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‘We watched porn before age 8’ – Nation

PUTRAJAYA: A survey on how to prevent problematic Internet behaviour for the younger generation has revealed a shocking surprise – some of the teenagers interviewed admitted that they have been watching online pornography before they were eight years old.

The survey, carried out by Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM), found that a shocking 7% of teenagers surveyed admitted they got their first glimpse of online porn before the age of eight.

The principal objective of the research is to develop intervention programmes for problematic Internet behaviour in adolescents.

Herriot-Watt University Malaysia, a British university with a campus in Putrajaya, was awarded the research grant by MCMC.

The online survey conducted last year, had two parts – online pornography viewing and online gaming. There were 551 secondary school respondents in the survey on online pornography viewing and 599 on online gaming.

The study’s principal investigator Associate Professor Dr Ke Guek Nee said these students had ease of access to Internet pornography through their smart devices, PCs and laptops.

Where were the parents in all of this? According to Dr Ke, the youngsters were very good at hiding their pornography viewing habits from their parents.

“If you look at those below the age of 10, we have 19% of our kids watching porn.

“They do know that it is a wrong act from the religious point of view but they do not know how to stop,” she said in an interview after showing some of the findings of her study during the National Counsellor Workshop 2018 at the university on July 31.

The Education Ministry’s School Division Counselling Department head Saiful Effandi Mohd Zahari said based on the research, those viewing pornography for the first time are quite young.

She said previously, those who learnt about pornography for the first time are usually in their teens.

“One of the causes of underage sex that leads to teenage pregnancy is online pornography viewing,” he added.

In July 2017, The Star carried a story about a police report against a Year One boy for allegedly raping a kindergarten girl in Melaka.

The girl’s mother, a single parent, lodged a police report after her six-year-old daughter complained of pain soon after returning from her babysitter’s house.

The girl told her mother that the “pipit” (bird) of “abang” (the babysitter’s son) had caused the pain.

The girl also claimed the boy had inserted his fingers into her vagina.

When contacted, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said according to a 2017 Internet Users study, only 17.2% of parents make use of parental control software for their devices.

However, this same study by MCMC said 69.2% of those who do not make use of these software have rules in place for their children’s Internet use, she added.

She also said that there are programmes by the Institute of Population and Family Development to educate parents and students on sexual and reproductive health.

Among them are the Mothers Against Pornography (MAP) campaign and the Family and Child Safety Awareness module, done in partnership with MCMC.

The module includes a programme to educate parents on controlling electronic gadget usage.

“For me personally as a mother, kids need supervision when using gadgets,” she said.







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