Parents, how often do you check your child or children’s devices? Are you constantly checking which sites they visit? Do you use parental control tools or apps to make sure they don’t use violent or adult content?

An alarming study by Unisa’s Market Research Bureau’s Youth Research Unit (BMR) has revealed that more than half (55%) of young South African children regularly view pornography online, City Press reports.

SOME KIDS WATCH PORN EVERY DAY

According to the study, at least 10% of them watch adult videos every day. That’s not even the most shocking part, as the study found:

“35% of children watch child pornography and 30% watch violent pornography. Almost 65% also watch pornography between a man and a woman.

“They don’t really care that child pornography is illegal.”

In addition, children are also reported to consume brutality and hentai pornography.

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CHILDREN’S FIRST CONTACT IS OFTEN ACCIDENTAL

According to Dr. Antoinette Basson, a psychologist at the BMR department, in most cases, children stumble upon their first adult video or image.

“Parents put on a movie for their child and continue to work. Then a pop-up window appears and the child clicks on it and goes to the pornography site. Or they search for something like “barbie dolls” and then end up on a porn site. Children are interested, and then they go further and deeper into the porn site.”

According to 2OceansVibe, Pretoria-based clinical psychologist Marita Rademeyer can back up these findings with another shocking discovery:

“The youngest girl I worked with who was addicted to pornography was five years old. She watched pornography and masturbated every day, more than once a day.”

EFFECTS OF PORN VIEWING

Rademeyer also explained that because children imitate what they see, in more than 40% of cases where children are sexually abused, including rape, the perpetrators are other children.

“This is the so-called sexual abuse of children,” she explains.

Protect Your Eyes warns that watching porn can affect a child in these ways.

  • Pornography damages a child’s precious brain – it actually changes neural pathways.
  • Pornography harms children’s view of sex – what happens on the screen is completely different from what happens in real life.
  • Pornography damages a child’s view of people – porn reduces our ability to see a real, unique person.
  • Pornography damages a child’s quality of life. Because pornography is a supernormal stimulus, children cannot stop viewing it. They lose sleep and time.

READ ALSO: ‘It wrecked my brain’: Billie Eilish opens up about porn addiction

WAYS TO BLOCK PORN ON A CHILD’S DEVICE

Use Screen Time on iPhone, iPad and Android devices – Most devices already have this feature built-in.

Enable Google SafeSearch – Check the browser settings your children use (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) and make sure they use Google as their default search engine. Check their device regularly to make sure SafeSearch isn’t disabled.

Set parental controls – Most tools offer great features, such as the ability to block certain websites, restrict certain domains (for example, from porn producers) and warn about search terms that may be used by children, such as “sex”. Choose the tools in this PC Mag blog.

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