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New Research: Porn Leading to Sexual Violence in Youth

It’s hard to fathom how violent porn has become, and what it is doing to our kids and youth.

We understand this is not what most people want to hear, and even harder for parents to process. But we must confront the ugly truth about porn so we can take active steps to prevent and mitigate its harms.

There are four recent studies that provide further evidence of what we already know and was highlighted in our Statement of Research. Porn viewing is contributing to a range of concerning outcomes, including shaping sexual attitudes, behaviours, and relationship experiences. Consistently, studies link the viewing of violent pornography to increased tendencies for sexually aggressive behaviour.

New research reveals that it’s common for those who have been exposed to rough sex in pornography to both desire and engage in those acts. Hair pulling, spanking, scratching, biting, bondage, fisting, and double penetration are the acts used to describe ‘rough sex’. It’s so common in fact, that 91.4% of 19-30 year olds surveyed, desired to engage in one or more of these behaviours. 81.7% had engaged in one or more behaviours - and almost half of the study participants (49.5%) engaged in four or more rough sex behaviours.

This has massive implications for the rising rates of sexual violence. The sad reality is that a significant proportion of young men don’t recognise these acts as abusive because they are glorified in porn; and some young women don’t recognise their own abuse because they too, have been conditioned to accept it. According to other new research, porn can have profound impacts on relational attitudes. It should not come as a surprise to any of us that our kids aren’t born to love violence - they are groomed by a predatory porn industry to accept it as normal, and may then desire to engage in those same behaviours. 

Not only are sexual acts becoming more violent due to the influence of porn, according to more new research, sexual experiences amongst many young adults under the age of 30 are increasingly less intimate. Indications are that kissing is on the decrease between partners because it’s deemed to be ‘too intimate’. It seems that thanks to the transactional nature of porn-influenced sex, gone are the days of ‘kissing butterflies’.

And to top it off, pornography viewers are more likely to experience loneliness (yet they may not have been lonely when they started watching porn). Research reveals however, it can be a two-way street - those who are already lonely are also more likely to view porn. This ‘bidirectional’ relationship creates a trap that users find hard to break free from, compounding loneliness and leading to relationship deterioration and further isolation.

Is this the future we want for our kids? Or do we want them to have intimate, meaningful and sustainable relationships? Our hope, as I’m sure is yours, is for our kids to have a much better future than the current statistical trends.

We are currently creating resources to support parents and youth to combat the negative education that porn provides, and working with key stakeholders to see a change in the online landscape. You can support our kids by donating today, and being a part of the movement that supports our children to develop thriving relationships.

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Their Future. Your Voice.

I stand for…

  • A world where kids can grow up without being harmed by accessing graphic, violent online pornography
  • Prevention of children’s access to pornography through digital child protection buffers
  • Updated legislation and education to address pornography as a public health crisis that increases children and young people's vulnerabilities to sexual harms

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