Studies suggest that 90% of all children in the United States between the ages of eight and sixteen have viewed pornography, mostly while doing homework.1 The average age of exposure is approaching nine years old!
While the largest consumer group for pornography is 35 to 49 years old, pornographers deliberately target young audiences with various strategies, including buying Internet domain names that are misspellings of words and products of particular interest to a young audience—words like “Pokemon” or “Disney.” When children accidentally misspell the desired site name, they find pornography instead.
Why would distributers of pornography do that? It’s not like these kids have money to spend! Pornographers go after kids in order to groom the next generation of pornography consumers. During cognitive development, children’s brains are particularly receptive to pornographic stimulus, resulting in more significant addictive struggles later in life. Pornographers know that an addict hooked in his youth stands a good chance of becoming a regular paying customer in middle age.
How pervasive is the problem? Studies estimate that 25% of all search engine requests are pornographic in nature, and that 8% of all emails and 12% of all websites contain pornographic content.2 79% of parents report having some form of parental controls or rules regarding their child’s Internet use, but approximately one in five children have no guidance whatsoever.3