MEDICAL DAILY: Researchers Speak Out About Children’s Exposure to Internet Porn – It Can Severely Impact Mental Health and Sexuality, Increases STDs and Pregnancy

The internet is a virtual paradise for every expression although some users may be using it for more sexually explicit reasons. Internet porn may be impacting a teen’s mental health and could lead to unsafe sexual practices.

By Charles Poladian | May 21, 2012

The internet is a virtual paradise for every expression although some users may be using it for more sexually explicit reasons. Internet porn may be impacting a teen’s mental health and could lead to unsafe sexual practices.

Sexual and mental health may be severely impacted by internet porn viewing habits according to researchers. Internet porn may send out the wrong message about safe sex practices which could be especially problematic for teens. Risky sexual behaviors could increase the risk of disease as well as pregnancy.

The Australian study was led by Rebecca Guy, PhD, from the Kirby Institute’s Sexual Health Program at the University of New South Wales. Internet porn may be associated with an increase in the likelihood of adolescents having a larger number of sexual partners and use drugs or alcohol during sex.

According to the researchers, adolescents who have visited porn sites were more likely to have a higher number of sexual partners and participate in a wider variety of sexual practices. The increased likelihood of alcohol and drug use during sex was also associated with the porn viewing habits of teens.

This is especially problematic because these kinds of behaviors were associated with increasing the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies in previous studies. In an Australian survey that the researchers cite, approximately 28 percent of children between the ages of nine and 16 had seen online porn.

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The study does not conclude that porn is turning the youth into sex-crazed delinquents, but more along the line that there was an association between adolescents who viewed porn with an increased likelihood of certain sexual behaviors.

Scientists are not sure about the connection between internet porn viewing and sexual activity. Adolescents who viewed porn may have been exposed to sex and participated in different sexual activities earlier, thus seeking out porn online rather than online porn spurring this activity in adolescents.

Because of the easy accessible nature of internet porn, the researchers believe more families and schools should openly discuss sexual behaviors in order to educate. The researchers note that sex education and open discussions about sex aided in an adolescent’s decisions about sex and were not associated with increasing the chance of having sex at a younger age.

Morality aside, sexual health is an important, and necessary, part of an adolescent’s development. Internet porn may make sex seem inconsequential but uniformed sexual decisions could lead to a lifetime of consequences.

The study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

 

 

http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20120521/9961/internet-porn-adolescent-sexual-health.htm

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