Sexually Aggressive Kids More Likely to Have Seen Violent Porn, Claims Local Research

Categories: Doctor's Orders
Viewing violent x-rated material may contribute to sexually aggressive behavior among 10-17 year olds, according to a Santa Ana-based research firm.

Youth who look at violent porn are six times more likely to force someone else to do something sexual online or in-person versus kids who are not exposed to x-rated material, finds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded study by Internet Solutions for Kids.

"Because of the obvious ethical problems of purposefully exposing kids to pornography, little was known before about how viewing x-rated material may be related to sexual aggression in children," explains Dr. Michele Ybarra, the primary author of the study for the East Garry Avenue non-profit research organization that promotes "new and innovative methods that improve the health and safety of young people."

"We believe a mutli-pronged approach is necessary, with research alongside active youth education and support," she added.

Published in Aggressive Behavior, the study asked kids whether they had looked at x-rated material before, and then looked to see if the kids who said "yes" were more likely to also say that they were sexually aggressive." Researchers discovered exposure to Internet pornography is relatively common among youth. 

However, Ybarra's study concluded the Internet is not the most common source of x-rated material--even violent x-rated material. Fourteen percent looked at x-rated material in movies, 12% in magazines, and 11% online.  

"There's an assumption out there that the Internet has somehow increased kids' exposures to deviant content," Ybarra noted. "Our data don't support this. We're learning that just because content that we find disturbing is accessible online, doesn't mean kids will seek it out."

While agreeing blocking and filtering software will likely prevent the exposure of the young to violent x-rated material online, those strategies will not stop kids from seeing such images and depictions in magazines and movies. 

Her solution? Talk to your kids.

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