Not recycling’ more immoral that watching porn for teenagers: Study

New York, Jan 30 (IANS) Although more teenagers and young adults are watching pornography than ever before but strikingly, most of the youngsters think that neglecting the environment is more immoral than porn viewing, an interesting study has revealed.

According to US-based non-profit research organisation Barna Group, younger Americans seem to have morally indifferent attitudes toward porn.

Only one-third of 13 to 24-year-olds believe viewing pornographic images is always or usually wrong (32 percent), compared to more than half of older adults (54 percent).

“About one-quarter says reading erotic content (27 percent) or watching sexually explicit TV or movie scenes (24 percent) is immoral, the findings showed.

“Actions that may negatively impact the environment rank higher among teens and young adults. And notably, teens think “not recycling” is more immoral than any of the actions related to porn use,” the researchers said.

Teenagers’ and young adults’ nonchalance is also revealed in how, and how often, they talk with their friends about porn.

One-third of 18 to 24-year-olds (34 percent) and one in six teens (18 percent) say they talk about porn very often or occasionally with their friends.

Among those who do chat with their friends on the topic, half do so either in an accepting (36 percent) or even encouraging, lighthearted (16 percent) way.

“There appears to be a momentous generational shift underway in how pornography is perceived, morally speaking, within our culture,” said Roxanne Stone, editor-in-chief at Barna Group and one of the lead analysts of the study.

To reach this conclusion, the Barna Group conducted five online surveys for “The Porn Phenomenon” study among a total sample of 3,771 participants.

According to the researchers, smartphones, tablets and laptops have revolutionised the way people encounter sexually explicit images and it takes very little effort to encounter porn content on apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

“Even mainstream media is infused with sexualised images and ideas – one needs only to see an Axe commercial, a prime time Miley Cyrus performance or a “reality” show like The Bachelor for confirmation,” it added.

This “pornification” of popular culture means younger generations are coming of age in a hypersexualised cultural ecosystem.

They, in turn, tend to be more open to sexual experimentation and self-expression – leading to further social acceptance of sexually explicit content.

“This shift is particularly notable when it comes to personal choice regarding pornography use. But these attitudes and preferences toward porn among the younger generations need to take into account the broader social and cultural context,” the authors noted.

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