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India ranks third in porn consumption, yet 9 out of 10 parents believe kids go online for 'education'

Even though three-fourths of the parents say that they have never caught their kids watching unwanted content, 2/3rd of them use measures to restrict their internet access.

Published: 14th November 2018 02:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2018 02:24 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

Ninety per cent of urban parents in India believe that the internet helps children with their education, found a study by market research firm Velocity MR. Ironically, ninety per cent of them also believe that pop-ups expose their kids to unwanted content. And India is the third most porn watching country in the world. Do the math.

Part of the problem is that they start using the internet very young. Close to 55 per cent of the parents say their kids started using the internet between 6-10 years of age. That exposes them to a hoard of explicit content even though the government has taken steps to banned 827 sites from October 27, 2018. And since mobile phones are the primary interface to access the internet. And this also lets them have access to VPNs that bypass the Indian servers. 

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"It's tougher when it comes to teenagers. We can't prohibit them from using their laptops or mobile phones as they study online or are at coaching classes and they need the phone with them for their own safety. But at the same time, it is scary to see the type of content and people who are there on social media," said Dilip Sen, father of a 15-year-old son. "The kids have impressionable minds and if they are exposed to people or content that is not desirable it might even scar them for life."

The study was conducted across various demographics to understand digital media and its behavioural impact on children recorded some interesting insights where six out of 10 parents do not talk about sex education with their children. Seventy per cent of the kids in urban areas, across age groups, play online games with friends around the world. Approximately one in every two children spends 2-3 hours daily on the internet. The study featured a sample size of 2,268 covering prominent Indian metros including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Pune.

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Even though three-fourths of the parents say that they have never caught their kids watching unwanted content, 2/3rd of them use measures to restrict their internet access. Parents of young kids (6-10 years) tend to monitor their usage of the internet the most; followed by 11-14 years (9 in every 10) and 15-17 year (8 in every 10). Three in every 10 parents of 6-10 olds say their kids have access to social media. However, 2 per cent also claim that they were not aware of it. More than eight in every 10 kids who have access to social media, use it for about three hours daily. It's not just porn that the parents should be worried about. Even our very own Facebook can be harmful for children with unwanted content floating all around. Not all, but 8 in every 10 parents discuss the usage and dangers of social media with their kids, said the study.

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A recent online game called Blue Whale which was causing suicide among children is an example of the adverse effects of online gaming. All these shows that parents must play an active role in monitoring their children online activity.

Jasal Shah, Managing Director and CEO of Velocity MR said, “It’s shocking to see that most parents do not talk about sex education with their children. In India, according to our data, 53 per cent of children between the ages of 5 and 12 have been subjected to some form of sexual abuse. There are numerous misconceptions surrounding sex education in India.”  

(This article was originally published in Edexlive.com)



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