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Majority of teens exposed to porn, some have used school devices

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Posted at 11:33 AM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 12:33:39-05

A report released this week by Common Sense Media found kids as young as 10 are being exposed to pornography online.

"The numbers are mind-boggling. They're just mind-boggling,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media. "Online pornography is everywhere and kids are accessing it early."

The data from the nonprofit child advocacy group shows most American teens ages 13 to 17 have seen pornography online, either intentionally or accidentally.

The average age when kids first saw content was 12, but some kids as young as 10 reported seeing it. They say they're seeing images on their smartphones, across social media streaming sites, and even on school devices. In fact, one in three teens who watched porn say they were exposed to it during the school day.

Experts say reducing pornographic exposure among children and teens will mean broad changes.

"Parents have to be more involved and more knowledgeable schools have to recognize that this is actually happening in schools and that it's part of sex education and behavioral education for young people, and quite frankly, the industry has got to be held accountable for the fact that they are the gateway platforms for all of this pornography to young people,” said Steyer.

According to the study, about 8 in 10 teens who watched porn said they did so to learn how to have sex.

But more than half say what they saw involved violent portrayals.