Tag Archives: Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

University of Oxford study: Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

2 Sep

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study:

Characteristics of kids who are bullies:
A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.
Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.” https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

In an attempt to mitigate the harmful effects of technology, some parents are using parental controls to establish boundaries for their children.

PC Magazine described Parental Controls in The Best Parental Control Software of 2018:
Web Filters, Time Limits, and Apps

At the very least, a good parental control tool features content filtering—the ability to block access to websites matching categories such as hate, violence, and porn. This type of filtering only really works if it’s browser-independent and works with secure (HTTPS) sites. With no HTTPS filtering, a smart teen could bypass the system using a secure anonymizing proxy website or even a different web browser in some cases. Most also have the option to permanently enable SafeSearch. Of course, the most capable solutions also keep a detailed log of your child’s web activity.
Access scheduling is another very common feature. Some applications let parents set a weekly schedule for device usage, some control internet use in general, and others offer a combination of the two. A daily or weekly cap on internet usage can also be handy, especially if it applies to all your kids’ devices….                                                       https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346997,00.asp

A University of Oxford study questioned the effectiveness of parental controls.

Science Daily reported in Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography:

The struggle to shape the experiences young people have online is now part of modern parenthood. As children and teenagers spend increasing amounts of time online, a significant share of parents and guardians now use Internet filtering tools (such as parental controls) to protect their children from accessing sexual material online. However, new research from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.

Though the use of Internet filtering tools is widespread, there has been no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness until now. “It’s important to consider the efficacy of Internet filtering,” says Dr Victoria Nash, co-author on the study. “Internet filtering tools are expensive to develop and maintain, and can easily ‘underblock’ due to the constant development of new ways of sharing content.
Additionally, there are concerns about human rights violations — filtering can lead to ‘overblocking’, where young people are not able to access legitimate health and relationship information.”
The research used data from a large-scale study looking at pairs of children and caregivers in Europe, comparing self-reported information on whether children had viewed online sexual content despite the use of Internet filtering tools in their household. A second preregistered study was then conducted looking at teenagers in the UK.
Results of the research indicate that Internet filtering is ineffective and insignificant to whether a young person has viewed sexually explicit content. More than 99.5 percent of whether a young person encountered online sexual material had to do with factors beside their caregiver’s use of Internet filtering technology….
The researchers agree that there should be more research done to solidify these findings. “More studies need to be done to test Internet filtering in an experimental setting, done in accordance to Open Science principles,” says Przybylski. “New technologies should always be tested for effectiveness in a transparent and accessible way.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712114610.htm

Citation:

Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

Date: July 12, 2018
Source: University of Oxford
Summary:
New research has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.
Journal Reference:
Andrew K. Przybylski, Victoria Nash. Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2018; 21 (7): 405 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0466

Here is the press release from the University of Oxford:

Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

RESEARCHSOCIETY#TWLTW

The struggle to shape the experiences young people have online is now part of modern parenthood. As children and teenagers spend increasing amounts of time online, a significant share of parents and guardians now use Internet filtering tools (such as parental controls) to protect their children from accessing sexual material online. However, new research from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.

Though the use of Internet filtering tools is widespread, there has been no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness until now. ‘It’s important to consider the efficacy of Internet filtering,’ says Dr Victoria Nash, co-author of the study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
‘Internet filtering tools are expensive to develop and maintain, and can easily ‘underblock’ due to the constant development of new ways of sharing content. Additionally, there are concerns about human rights violations – filtering can lead to ‘overblocking’, where young people are not able to access legitimate health and relationship information.’

The research used data from a large-scale study looking at pairs of children and caregivers in Europe, comparing self-reported information on whether children had viewed online sexual content despite the use of Internet filtering tools in their household. A second preregistered study was then conducted looking at teenagers in the UK.

Results of the research indicate that Internet filtering is ineffective and insignificant to whether a young person has viewed sexually explicit content. More than 99.5 percent of whether a young person encountered online sexual material had to do with factors beside their caregiver’s use of Internet filtering technology.
‘We were also interested to find out how many households would need to use filtering technologies in order to stop one adolescent from seeing online pornography,’ says co-author Professor Andrew Przybylski. ‘The findings from our preliminary study indicated that somewhere between 17 and 77 households would need to use Internet filtering tools in order to prevent a single young person from accessing sexual content. Results from our follow-up study showed no statistically or practically significant protective effects for filtering.’

‘We hope this leads to a re-think in effectiveness targets for new technologies, before they are rolled out to the population,’ says Nash. ‘From a policy perspective, we need to focus on evidence-based interventions to protect children. While Internet filtering may seem to be an intuitively good solution, it’s disappointing that the evidence does not back that up.’

The researchers agree that there should be more research done to solidify these findings. ‘More studies need to be done to test Internet filtering in an experimental setting, done in accordance to Open Science principles,’ says Przybylski. ‘New technologies should always be tested for effectiveness in a transparent and accessible way.’

Funding for this research was provided by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
All news
http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-07-12-parental-controls-do-not-stop-teens-seeing-pornography

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go http://www.seattletimes.com/lifestyle/toddlers-latch-onto-iphones-8212-and-wont-let-go/ Stout reports:
But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

Related Links:

When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends
https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/when-you-dont-like-your-teens-friends/

Talking About Sexting
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting

Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying
https://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/

How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less) https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/conversation-tools/index.html

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