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Sexually Explicit Materials among Adolescents: Its Prevalence and Impact

Social Work Chronicle

Volume 10 Issue 1

Published: 2021
Author(s) Name: Anna Taney Varghese | Author(s) Affiliation: Ph.D. Scholar, Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi University, Delhi, India.
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Abstract

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It is almost impossible to overlook the influence mass media has on the lives of individuals. It is all the more worrying when the consumers are children and adolescents. Given the fact that the Internet has entered every house and is on everyone’s finger tips, access to anything and everything is plausible. Internet, if a source of education, is also a source of misconceptions. Lack of strict protocols makes it very easy for uploading and downloading information of any kind. The article is an attempt to present certain impacts of sexually explicit materials (SEMs) among adolescents as explained by various researches in the past. Early initiation of sex, teenage pregnancy, and STDs among teenagers are major concerns of reproductive health of children and adolescents. Increased health risk and increased risk of victimisation are just physical aspects. Beyond reproductive health and physiological aspects of adolescents, it is also important to know what shapes their sexual attitude and behaviour. Premature sexualisation, becoming desensitised towards highrisk behaviours and offenses, being involved in sexual offenses towards peers or other children, skewed gender perception, imbibing unrealistic perception of sexual relationships, and shaping the expectations about one’s own body are a few damaging impacts. The article also shares the findings on the prevalence of SEMs among adolescents in the Delhi NCR region, India, collected by conducting a focus group discussion among male and female adolescents hailing from the different economic strata of society. The article is relevant to professionals working in the field of children and adolescents, parents, and other stakeholders.

Keywords: Adolescence, Sexually Explicit Material, Pornography, Sexual Development, Sex Education

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