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No excuses when it comes to kids and porn

With pornography freely available on the internet, parents can no longer take a hands-off approach to their child's activities online, writes Susan McLean.

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With pornography freely available on the internet, parents can no longer take a hands-off approach to their child's activities online, writes Susan McLean.

The sooner parents realise the risk their child will be exposed to pornography online is real the better.

No longer is it OK, if it ever was, to say, "I don't understand tech", or "I don't use it, so I don't get it". The internet and all the wonderful and not so wonderful things about it are here to stay and parenting in the 21st century requires you to be able to parent online.

Cries of it's just  "moral panic", or "the risks are just not that bad" still permeate the "mummy blogs" of the uneducated and ignorant, who unfortunately have access to a large number of vulnerable parents, hungry for advice.

The fact is that pornography and easy access to it is something parents must understand. Even if your child does not look for online porn, it will most certainly find them. An innocuous search for something like, "naughty girl", will lead kids to a variety of porn sites, images and videos as will a search for a picture of a cute cat for a school project simply by typing in the word "pussy".

While in the adult context, some pornography is legal and adults have a right to view legal, online content, there can be no doubt that children are viewing pornographic videos that are far from what could be considered normal or mainstream. We know from research the average age for first exposure to pornography in Australia is 11 years of age. Read more. 

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  • A world where children can grow up without being psychologically harmed by accessing graphic, violent pornography online
  • Prevention of children’s access, given that porn is linked to increased risks of STIs and other harmful physical and relational outcomes
  • Higher standards for ISPs, tech and porn companies to implement technology-related child protection buffers to block harmful pornographic content
  • Adults, including the Australian Government, to exercise due diligence to protect children

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