Unrestricted Access to Objectionable Internet Material is Harmful to Adolescents

On September 10th, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: October 26, 2015

The Internet is double-faced: it can be valuable as well as dangerous. Adolescents may not be mature enough to distinguish between the good and the bad, particularly at this stage of development when their hormones are in full swing. Consequently,

it is imperative that parents, schools, society as well as the governments have to take a hand in regulating the free access of pornographic and other objectionable internet material to teenagers. teens -and-internetPhysical supervision by an adult, electronic monitoring and blocking with software, and legislating suitable laws to inhibit free access of harmful sites to teenagers are the systems already in use. However each of these is ridden with limitations, criticisms and problems. Although some content providers of objectionable material have put in some restraints to prevent unauthorised access, they are inadequate and not fool-proof.

 Some people feel that it is the censorship of the print media that has led to the problem of the teenagers accessing internet pornographic sites. Others feel it is the pervasiveness of the internet through which adults and teenagers, searching for pornography online, can easily visit overseas sites full of violence or pornography, even if it is banned in their own country.

There is also the issue of the exact definition of pornography: “Pornography per se is not legally defined at all” (Lin and Lipke) and what is more, people from different communities or countries construe the word differently. For instance, the dictionary definition of pornography is: “obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit” (Dictionary.com). But artistic material can also have pornographic elements. Similarly, scientific articles and media material on the human reproductive system, while being of academic importance to adolescents are unfit for younger children (Lin and Lipke). So, care has to be taken in blocking site access to children. Families and schools with children of different age-groups would find it difficult blocking sites to all of them en masse.

Most teenagers confess to having had access to objectionable material on the internet at least once. And, forwarding nude pictures of themselves or of others and other offensive material with their cell phones or “sexting” was a favourite pastime. Some boys and girls even felt that it was part of growing up and were nonchalant about accessing pornography on the internet. Several teenagers were also of the opinion that from visiting such sites they picked up knowledge on questions that they could not ask their parents or teachers. They argued that it was the disposition of the person and not the internet access is responsible for making a good or bad person. And, a few doctors and psychologists believe that it is still early days to come to proper conclusion regarding the harmful effects of unrestricted pornographic websites on teenagers.

Most adults are of the view that unrestricted internet access, especially to objectionable material like pornography, is harmful to adolescents. And all agree that learning through using the internet is fun and is now a prevalent feature in all educational institutions. Writing a term paper on the pros and cons of the internet is easy if you use our academic writing help. Full custom papers can be ordered from the essay writing service.

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