Over half of boys have watched porn by the age of 13, survey finds 4 years ago

Over half of boys have watched porn by the age of 13, survey finds

Over half of Irish boys have watched porn by the time that they're 13, a new survey shows.

Fifty-three per cent of boys say that they watched porn online before reaching their teenage years.

Just under a quarter of girls (23 per cent) say that they first watched porn before the age of 13.

The figures come from a survey of 1,934 student on porn by NUI Galway.

It also found that 36 per cent of men and a quarter of women say that porn has affected how they interact with sexual partners.

Reacting to the figures, Minister for State for Third Level Mary Mitchell O'Connor said she was "shocked".

“I am absolutely taken aback … I know normally politicians say they aren’t shocked by findings, but I am actually shocked, and I think parents will be shocked," she said today.

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She admitted that the state has "a lot of catching up to do" on the issue.

"Pornography is not going to go away, so we are going to have to be computer literate and ensure that young people are guided through what they are seeing.

"And our beliefs and value systems, that they are able to check-in with their parents and schools to ensure they are coming away with the right messages."

Researcher Kate Dawson of the NUIG School of Psychology said that 'porn literacy' is necessary for young people to understand how sex differs from what they see in porn.

“If we can have an open discussion about it, in a non-judgemental way, so people can understand that there are massive differences as to how sex is portrayed in porn and then the type of sex that people want to have,”