Academics, educators and journalists raise concerns over NSPCC study on ‘porn addiction’ in youth

Apr 12, 2015
Adult Business News
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Dozens of academics, sex educators, journalists and campaigners have signed an open letter to the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) this week, voicing “deep concern” over a recent study published by the charity. The study launched with great fanfare on 31st March, claimed that a tenth of young people fear they are addicted to pornography.

News coverage was generally unquestioning, and strewn with the language of moral panic: the BBC’s coverage was typical, laden with mention of “sexual assault”, “risk”, “shock”, “rape” and more. Spokespeople from the NSPCC and Childline provided quotes to underscore the sense of danger.

Academics, educators and journalists raise concerns over NSPCC study on porn addiction' in youth

Yet, the study itself appears to be nothing more than an online opinion poll: its lack of scientific rigour was swiftly exposed by Vice magazine.

Jerry Barnett of Sex & Censorship said: “It is suspicious that the NSPCC’s publicity campaign was followed by an announcement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of plans to introduce mass blocking of websites after the next election. We have long been tracking attempts by DCMS to justify draconian Internet censorship, and it is worrying that a leading child protection agency such as NSPCC appears to be lending their support to this goal. If the NSPCC is claiming they have evidence porn is causing harm, we ask them to produce that evidence. British censorship is always justified with ‘think of the children’ messages. We don’t believe the needs of children will be served by introducing Chinese-style Internet controls, and we would point out that no other major democracy sees the need for such extreme measures.”

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