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One of the most common stereotypes of the Internet is its usage for viewing pornographic material. Is the use of porn in our society really that common? Does it actually harm us as much as some say it does?  Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is a big fat, “YES”, and it’s something that desperately needs to be addressed. First, let’s take a look at some numbers that show us just how serious the situation really is.

The Volume of Porn Viewed Is Staggering

No matter which numbers you look at, the volume of pornographic material consumed in this country is shocking. One study suggests that 35% of all downloads on the Internet are pornographic. When you consider the amount of everyday life and business transactions that take place on the Internet, plus the proliferation of streaming entertainment options used online, that statistic is even more daunting. To top it all off, forty million Americans admit to regularly watching porn which is significant. 

But here’s the thing: many of those people who are polled are probably not telling the truth about their porn habits, even in an anonymous study. 

That’s right. There are several indicators that suggest that study respondents are lying about their porn use. A 2013 study showed that adult websites garner 450 million unique visitors every single month. To put that into perspective that’s more users than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. That same study showed that six times the amount of Internet bandwidth is devoted to porn than to Hulu, one of the most popular streaming services. These statistics, along with data from other independent sources, all indicate that the number of Americans regularly accessing pornography is much higher than 40 million. By some estimates, it is as high as 50 to 60% of all households. 

It’s Not Just At Home

Access to porn isn’t isolated to our homes.  A 2016 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showed that 16.1% of men watched porn while at work on their smartphone while another 5% viewed adult content on work computers. This is a serious concern for employers whose sensitive data may be put at risk due to cybersecurity issues, but who also lose productivity and resources in the process. 

Kids Get Exposed at a Shockingly Young Age

It is natural for children to be curious about sex; this should come as no surprise. However, when children turn to the Internet for answers, instead of their parents, it is far too easy for them to accidentally stumble upon pornographic materials. The average age at which kids are exposed to pornography is believed to be much younger than many would care to believe. Studies vary somewhat on the exact age, but it is estimated that the average child gets exposed to hardcore pornography online between the extremely formative ages of 9 and 11. This occurs long before most parents could even imagine talking to their children about sex let alone having them exposed to such explicit materials.

As unpleasant as it is to think about the sheer amount of pornography that is being consumed online, it is imperative that we do not simply bury our heads in the sand and pretend that our society does not have a problem with porn use. While many of us may lie about our porn use to our peers we need to be sure not to lie to ourselves and really consider the effects that pornography is having on us individually and collectively. 

At The ClearNet it is our goal to help you keep your family safe from harmful and destructive internet content and predators. Click here to view our filtering products and take an active role in keeping your family safe online.