Study: Anti-social teens surf more porn [pg. 5]

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June 29, 2006 00:41
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A University of Haifa professor who has been studying the Internet surfing habits of Israeli teenagers concluded this week that teens who view pornography on the Web are usually youth with serious behavioral problems or anti-social traits. "Teens who use the Internet to search for pornography are in a different category from teens that use the Internet for information purposes," Dr. Gustavo Mesch, a sociologist at the university who conducted the study, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday. "Heavy users of sex Web sites tend to be boys who are not close to their parents, who exhibit anti-social attitudes, who don't care about obeying the law, helping others or contributing to society in any way. "Each person surfing the Web brings to it their own personal characteristics," explained Mesch. "The Internet does not create bad behavior; those with good values are using it in a positive way and enjoying their experiences surfing. The same kids who view porn regularly are the same kids who are getting into trouble with their parents and in school." He added that those treating troubled youths must also address their patients' Internet surfing habits, as well as other factors. Mesch's study questioned 987 teens aged 13-18 for the study. He found that close to 15% of all Israeli youth are very frequent surfers of Internet pornographic sites. While teens aged 13-15 were less likely to view Web sites with sexual content, Mesch discovered that the older teens, aged 16-18, were frequently exposed to sexual content on the Internet. He also noted that boys were more likely than girls to surf sex-related web sites. Mesch said that he was not alarmed by these statistics and that the results were similar to studies conducted in the United States and Britain. He said the study also found that a large percentage of teens use the Internet constructively, with 77.3% of teens who surf listening to music or downloading music files, 66.4% using the Internet to find information on a variety of subjects, and 64% using it to make connections with other Internet users.

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