Antonis Rovolis and Liza Tsaliki

in Children, risk and safety on the internet

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428837
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307723 | DOI:

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This chapter aims to address the social anxiety around children and teenagers' encounters with online porn; it therefore focuses on research on children's experience of online sexual images. Starting from the premise that children's experience of online pornographic material is a socially constructed risk, the factors that may determine the probability of exposure to online sexual images and which children are more likely to be harmed by such an experience are explored. Three hypotheses are then formulated, a usage hypothesis, a risk migration hypothesis and a vulnerability hypothesis. The findings show that from this chapter's sample of 19,136 children who use the internet, only a minority (about 6,000) experience online sexual images. These findings confirm empirically what cultural studies-oriented approaches have been arguing for some time – that social, policy and academic concerns regarding the impact of pornographic content on young people are seriously overstated.

Keywords: Children; Teenagers; Online sexual images; Risk of harm; Vulnerability

Chapter.  4722 words. 

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