fathers?!!


I am so, so sorry you endured any abuse and were exposed to pornography at the age of ten. Without exception, every woman I know who was exposed to pornography as a child was harmed by it, regardless of whether there were other levels of abusive behavior.

I do consider people having pornography accessible to children a form of abuse, of sexual and emotional abuse. And the signs that it is abusive are everywhere.

I hope you are finding your way to a healthy relationship with yourself and other people.

Thank you for sharing here as you have.

Julian Real said...

Yes, Raytherah,

A rather misogynist, mother-blaming turn of events in that potentially good article.

I can't believe they let that stuff go to print.

Father's complain, in activist groups, when they are invisibilised as parents, yet in a report like this don't come out and protest "HEY, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MESSING UP OUR KIDS MORE THAN THE MOMS ARE!"

And that's true, either by overt abuse or chronic neglect of their children.

Such dudes are always so self-serving, focusing on their "rights" not ever on their "wrongs".

I'd like to see a report like this focus on the harm dads do to children's sexuality and emotional lives.