One in 5 teens use porn to educate themselves on sex – survey


22 Nov 2011

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Some 57pc of teenagers in Ireland use the internet to find out information about sex and 21pc use pornography for sex education, according to a UNICEF Ireland survey.

The Changing the Future: Sexual Health and Behaviour report was compiled in December 2010 to discover the views of young people living in Ireland about sexual health.

For finding information about sex, 69pc of teenagers consulted their friends, making them the most frequently used source. School came in second at 59pc and the internet was the third most-used source, at 57pc.

Fifty-four per cent used television as a source for sex information and more than 40pc said they read magazines to find out more about sex. Thirty per cent asked their parents about the subject.

Public services were the least-used source for sex education. Eight per cent of respondents used doctors, 4pc used youth services groups and 2pc used pregnancy crisis information or family planning clinics.

Online pornography

Fifty-four per cent of all survey respondents said they have watched pornography on the internet. Some 78pc of male survey respondents watched online porn compared to 40pc of female respondents.

Twenty-one per cent said they use pornography to educate themselves about sex and more than one-third (36pc) believed that what they saw in pornography was accurate and educational.

“Once again, there was a clear gender distinction within the Changing the Future sample, where greater proportions of male respondents reported that they had watched pornography on the internet, identified pornography as a source of information about sex and believed the pornography that they had seen to be accurate and/or educational,” wrote UNICEF Ireland in the report.