Radio 1’s Newsbeat looks at porn use

Posted: May 16, 2011

According to research carried out TNS with help from the Portman Clinic (part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust) on behalf of Radio 1’s Newsbeat, almost 80% of men between the ages of 18 and 24 admit viewing porn online, with the average man spending over two hours per week ‘surfing adult sites’.

More than a quarter of the men surveyed said they were concerned by the amount of adult content they were seeking out online, and the strength of that content. 4% of the 1,057 responders said they spent over ten hours per week looking at porn. Just over a third of women reported viewing porn and typically they only watch fifteen minutes per week via a PC or smartphone.

According to the Portman Clinic’s Dr Heather Wood, porn-addiction is a fear for many. “Those people spending large amounts of time accessing porn are not having more fun,” she said. “They are more worried about themselves, what they are looking at and report more relationship problems.”

That said, the report tells that two-thirds of men and half the women spoken to said that looking at porn was fine in moderation, while 57% of men said it made them more interested in sex with their partners. Heavier users said their porn viewing had upset partners or caused them to miss a meeting at work, with the most committed fans adding that porn had put them off real-life sex; 61% compared to 27% of ‘moderate’ users and 24% of ‘light’ users.

The research pointed to free tube websites as being by far the most popular way to access adult material, followed by file sharing, clip sharing by mobile and television. Reflecting current attitudes, Ian Barber (22) from Manchester, commented: “Anyone who pays for porn these days needs their head checking because there is so much free porn out there. It’s just part of lad culture in this country. It’s not weird and it’s not frowned upon. Within a second there will be hundreds of videos. That’s why people spend so much time on there because they think ‘maybe there will be a better one’ and they keep going and going.”

A special documentary recorded for Newsbeat was controversially broadcast on Radio1 in the middle of the day on April the 21st; a Thursday during the Easter school break when many children were at home. Despite warnings about the content, there were grumbles on various social networks about some of the language used, with ‘anal sex’ coming in for particular attention.

As a successful international porn star, ex Page 3 girl Gemma Massey (28) was interviewed and drew more criticism towards the BBC by rounding the documentary off by saying: “I get paid ridiculous amounts. I think I’m the highest-paid porn star in the UK… My mum and dad at first were slightly shocked, but once I sat them down, explained to them I’m not getting taken advantage of – I’m getting paid this amount of money per month to do this much work. Their jaws hit the floor and they were like, ‘ok. We get it now’.”

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