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Data Proves Kids Watch Porn No Matter What Parents Do

Data suggests most adults watch porn, but few know how it may impact their love lives. Fewer still have any idea how to keep it away from their kids.

Online pornography is ubiquitous, and studies suggest that more than 95 percent of men and 70 percent of women have partaken at least once. Which is fine. Everything in moderation. The trouble arises when children and young teens access pornography online and come to think of the behavior they’re seeing as normal. This is a growing problem that has no clear solution. Studies have shown that strict rules and even web filters cannot dissuade curious, internet-savvy children. Similarly concerning, studies suggest that adult males who consume porn experience body dissatisfaction and relationship problems.

Here’s the data behind these conclusions:

Women Like Porn, But Men Really Like Porn  

True, about 98 percent of men have watched porn at least once. But a 2006 Danish study demonstrated that women trailed only slightly, at 79.5 percent. And when one considers the fact that men tend to over-report and women tend to under-report when it comes to sexual questionnaires, it is not unreasonable to assume that almost every member of both sex has partaken at least once. But how often they watch — therein lies the differences. Eighty percent of women look at porn less than twice a month. Very few watch porn on a weekly, let alone daily, basis. Not so with men. Nearly 70 percent of men consume porn at least once per week.

Men Might Like Porn, But It Probably Isn’t Great For Them

Although preliminary studies have shown that couples that watch porn together may actually experience relationship benefits, the data on men watching porn alone is less generous. One 2014 study of college men drove this point home by demonstrating that there is a strong correlation between regular porn consumption, poor body image, and high relationship anxiety. It seems that men who watch porn unfavorably compare themselves to their favorite stars, and may become reluctant to pursue relationships for fear of coming off inadequate.

And… It’s Impossible To Keep Kids Away From Porn

While porn consumption may be healthy for adults in moderation, children should certainly be kept clear of that online rabbit hole. But studies show our options, as parents, are limited. One 2005 study demonstrated that adolescents who admit to looking at porn online are no more or less likely to live in homes that forbid it, or insist on internet filters. If anything, there was a slight correlation between porn use and anti-porn rules at home! “None of the three safeguards examined in the current study however (i.e., rules, blocking software, checking the history function), differentiate between pornography-seeking and non-seeking youth,” the authors write. “Certainly parental involvement is important, but additional actions may be necessary.”