Most childhood exposure to pornography is unintentional

The Crimes Against Children Research Center measured children’s online pornography exposure in 2005 and found that 42 percent of youth Internet users ages 10-17 had been exposed to online pornography in the past year. Among those exposed, 66 percent reported they had not sought the exposure. The rest reported seeking pornography or a mix.

Youth reporting unwanted online exposure in 2005

Age Boys Girls
10-11 17% 16%
12-13 22 24
14-15 26 37
16-17 30 38

Not only are significant numbers of children being exposed to online pornography against their wishes, this number is rapidly increasing. One in three youth ages 10-17 reported unwanted exposure in 2005, up from 25 percent in 2000.
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Janis Wolak, Kimberly Mitchell, David Finkelhor, “Unwanted and Wanted Exposure to Online Pornography in a National Sample of Youth Internet Users,” PEDIATRICS, Volume 119, Number 2, February 2007, p. 251, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/119/2/247. (accessed June 2, 2010).

Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.