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One in ten Swedish boys views porn daily

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12:14 CEST+02:00
One in ten boys at upper secondary school looks at pornography once a day and one in 25 has seen child pornography at some point, according to a new study

The report, from researchers at Lund University, showed that while only 0.2 percent of girls looked at porn every day, 9.9 percent of boys did so.

The findings have been published in an anthology of essays on young people and porn released by the Swedish Media Council, a government agency. The council's chief administrator, Ann Katrin Agebäck, said that the popularity of porn gave "cause for concern."

"However, things are not as bad as the media often paints them to be."

The research team, led by child psychiatrist Carl Göran Svedin, interviewed 4,343 students aged between 16 and 19 to determine how they used porn.

A large majority of the students - 97.6 percent of boys and 76.3 percent of girls - said they had seen pornography at some point. The report's authors compared this to figures from 1996, in which 76 percent of men and 35 percent of women between 18 and 24 said they had seen pornography.

4.3 percent of boys said they had seen pornography featuring sex between adults and children, compared to 0.7 percent of girls. 11.7 percent of boys had seen sex between people and animals, and 11.9 percent had seen sex featuring violence or coercion. The figures for girls were 3.2 and 3.6 percent respectively.

By far the most popular form of porn featured sex between a man and a woman. 92.2 percent of boys had seen this, and 69.5 percent of girls. Over half of boys (52 percent) and one third of girls (36 percent) had seen pornography featuring two adults of the same sex.

The report said that large numbers of the boys who were big consumers of pornography had problems with their lives. The group drank significantly more alcohol and were more likely to suffer from psychiatric problems such as depression. They were also more likely to have stolen something worth more than 1,000 kronor.

They were no more likely to have been subject to sexual abuse, although they were more likely to have sexually abused others, and were more likely to have bought or sold sex.

However, there was no significant difference from their peers in the age at which they first had sex, nor in the number of partners they had.

However, Agebäck said it could not be concluded that porn had caused the problems.

"People who feel bad can become attracted to porn. Studies show that media violence, for instance, usually has a greater effect on people who are already aggressive. As yet, we don't know whether pornography has a comparable effect on people."

Despite the apparent rise in numbers of girls using porn, over a third (35.6 percent) thought it should be outlawed. Only 10 percent of boys took the same view.

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