Pornography is not new, but the internet has made it so accessible that it's become the main sex educator for many teenagers. Research shows that nine out of 10 boys aged years, and 60 per cent of girls in the same age bracket, have seen online porn, according to the University of Canberra. What young people are seeing in porn is shaping their sexual imaginations, expectations and practices, she says. Acts of physical aggression, the majority directed against women, occurred in 88 per cent of the most popular DVD and video porn of , Crabbe says, citing a content analysis by US academic psychologist Ana Bridges. A profound problem is that the majority of those acts of aggression were met with either neutral or positive responses from the target - the female porn performer. Violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights abuses. While the adult industry did not sign up for the role of sexual educator of young Australians, that is what it has become, says Crabbe. Last week in Australia, the federal government was urged to push internet service providers to automatically block pornography sites unless customers opt in. The move follows a comment by British Prime Minister David Cameron who said filters would mitigate the hardcore pornographic images that are ''corroding childhood''. Meanwhile, in the absence of filters, Crabbe says ''we need to be realistic that young people are likely to see it''.
From a year-old girl convinced to perform a sex show for an older man over webcam, to a year-old boy who tied up his girlfriend because 'on the videos they seem to like it', adolescents are becoming sexualised younger than ever. Experts are concerned about the impact of pornography on young Australians as more and younger teenage women are sustaining injuries from 'rough sex'. Ms McLean said while the injuries have been an issue she has been dealing with over the past five or six years, the age of those engaging in such activity had lowered dramatically. She added that 94 per cent of this aggression is directed towards women, something which is having a detrimental effect on the shaping of young people's sexuality. Young men are often trying to recreate what they have seen online in mainstream pornography, which is often aggressive towards women. Ms McLean recalled a police report she had seen detailing an incident between a year-old boy and his girlfriend, as an example of young people mimicking pornography. The teenager had tied the girl up and blindfolded her, but it was his reasoning that was the most shocking. She also said issues about consent, pressure and respect in relationships are a big issue for teenage girls. Both experts agreed the key to reversing these dangerous trends which can give young people a skewed concept of sex, respectful relationships and consent, is education.
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