Ministry of Health wants more research into impact of pornography

The Ministry of Health wants more research into pornography, saying it’s become “more extreme, deviant and violent over the last two decades”.

The Ministry of Health is planning more research into the impact that increasingly extreme and violent pornography has on the health of New Zealanders. Source: 1 NEWS

The Ministry has submitted a research proposal for the consideration of the cross government Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Board, which is a part of the cross government Family and Sexual Violence programme.

Australian research shows that 28 percent of children have viewed porn by age 11, increasing to 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls by age 16.

The Ministry’s Service Commissioning Acting Director Keriana Brooking says it wants to understand the scope and amount of porn usage by New Zealanders, as well as the issues encountered by schools, young people and health providers.

Auckland-based researcher Nikki Denholm from The Light Project has just completed some research on the impacts of pornography on young people with input from more than 500 stakeholders including parents, schools and sexual health clinicians.

“We've got 10 and 12 year old kids watching porn often regularly with no counter messaging no adults saying you need to learn how to critique this,” Ms Denholm said.

Ms Denholm said it’s estimated that 80 percent of online porn content is sexually violent, which creates mixed messages.

“Blurring boundaries around consent cohesion changing sexual expectations changing sexual raptures and behaviours,” Ms Denholm said.

Sex therapist Jo Robertson says porn is changing the way young men and women view sex and how they engage in relationships.

“In the past erectile dysfunction or delayed ejaculation we would’ve never ever heard of that in young men,” she said.

“The first big question to ask yourself is, is this impacting my life and it might be very small things like instead of going out with your friends you stayed home to watch porn,” Ms Robertson said.