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Net porn good for you: official

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A government-funded study into porn consumption Down Under has concluded that a little of what you fancy might do you good - and may even make users "more relaxed about their sexuality" and lead to healthier marriages, news.com.au reports.

The survey - nicely entitled "Understanding Pornography in Australia" and carried out by a team led by Dr Alan McKee - quizzed 1000 porn users and concluded that "pornography is actually good for you in many ways", as McKee put it.

McKee's findings have added fuel to the punch-up over Labor proposals to force ISPs to filter porn in order to protect kiddies from online smut. The author of the draft legislation - Australia Institute executive director Clive Hamilton - hit back at McKee's findings with: "No man who regularly uses pornography can have a healthy sexual relationship with a woman," adding: "The question is - how much are we willing to pay to protect our children from damaging pornographic images?"

McKee, however, asserted: "The more we try and turn porn into something that's seen to be bad and has to be kept away from families, the more problems we might be causing for ourselves."

The doc drew the line, though, at suggesting that pornography was good for children: "I think you come there to an issue we can't answer - should children who are 16-years-old be allowed to be sexual?" he evaded.

ISPs and politicians have weighed into the debate with the former calling the legislation "unworkable" and the latter calling for investment in greater parental awareness and increased funding for Australian Broadcasting Authority agency Netalert - the watchdog which deals with Net porn - rather than draconian censorship rules. ®

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