The recent hacking of celebrity files on the supposedly safe internet ‘cloud’ has raised concerns that the youngest members of society are, once again, most at risk.
In a study by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), it found that sending sexually explicit pictures by mobile phone was a part of ‘everyday life’ for nearly 50 per cent of all teenagers in the UK.
The poll found that 80 per cent of children aged 10-18 think pornography was ‘too easy’ to get, including by accident, while six out of ten thought the pervasiveness of pornography made the growing up process ‘more difficult’.
Some older teenagers told the think-tank they had felt ‘pressured’ into sex by teachers, through rushed and awkward sex education lessons promoting the message that it is ‘normal’ to have sex before the age of consent as long as contraception is used.
According to a news report from the Daily Mail, despite young people’s concerns about the prevalence of pornography, many were themselves complicit in the spread of explicit imagery.
Overall 46 per cent of those polled by the IPPR said that sending naked photos or videos — known as ‘sexting’ — was part of everyday life for teenagers.
Dalia Ben-Galim, associate director of the IPPR, who commissioned the research, told the Mail, ‘The perception is that young people have embraced all of this technology and this is just the way they conduct their relationships and the way they live now’.