A report published by the United Nations (UN) Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that pornography may not always be harmful to children.
And preventing children from watching porn may violate their human rights based on extensive interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The report based its conclusion on a European study of 19 EU countries. And found that in most countries, most children who saw pornography were “neither upset nor happy.” The UNICEF report says 39% of Spanish children were happy after seeing pornography.
The UNICEF report detailed how government policy protects children from harmful, abusive and violent content online.
The 2020 EU Kids Online Study inferred that some children and young people “intentionally seek out sexual content” for different reasons. And that these sexual images might provide answers to questions about puberty and sexual identity.
But anti-porn organisations disagree with the UNICEF data because it overlooks the harms of pornography to children.
According to Lisa Thompson, vice president and director of the Research Institute at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation: “UNICEF’s report ignores the vast body of research demonstrating the harms of pornography to children. By ignoring the real harms pornography can have, UNICEF is playing roulette with children’s health and safety.”
She said: “Mainstream pornography contains horrific sexual abuse, rape, incest, racism – all of which children should not consume. UNICEF’s milquetoast assessment of the impacts hardcore pornography on children does nothing to challenge the political narrative that pornography is benign, and as a result, puts children in harm’s way.”