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    9 Alarming Ways Porn Affects Children And Young People

    One in four young people first saw internet porn aged 12 or younger and the effects of this are far-reaching and profound, as BBC Three's documentary Porn: What's The Harm? found.

    I've been involved in sex education for 20 years and it was literally one summer where we saw the change and that was 2002.At that time we worked just in senior schools with year 9 and year 10 which is 14- and 15-year-olds and up until that in a class of 30 we would maybe have three lads in the class who had accessed pornography and that would have been through Fiesta magazine (a much-read porno mag in the 80s and 90s) and that sort of thing.And after that summer when everyone seemed to get the internet piped into their homes, in September and October we found that it was only three lads out of 15 that hadn't accessed pornography. It was literally that quick.

    2. Children as young as five are now being told about the dangers of porn.

    3. Many children really do see online porn by accident.

    4. Schools have to provide some form of sexual education, but they don't have to teach kids about porn.

    The Education Act 1996 says schools must tell kids "about STIs and HIV and encourage pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and family life," but that's about it.

    Guidelines for schools on teaching sex and relationships - which is optional - were written in 2000, before the ubiquity of smartphones and broadband access. The only reference to the internet is in the context of stopping kids accessing rude pictures from within the school – the problem now is accessing porn in the home, something on which there's no official guidance for teachers.

    5. Thanks to porn, teenage boys and girls don't really know what women really look like - while girls as young as 12 are asking for labiaplasty surgery.

    6. Sexting and sharing compromising pictures among friends could get you arrested and put on the Sex Offender's Register for life.

    7. Teachers, parents and young people themselves don't understand how quickly young people can share images.

    8. Many of the images being shared by paedophiles and under-age porn sites were taken by children and young people themselves.

    The Internet Watch Foundation told the programme that there has been a large increase in the number of images being shared or sold by sites offering images of girls aged under 16. Many of them are taken straight from Facebook - to be then sold by "prolific child sex abuses websites".

    9. Maybe this isn't surprising but many porn stars have fairly depressing lives.