Feeds

US kids subjected to more online porn

Eeuughhhh, that's soooo gross

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

While US children are less likely to encounter sexual predators online than in 2000, they are increasingly being exposed to sexual material while surfing the net

According to a survey conducted by University of New Hampshire researchers for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the number of kids exposed to pornographic content online rose from 25 percent in 1999 and 2000 to 30 percent in 2005.

The NCMEC attributed the rise in part to aggressive tactics by porn marketers. It also said that the ability to transmit images has become easier because of the increased speed and capacity of PCs and internet connections.

The study revealed that there has been an increase in online harassment of internet users aged between 10 and 17 years-old in the US over this five year period. Reports of harassment have increased from 6 per cent to 9 per cent amongst this age group.

However, the survey found that more children are taking notice of educational messages and media stories surrounding internet safety.

According to the report, a smaller proportion of young internet users received online sexual solicitations from predators over the past few years: one-in-seven children received propositions in 2005 compared to one-in-five for 1999 and 2000.

The study's authors said the decline in solicitations is largely due to more cautious behaviour from young people online with fewer children visiting chatrooms or interacting online with people they did not know.

Nonetheless, the NCMEC report found that more serious kinds of sexual solicitations in which predators attempt to make offline contact with children did not decline over the five year period.

"We're encouraged to find that sexual solicitations are down, though it is concerning that the more aggressive attempts to meet offline have not declined," noted NCMEC president Ernie Allen in a statement.

"Increases in harassment and exposure to sexual material are also disturbing and show that we need to be adapting our prevention efforts to the changing risks to youth online."

The study's authors are urging internet providers and host sites in the US to do more to protect youth from unwanted sexual material, including better filtering and blocking software, and more efficient reporting mechanisms.

Moreover, they suggest more should be done to promote the reporting of offensive behaviour and content. Only a handful of the unwanted sexual solicitations, cases of harassment and sexual material encountered online by children were reported because kids and their parents were generally unaware of who they can report to.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.