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Internet Pornography Blamed for Rise in Adolescent Sexual Crimes in UK

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
November 20, 2012|9:44 am

A new report in the United Kingdom revealed a startling trend of young boys being charged with rape or other sexual crimes, with authorities claiming online pornography is leading to the increase.

Reports from the U.K. show that of the 52 police districts, 24 reported officers arresting children as young as 10 on charges of rape and assault. Authorities indicated that in 2011 alone, 357 adolescents aged 18 and younger were arrested and charged with various sex crimes.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children contends that pornography that children are able to watch on the internet is contributing to the rise in adolescents involved in sexual crimes. The images, they explain, are creating false and harmful thoughts of what sexual relationships entail.

The British government has proposed legislation that would aim make it harder for children to access explicit sites by using filters on personal internet accounts.

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, recently raised concerns of failing to properly monitor what child are able to watch online given that accessing the internet through various platforms has never been easier.

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.

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"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.

"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, 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.

Pornography is giving young people "unrealistic attitudes about sex and sexual relationships", he said, leading to girls having self-confidence and insecurities about their body, as well as young men having the wrong ideas as to the role sex should play in their lives.

Struthers explained that there is a trend that is seeing young people learn sexual morality and behavior not from family members or church communities, but from watching pornography. This, in turn, leads to an accepted understanding of sex as a "physical" act, instead of an emotional and intimate one.

"Pornography is teaching them that sex is available on demand, whenever, wherever and however they want it … They are looking for intimacy and think that pornography is helping them [but it's] junk food. Sex is about connecting with others … Pornography has co-opted this," Struthers added.

 

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