• sensiblescreenuse

Internet safety, kids and porn


Following Internet Safety Day in February the results of Ngā taiohi matihiko o Aotearoa – New Zealand Kids Online, a research report from Netsafe, were released. This study shows insights into children and young peoples experiences online, the awareness of which can help guide parents and educators to support childrens digital opportunities while minimising online harm.


The report showed that nearly half of all teenagers were exposed to potentially harmful content online, including suicide how-to guides, violent images, racist material and pro-anorexia sites, (NZ Herald).


Research has also found that exposure to pornography through deliberate or accidental means is also common - not only for youth but also for children, as young as 8 years old. Educators and principals have acknowledged their awareness that despite controls, young people are accessing porn sites within school hours on personal devices. For an excellent summary see Pornography use in young people - what do we know? by The Light Project.


This research has also shown that some schools are considering and addressing these issues, and many school staff are already talking to teenagers about porn. At least one Auckland primary school principal has acknowledged that children accessing inappropriate content (including pornography) on personal school computers at home, despite managed safety networks, was a significant reason in their decision to discontinue online homework for this young age group.


The video link below is a talk from Auckland sexual health nurse, therapist and researcher Jo Robertson. This is a fabulous and informative podcast (possibly confronting for some) showing insights into pornography exposure and use in children and young people, and discussing how and why we need to talk about this.


For further resources on digital safety see classroom resources.


For further resources on pornography and young people, the excellent team at The Light Project have a wealth of information.


See https://www.sensiblescreenuse.org/risks for more information.


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