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Young women are OK with porn, evil Internet to blame

 
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It has long since been argued that continued exposure to something over a length of time will reduce the shock value of whatever it happens to be, from violence in movies to swearing in public. Now according to a report researchers at the Brigham Young University have suggested that the availability of 'pocket porn' via the Internet and mobile phones has led to a sea change in how women react to pornography.

The full study is to be published in the Journal of Adolescent Research in January, but enough detail has been leaked ahead of publication for us to know that most of the young women surveyed for the study did not use porn themselves, or at least did not admit to it, but an astonishing half did say that in their opinion the viewing of x-rated material was a perfectly acceptable way express sexuality. This compares with only 20 percent of the mothers of those women agreeing with them, although perhaps predictably 37 percent of fathers did.

Researcher Jason Carroll and his team spoke to more than 800 students in all, and in an interview with USA Today he revealed that the easy availability of adult images and explicit video content not only on the Internet but also via wireless technology, especially mobile phones, could be a significant factor. Something Carroll refers to as living in an "age of pocket porn."

Of course, the real lack of surprise comes when you look at how many young men look at porn, online or off, and see that the figure is an incredible 86 percent (compared to the 31 percent of women who said the same.) A whopping 20 percent admit to viewing pornography daily compared to a meagre 3.4 percent of young women who obviously have more productive things to do with their time.

It should also not come as any great surprise to discover that the research is drawing a link to the Internet in all of this, rather than suggesting that perhaps it could be something to do with a generally more accepting attitude towards all forms of sexual expression over the years and decades, or parents more willing and able to talk to their kids about such matters in a more open way than a generation or two ago. Certainly the full report will make for an interesting read, but one does have to bear in mind that Brigham Young is known as being fairly conservative and is a Mormon university for good measure.

Let's hope that its findings are not going to be used to stir up yet more 'Internet is evil' paranoia. The study already links porn viewing with binge drinking and casual sex with multiple partners, so it will not take much for the headlines to appear suggesting the Internet is responsible for a moral decline and rise in anti-social behaviour.

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

 
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To say the internet is evil would be the equivalent of saying, "Guns are evil."

However, society is bound to enforce the evil use of guns. Murder is wrong and should be punished in a civilized society.

And likewise, Pornography is wrong and it's spread and use should not be tolerated or encouraged by society. The basic unit of society is the family. And pornography breaks down a person's resistance in other moral areas of actual adultery and fornication: sins, if you will, which lead to divorce and the breakdown of the basic unit of society.

 
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Im sure if they did a study as to how many young males looked at national geographic 20 years ago for the same purpose the numbers would probably be rather similar. The internet has nothing to do with a teenage boy's curiosity about such things it simply adds an easier way to access such things.

 
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The comparison of the (label) evil internet to (the lable) evil guns does not quite fit. While I agree that neither guns or the internet are evil, it's a question of control, a control exerted by our morality. It's a simple notion, wanton killing is bad. We all know it, and most of us live by it.

Most parents attempt to limit their childrens' access to guns, those with guns usually train their children in their use if they allow their use at all, which cuts down greatly on accidents and immature acts.

It generally works. Yes, people are murdered with guns every day, but for the most part, if there were no guns, the same number of people would probably be murdered by other means. And in fact the numbers (by percentage) are quite low. You run a much greater risk of dying by your own hand in your own car. Or by measles, for that matter. (Think about that for a moment).

People mistake the intent of the murderer with the tool used. Guns are readily accessible to many, so those who would murder often use it instead of other means. If you were to take away all guns (in the cities) you'd simply see increased use of poison, knives, bows & arrows, fire, pipe bombs and the like. The death toll would not diminish notably.

For the most part guns are under control. The numbers of death by firearms are astoundingly low .. measles kill a much higher number. Motor vehicle deaths and medical mal-practice so far surpass death by firearm as to make the whole anti-gun movement laughable, if it wasn't so tragic a statement against personal responsibility and freedom and the lack of comprehension of the real problems we face.

So while the label is placed on guns, so, for the most part is a remarkable amount of control surrounding the issue of gun use and abuse. That said, how do you control the "bad" that is being perpetrated within the internet? How do you combat, how do you educate, whre do you start? It feels evil because there are an incredible number of people using it to foul ends, and it's hard to tell them from the others. It's a lawless land, full of danger and intrigue. Curiosity draws us in. Familiarity and acceptance ensues. Values are corrupted. Society does not know what to do with this, it's happening so quickly.

 
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"viewing of x-rated material was a perfectly acceptable way express sexuality. This compares with only 20 percent of the mothers of those women agreeing with them, although perhaps predictably 37 percent of fathers did."

What is this "predictably 37 percent of fathers" would agree that porn was acceptable? Who predicts a number like 37? What kind of misandric research is really going on?

 
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lol i think that title should be 'thanks to evil internet' honestly i fail to see how people that believe (rightly or wrongly -i have no interest in judging for others) that god made everything as is and knows exactly what going on all the time (past present and future) can logically find the naked human form unacceptable but then again i never did understand how 'god' could have a plan for everything while we'r supposedly meant to have free will.

but enough of my church bashing i didn't mean to offend anyone i just find people who use religion to try and control what others do annoying, so sorry if that offended anyone. as for guns last time i checked the death count in the us was quite shockingly high and to say people would just find another way is a little naive at best i would like to see a gang wander around with long bows unnoticed or use poison to mug someone for $20.

At the end of the day guns have 1 purpose to shoot things they have no other use what so ever and im glad i don't live in a country who still justifies allowing just about anyone to have one by claiming the king of england could come and steal your land or whatever (i know/hope Americans dont say that but fact remains thats why it was drafted into the constitution and thats what the gun laws are based on). to compare the internet (a means of connectivity (as thats what the internet is its not sites its not content its the wires that run between them) to something to something solely designed to punch holes in things is just incorrect.

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