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Easy access to cyberspace making kids porn-addicts

The advent of technology has definitely made people’s lives easier, but it has come with its share of perils too. Due to easier accessibility of internet, children are viewing porn and explicit content online. In a city like Mumbai, working parents leave their children alone at home as they tend to watch obscene content which is easily available today as Wi-Fi connection is available in their premises. Explicit content is available on social media and WhatsApp and children circulate them with their friends. These images might even get forwarded to the wrong hands, giving others access to the private photos. Since children are watching porn at a tender age, it will have an adverse impact on their childhood. Viewing sexual images may make children sexually active before they are ready for it. Those children watching obscene content are more likely to participate in sexual activities in their early ages.

Pyschiatrist Dr Kavita Sagarkar said that in today’s time children are left alone and they feel that they lack self-esteem. To overcome those feelings they tend to watch porn and might consume alcohol. She said, “They tend to watch pornography due to initial curiosity. There is a sense of thrill due to change in hormones which could be the initial starting point. Children tend to get addicted when they don’t feel good about themselves.”

“Parents should have more quality conversation with their children instead of keeping it bottled up. If they open up, then children feel easy to communicate with them without a fear of being judged,” she added.

Due to the prevalence of nuclear families, children are feeling isolated once their parents leave home for work. They don’t have anybody to talk to and hence they get hooked to their mobile phones to spend their time. Children play games, chat and interact with their friends on mobile phones. Excessive usage of mobile phones is also affecting children’s studies. Many of them tend to check their phones even at night and get less amount of sleep. Some of them are also finding it difficult to wake up afresh in the morning. Children, who tend to spend too much time on mobile phones, are prone to depression and it may lead to psychological disorders. Many of them already are unable to communicate in the real world.

Psychiatrist Dr Sonal Anand said that today’s children are exposed to different source of media and they are more curious to know about how acts are done. She said, “Children are aware about the pleasurable areas of their body and they become attracted towards them. Today there is a lack of communication between parents and children and parents don’t provide sex education to their children. In schools, children are taught about reproduction system but teachers don’t provide in depth information to them.”

She said that parents need to educate children about the right attitude towards sex and what is the exact age for it and how it should be done. “They need to tell their children to be wary about what is happening around them and report about it,” she added further.

Today parents have no control over their children’s online activities due to busy schedules. By the time they reach home at night they are so tired to even have a chat with their children. However, they are worried about their children’s access to obscene content.

Rana Saha, a mother of 13 year old, said, “A year back classmates of my son offered him an envelope containing some explicit photos and asked him to forward it to another friend. He was carrying that envelope in his bag and he brought the envelope home. When I opened the envelope I was shocked to notice photos of couples kissing and making love.”

“When I tried to confront my son he replied that ‘even though I have brought these photos home today, I have often seen them with classmates in the class.’ After this incident I regularly check my son’s bag and also remain in regular contact with the class teacher,” she added.

Adding to the situation, an international child abuse pornography racket operating on a WhatsApp group was busted by CBI. The investigation agency arrested an unemployed youth from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. After registering a case of alleged violation of Information Technology Act, the CBI carried out searches at five locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Noida and Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh.

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