Children face ‘sexual coercion’ because of porn – Bishop

The Bishop of Chester called for more curbs on what young people can access on the internet.

And he warned that porn users can become addicted to it like people who are dependent on alcohol or drugs.

The government has promised new laws forcing “adult” websites to introduce age restrictions.

The Bishop of Chester cited a Bristol University study of 13 to 17-year-olds found that 40% had suffered sexual coercion “ranging from rape to being pressurised into unwanted sexual activity often with elements of physical violence”.

And a BBC survey of 700 children aged 12 and 13 suggested that 20% had seen porn that shocked or upset them, and more than 10% had made, or taken part in, a sexually explicit video, the Bishop told peers.

He confessed to peers that he had “limited knowledge” of pornography – but said two of his clergy had been prosecuted for downloading illegal images of children.

“I understand that the sheer volume of cases of down loading child pornography has overwhelmed the police to the point where prosecutions are no longer routinely brought,” the Bishop said.

Quoting the author DH Lawrence, the Bishop said: “Pornography is the attempt to insult sex, to do dirt on it.”

Labour’s Lord Giddens, a well known social scientist, said more research on the impact of pornography was needed before “intrusive policy” of the kind being considered by the government was introduced.

“We just don’t know at this point how far regular exposure to pornography on the part of minors affects their actual sexual behaviour, how far it damages relationships, leads to addictive behaviour and so forth, or crucially, on what scale, we just don’t know on what scale,” he told peers.

He backed government efforts to protect vulnerable children but argued much of the data on the subject was “superficial”.

“There is a very fine line to tread. If children are shielded too much and for too long they may not be able to cope simply when plunged into the maelstrom that is sexuality today,” he added.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34737823