Sunday 25 June 2017

Teenage boys addicted to 'extreme' porn and want help

US authorities say they have cracked an international child porn ring
US authorities say they have cracked an international child porn ring

A fifth of boys aged between 16 and 20 told surveyors they were “dependent on porn as a stimulant for real sex”.

The online sexual imagery study surveyed 177 students and found 97pc of the boys had viewed porn.

Of those, 23pc said they tried to stop watching it but could not, while 13pc reported the content they watch has “become more and more extreme”.

Seven per cent said they wanted professional help because they felt their porn habit was getting out of control, the University of East London survey showed.

A fifth of boys aged between 16 and 20 told surveyors they were “dependent on porn as a stimulant for real sex”.

Most said they had lost relationships, neglected partners, and cut down on their social lives as a result of their behavioural addiction.

Amanda Roberts, a psychology lecturer at the university who created the study, exclusively seen by Telegraph Wonder Women, said: “About a quarter of young boys have tried to stop using it and can’t, which means there’s definitely problematic porn use within this group.

“It’s because there’s more and more exposure of porn and it’s excessive; it’s everywhere.”

She said the results were “worrying” and spoke about the effects it is having on the young boys: “I think it’s the really extreme hard-core material that is going to be quite damaging to children.

“It is also damaging to their self esteem, because they don’t look like that, and they then expect girls to look and act like porn stars.

“They feel inadequate, and most said they felt confused and angry because they couldn’t stop.”

Professor Matt Field, adolescent addiction psychologist at University of Liverpool, added: “Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing addictions and that’s because of how their brains are developing.”

He explained that humans have a ‘reward centre’ in the brain which develops quickly in adolescents and makes them sensitive to pleasure-inducing temptations such as porn.

But the part of the brain that is responsible for self-control does not mature until an adult is in their mid-twenties, making it harder for adolescents to suppress their urges.

Ms Roberts added: “To become an addict, you have to have a propensity to addiction first but they are all so exposed to it, which makes it so much worse.

“Porn is still one of the most looked up words on the internet. Before it was DVDs and magazines or soft-core websites, but now it’s all very hard-core and it’s free online.”

The study also found 80pc of girls aged 16-20 had seen porn.

Out of those, eight per cent felt they could not stop watching it, while 10pc said the content they watch has become more extreme.

While boys watched it mainly for pleasure, girls watched porn out of curiosity or for discovery learning.

The research comes after an NSPCC study, commissioned by The Daily Telegraph, showed a third of school pupils believe online pornography dictates how young people have to behave in a relationship.

The Telegraph Wonder Women’s Better Sex Education campaign, which launched last month, has highlighted how children are being pressurised into inappropriate sexual behaviour by internet pornography, and called for sex education in schools to be modernised.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has already indicated his support for the Telegraph campaign but has yet to announce how the Government will introduce reforms.

Current classroom guidelines on sex education have not been updated since 2000, failing to recognise vast expansion of online pornography which has taken place in the last decade with the growth of broadband and mobile internet.

 

 

 

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