A shocking amount of parents think porn sites should have no age limit

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Children as young as 11 may be accessing porn. [Photo: Getty]

Children as young as 11 may be accessing porn. [Photo: Getty]

The government plans to use age-verification in order to prevent under 18s accessing pornography sites online, but only 83% of parents support the initiative, according to research by Internet Matters.

There is despite evidence children as young as 11 are accessing pornography.

Out of those who oppose the government scheme, 30% said it is because they would not trust age-verification companies with their data.

A further 18% said they thought children would be able to get around the age-verification system, and 13% said they did not think it would prevent children from watching porn.

Is my child watching porn online?

While the idea of your child using a porn site might seem shocking, statistics from Middlesex University, who interviewed 1,001 11 to 16 years olds, show you could be surprised.

Over half (53%) of these children reported watching this material online, with the figure surging to 94% for over-14s, according to the study.

Early exposure to porn is linked with harmful behaviours in later life, such as sex addictions, intimacy disorders and sexual violence.

Children and screen time

While watching pornography as a child can be harmful to a child, parents are being told to worry less about the effects of screen time in general to children.

Guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) for under 18s lists a series of questions to help families decide about screen time use.

These include:

  • Is your family’s screen time under control?

  • Does screen use interfere with what your family want to do?

  • Does screen use interfere with sleep?

  • Are you able to control snacking during screen time?

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