Peer-reviewed research and anecdotal reports indicate that unrestricted access and use of pornography fuels childhood trauma, sexual exploitation, self-produced sexual images, child-on-child sexual abuse, sexism and objectification, domestic violence, family breakdown, risky sexual behaviour, mental health issues, vulnerability to online predators, and compulsive sexual behaviours. The research confirming the potential harms of pornography to children is provided below.
Potential harms to children
The Culture Reframed Academic Library contains peer-reviewed journal articles and selected reports from the last twenty years. Drawing from multiple disciplines, the articles in this library explore the ways in which pornography consumption has an impact at both the micro and macro levels. Click through to find journal articles relating to Child & Youth Development.
The types of harm to children and young people caused by them accessing online pornography have been extensively researched, with an overview provided in the eChildhood 2020 Statement of Research.
More research coming soon.
Countries showing a pathway forward
Numerous countries are taking the lead to protect children from online pornography. We invite all countries to contribute to and attend the Stronger Together Global Virtual Summit and become a Connecting to Protect Global Coalition member. Updates on various countries’ approaches and progress are provided here and show a pathway forward for others to follow. In due course, Connecting to Protect will provide samples of submissions to parliamentary inquiries and processes.
The research underpinning our report
- Culture Reframed Academic Library. Retrieved from https://research.culturereframed.org
- eChildhood Statement of Research (2019). Retrieved from https://www.echildhood.org/statement
- Walden, I., & Wall, L. (2014). Reflecting on primary prevention of violence against women: The public health approach. Retrieved from URL: https://aifs.gov.au/publications/reflecting-primary-prevention-violenceagainst-women
- Anderson, C. (2017). 6.1: Framing Public Health, in Walker, L., & Newlands, T. The Porn Harms Kids Report: Protecting our kids from online pornography harms is everyone’s business (p.5). Porn Harms Kids. Retrieved from URL: https://www.echildhood.org/report_2017
- Perrin, P.C., Madanat, H.N., Barnes, M.D., Carolan A., Clark, R.B., Ivins, N., Tuttle, S.R., Vogeler, H.A., & Williams, P.N. (2008). Health education’s role in framing pornography as a public health issue: local and national strategies with international implications. Journal of Promotion & Education, XV, No. 1. 2008;15(1):11-8. DOI: 10.1177/1025382307088093
- United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19, November 1989. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
- United Nations, General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, 2 March 2021. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/general-comment-25_2021_ROC
- UK Government, Online Harms White Paper (2019). Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/online-harms-white-paper
- Ey, L-A., & McInnes, E. (2017). Educators’ Observations of Children’s Display of Problematic Sexual Behaviours in Educational Settings, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2017.1349855
- Siegal, D. (n.d.) About Interpersonal Neurobiology. Retrieved from https://drdansiegel.com/interpersonal-neurobiology
- Connecting to Protect: Potential Harms to Children. Collated research. Retrieved from https://connectingtoprotect.org/report-2021
- The Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Retrieved from https://www.esafety.gov.au
- eChildhood Public Health Approach (2019). Retrieved from https://www.echildhood.org/public_health_approach
- Parliamentary Inquiry: Protecting the age of innocence (2020). Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Policy_and_Legal_Affairs/Onlineageverification/Report
- Australian Government response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs report: Protecting the age of innocence. June 2021. Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Policy_and_Legal_Affairs/Onlineageverification/Government_Response
- Bill S-203. An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material. September 2020. Retrieved from https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/S-203/first-reading
- Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, Protection of Privacy and Reputation on Platforms such as Pornhub, House of Commons, Parliament of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/ETHI/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=11088039
- The Reward Foundation Age Verification XXX Conference Report (2020). Retrieved from https://rewardfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Age-Verification-Conference-Report-17-November-2020.pdf