Porn study reveals mental health risks

A new 2017 study has revealed that more Australian teens are viewing porn and they are exposed at younger ages than ever before.

In the words of ABC reporter Sophie Scott: "Burnet Institute researcher Dr Megan Lim, who did the study, said she was surprised at how commonly pornography was viewed by Australians aged 15-29."

"All the young men in our study said they'd seen pornography, and so did the majority of women," Dr Lim said. "They also reported seeing pornography at quite high frequency."


Dr Lim's study was made up with over 940 young people. Dr Lim found the average age for boys to first view porn was 13, and for girls 16 years.

"Around 80 per cent of young men said they watched weekly, and among the women who watched pornography, nearly two-thirds viewed at least monthly," Dr Lim said.

Alarmingly, the researchers also identified a link between exposure to pornography, negative mental health impacts and younger sexual activities.

This is hard evidence that adds to years worth of empirical studies that show undoubtedly pornography is having a negative overall impact, particularly on our young people.

The summary of findings published by the ABC include:

  • Frequent users of pornography are more likely to be male and well-educated
  • The average age of first exposure to pornography is declining
  • The median age of first viewing is 13 years for boys and 16 years for girls
  • Interventions such as age verification and internet filtering software are not likely to be effective in preventing a motivated young person's access to pornography
  • There's a correlation between the use of pornography and poor mental health.
  • Researchers also found young people who did not identify as heterosexual often felt excluded from sexual education at school, which is often focused on heterosexual behaviour.
  • The study, based on an online survey of 941 participants recruited via social media in 2015, is published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Collective Shout has long argued that our government is failing their duty of care to young Australian people, refusing to consider internet filtering, and other important tools in the fight against early exposure to pornography.

Our recent campaign against Sexpo ads puts this issue front and center - Sexpo is advertising the link to hardcore pornography websites on billboards and public buses, including buses used on school routes. So far, our government refuses to take action. Sign the petition and call for our elected officials to take urgent action now!


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  • Laura Mcnally
    published this page in News 2017-07-05 18:31:59 +1000

You can defend their right to childhood

Everyday our young people are exposed to more brands continuing to sexualise girls and objectify women. You can bring change to this sexploitation, stop companies from degrading women and prevent its devastating effects on young people.

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