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Monday, Jan 24, 2022

3 in 4 Hongkongers first looked at porn at age 15 or younger, survey finds

3 in 4 Hongkongers first looked at porn at age 15 or younger, survey finds

Researchers say poll finding that 15 per cent of respondents first came into contact with X-rated content before they were nine years old is disturbing.

More than three in four Hongkongers first watched or read pornographic material when they were aged 15 or below, according to a survey, with researchers on Saturday saying it was disturbing that 15 per cent of people first came into contact with X-rated content before they were nine years old.

Experts warned that if people came into contact with pornography prematurely at a young age, they had tendencies to develop a sex addiction.

Their concerns were triggered by the findings of a poll of 989 people by the Hong Kong Association of Sexuality Educators, Researchers and Therapists. According to the sex survey, conducted between February and May this year, 62 per cent of respondents said they started to watch or read porn when they were aged between 10 and 15.

Another 15 per cent said they had first come into contact with such materials before the age of nine, while 17 per cent were aged 16 to 19.

Some 42 per cent watched porn once or twice a week while about 10 per cent of the respondents viewed it every day. However, only 16 per cent said they believed they had developed a porn addiction.

Almost 61 per cent admitted they had a habit of masturbating when watching porn compared with 22 per cent who said they did not.

The responsibilities involved in having sex are not mentioned in pornography, respondents said.


Of those who first came into contact with pornography between the age of 10 and 19, almost 30 per cent of respondents said they once had a desire to have sexual contact with children or teenagers. Some 81 respondents, accounting for about 11 per cent of those who answered the question, admitted they had taken action to commit such an act.

An alarming 41 per cent said that after watching porn, they once had thoughts about having non-consensual sex or sexual contact with those of the same or opposite sex. Some 83 people, also accounting for about 11 per cent of those who responded to the question, admitted they had even committed such an act.

Of those who first watched porn aged between 10 and 19, 68 per cent said online material did not touch on aspects of safe sex including the need to wear condoms to prevent the spread of sexual diseases. Some 63 per cent pointed out the responsibilities involved in having sex were not mentioned.

Among this group, one-third of respondents said it promoted the dangerous message that if a woman said “no”, she meant “yes”. The others said online porn portrayed women as products for fulfilling men’s sexuality (21 per cent), and presented sex as something that often involved violence (19 per cent).

Almost half of respondents, 48 per cent, said they had a satisfying sex life with their partners, compared with 18 per cent who were unhappy with it. Some 54 per cent said they liked having sex with their partners while 15 per cent preferred masturbation.

Association chairwoman Dr Anna Ng Hoi-nga said the survey results were disturbing as they showed that most Hong Kong people had started to watch porn during their teenage years with some even younger.

“If people access pornography prematurely at a young age, many research projects show there will be a lot of adverse impacts on them as pornography has distorted sex,” she said.

“These people will have greater tendencies to develop a sex addiction. They may also have some negative ideas or desire about sex and relationships or want to put the negative thoughts into action.”

Ng warned that watching porn excessively would also affect people’s ability to have intimacy with their partners.

She advised parents to install a filter on their home computers to prevent children from accessing online porn while seeking to instil in them the right concepts about sex education with more communication.

Sex therapist Koo Kam-wing, also a senior social work supervisor at Hong Kong Caritas, said he had a 24-year-old patient who developed a masturbation addiction after watching excessive amounts of pornography, causing him to be late for work and unable to do his job well.

“He came to me for help and I found out that the root cause was low self-esteem. I advised him to look for other life goals such as meeting more friends or even developing a relationship to divert his attention from porn,” he said.

“After a period of time, he started to reduce watching porn and pay more attention to making friends with the people around him.”

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