UK teens 13-15 view over 86 hours of online porn a year

According to TechRadar, more than one thousand Britons aged 13 to 15 took part in a OnePoll poll of online browsing habits, and it turns out that, on average, each teen spends about 100 minutes a week viewing online porn--nearly 50% more time than they do visiting the Samaritans, a charity focused on helping teens with problems large and small, but about the same amount of time they spend downloading music.

Topics such as cosmetic surgery, dieting, family planning, and health are individually the focus of more than an hour a week's worth of viewing.

The study was commissioned (for advertising purposes?) by CyberSentinel, a company that provides software to help parents block their children's access to "objectionable" websites and other internet activity--and emails concerned parents "immediately" if it detects any "problems". Given that one of the types of material out there that users of the software routinely censor is pornography, it is likely that the teenagers surveyed in this poll did not have parents who used CyberSentinal's blocking software (or any of the other competing products out there).

According to CyberSentinel's sales patter, "With CyberSentinel, you can make peace not war! You don't have to keep invading their 'personal space', going into their rooms or watching over their shoulder. Instead, you can say 'yes' again ... when they want to go online."

TechRadar quotes Ellie Puddle, CyberSentinel's Marketing Director
, as saying, "The alarming thing about this research is that it shows that teenagers are obviously exploring all sorts of topics as a result of modern-day pressures [and] they find it easier to go online to conduct their research than asking mum and dad for advice."

However, given that one of the things CyberSentinel's software scans for to block is "suicide themes", it is possible that it could stop troubled teens from visiting sites that could help them, such as the Samaritans, which "provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide."

Even if the Samaritans site is white-listed, it would be impossible for all sites geared toward helping teenagers in distress to be flagged as okay. And if teens want to know about drugs or plastic surgery, but do not want the embarrassment of asking their parents, then the internet--a potential resource of great value--would likely prove to be of little use to them.

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