Study Links Pornography, Youth Sex Assaults

A new study has found that growing access to pornography among young people has prompted several cases of sexual assault by minors, in which the perpetrator has claimed to have been in­fluenced by acts featured in pornographic material.

“The findings suggest that minors have a high access to pornography, and more importantly, that pornography is widely available and frequently of a violent nature,” according to a report by the Child Welfare Group, an umbrella organization of more than 30 NGOs. The survey was conducted over two weeks in December. Researchers interviewed a total of 677 minors in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Kompong Cham.

Sixty-one percent of boys and 38 percent of girls questioned said they had viewed pornography, the report says. Minors in Phnom Penh were more than twice as likely to have viewed pornographic material than their provincial counterparts. And more than 30 percent of the young people who said they had watched pornographic films had done so publicly in coffee shops.

Of the magazine vendors surveyed in Phnom Penh, 69 percent stocked pornography, while 49 per­cent had it openly on display. One-third of vendors selling pornographic magazines were lo­cated near schools, the study found. “Serious efforts must be made to eradicate child pornography. People either producing, selling, possessing or showing child pornography must be consistently and without exception pun­ished according to specific legislation,” the report recommended.

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