The Archbishop of York has joined the growing list of prominent religious leaders in their fight to curb illicit and pornographic content that is freely available to all users regardless of age.
In a statement the Archbishop, Dr. John Sentamu, raised concerns that many parents are becoming increasingly familiar with. One of those concerns is how to properly monitor what your child is watching given that gaining access to the internet through various platforms has never been easier.
The other concerns raised deal with the limited protections offered by internet providers, as well as the various advocacy groups that support a completely open internet for users around the world.
"In our modern world parents have an increasingly hard time protecting their families from online dangers and it is right that we put proper protections in place … In our society there is a growing loss of innocence caused by increased sexualization on TV, in films, music, magazines, even in the products on our supermarket shelves," Sentamu said in a statement published in the Daily Mail.
"However this loss of innocence can be harmful to our young people. We need to let children be children," he added.
William Struthers, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, recently stated that adolescents in the 12- to 18-year-old range were "rampantly" searching and viewing pornography on the internet.
With the ease of internet access coupled with the simplicity granted by smartphones, more and more young adults are curiously seeking out questionable content.
"It's not a question of if my 10-year-old son is exposed. It's a matter of when," Struthers said during a discussion of pornography at Wheaton College.
67 percent of men and 49 percent who view pornographic material feel that it is an acceptable and normal expression for sexuality, according to Struthers. The nature of these attitudes is allowing young adolescents to be "groomed into unhealthy attitudes to sex," he said.
"Many children are easily or inadvertently accessing internet pornography, this is by no means the only danger. Computer manufacturers and Internet Service Providers have a responsibility to make accessing such materials as difficult as possible," Sentamu said.
Among the recommendations made by the Archbishop is for internet service providers to implement opt-in filters which automatically block illicit websites from computers unless adults specifically decide to have access to them through their internet plan.
Sentamu has also called on internet service providers to fast track plans to provide customizable filtering systems for new customers. This will allow a single account network to block sites from all devices connected to the same internet account.