It is essential for the harmonious development of the young person, as long as other values such as affection and love are usually present and are reached in a conscious and progressive way. Pornography is another matter. It is the crude display of genitals and sexual acts, being the denial of art and love. Its negative effect is magnified in less formed minds.
Should not then hinder their chances of adversely affecting the development of children and youth, restricting their commercial promotion, as they try to do with drugs? Pornography, consumed habitually, has great repercussions on the sexual behavior of children and adolescents. In addition, there is a risk that these may develop abnormal sexual tendencies. As it has been demonstrated, 86% of the rapists in the United States have admitted to being habitual users of pornography.
In Spain, according to 2005 data, 30% of children aged five uses the Internet, 60% of those aged 8 to 13, and 75% of adolescents. 66% use it for their entertainment and only 14% of parents set rules for their use. 32% of male users between 10 and 17 years old had access to pages of pornography, racism or violence, compared to 15% of girls.
Although it has been more than five years since obtaining this data, some of them are worrisome, as I am sure that currently the number of children and youth users of those pages has increased. In our series, 53% of the respondents visit them occasionally and 37% regularly, with a clear predominance of males (68%). If this survey was carried out on children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, these figures would probably be higher.
The reason for not surveying this age group is that we have to request permission from their parents because they are minors. Perhaps other groups can consider doing them and compare the results obtained with this series that we present.
It is striking that 7% of respondents began their visits to pornography networks at age 12, or less, and that 87% of those who visit them usually do so through their personal computer. It is curious that 19% of the participants in this survey initiated their contact with the sex pages in the computer classes of their schools. This should be a wake-up call for educators to monitor the activities of their students.
Although children quickly become experienced computer users, they cannot assess the risk that this entails. Some authors consider that this risk is comparable to a “21st century epidemic”. We cannot forget that, in many cases, in the computer world the teenager can be considered a teacher, and parents, students. In return, parents can offer a real-life experience to their children, through dialogue and explanations. The most vulnerable young people are usually those who have family conflicts, low self-esteem, a history of abuse, depression and seeking attention or affection from other people. Some adolescents who surf the Internet suffer cyber persecution, mistreatment and sexual harassment from others, via online.
Faced with this situation, professionals, parents, publicists, politicians and industry must be involved. Parents should install the computer in a place of common use for the whole family, learn the most about information technology, control the history of the visited pages, check if the file is downloaded completely by the children regularly, and observe changes in the behavior of the children. Children control the time they spend in front of the computer, talk to them about the use of the Internet, establish some logical rules of use and use self-protection programs to block and filter access to certain content on the network. Professionals have to ask and warn parents about the risks cited and, if necessary, speak clearly with the adolescent about these issues. Adolescents and sexy teens have to be informed about the risks of accessing encounters with known people through the Internet and forbid them from providing personal and family information to strangers. Governments should demand from the computer manufacturers the existence of keys in the device, in which, according to the user’s age, certain pages will be hidden from him. In addition, it is necessary to promote information campaigns for all levels of society: adolescents, families, health and education professionals 9. Advertisers have a great work ahead in this issue. Probably, there is a whole generation that is growing convinced that the “porno”, accessible and anonymous, that can be downloaded from the Internet, is sex in the real world, dictating physical and activity canons that can make our young people complex. Prevent them from achieving, in their moment, full happiness in their intimate relationships with other people in their environment. Over the immense power of information technology are the health and education of children, adolescents and young people. All the sectors of society are responsible for this. It is a difficult business. We fight against giants. The strength we have to obtain from our convictions and our influence in society. We have a credibility that other estates lack. It is not a lost war. You just have to start acting.