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    Generation Google Porn: Nordics Propose Filters to Stop Kids' Sexualization

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    Scandinavian activists have linked the growing number of sexual assaults involving children to the young generation's free access and exposure to pornography. They are calling on their governments to stop the unremitting sexualization of children and adolescents.

    In the extremely sexualized child and youth culture that knows no restraint children's use of porn is one of the important explanations behind the increased abuse rate, activists from the human rights organization Freethem Norway and Freethem Sweden wrote in their joint opinion piece published by Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

    The human rights activists went so far as to argue that pornography represented a national health risk to children and adolescents.

    Earlier this year, Norway's National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) sounded the alarm over the increasing number of reports featuring children raping other children, NRK reported. Last year alone, a spike of 60 percent above the average was reported, which Freethem partly attributed to teenagers' unrestricted use of porn materials.

    Furthermore, NRK itself recently reported that it has become a viral trend among youngsters to make sex videos featuring themselves and post them on social media. The report featured children as young as 12 producing material that may be classified as pornographic, although under Norwegian law it is prohibited to distribute and display pornographic images for children under the age of 18. In related news, Norwegian children came in first in Europe in terms of the use of pornography in an EU Kids Online survey.

    Freethem dubbed the phenomenon "Generation Google Porno," stating that denying the link between the normalization of pornography and the rise of sex-related crimes among adolescents was the same as denying climate change.

    "None other than ourselves and future generations will end up on the losing side of this. The upcoming generation's free access and exposure to pornography constitutes child abuse," Ragnhild Lindahl Torstensen and Jeanette Kalmar Frøvik of Freethem Norway and Maria Ahlin of Freethem Sweden claimed in their joint article.

    The activists mentioned the recently published book "Sesame Sesame," whose author Gro Dahle has received a lot of praise and stirred controversy for bringing children and adults together to talk about porn (click here for more graphic images). Freethem activists, however, slammed Dahle for failing to provide any critical reflection on the sensitive issue or addressing porn-related abuse. Furthermore, the book itself was criticized for featuring pornographic images, which may encourage small children with no prior experience of watching pornography to fill in the gap.

    To address the problem in earnest, activists have proposed introducing filters to block access to pornography. This should be accomplished, among other things, at schools, for this is where children get their first introduction to adult content. Freethem compared porn consumption with drinking alcohol, which yields similar results in the brain's reward system and is also likely to result in addiction.

    "And if anyone now silently thinks 'Filtering is censorship that hinders the freedom of speech,' then consider this: Just as we restrict children's and young people's access to alcohol through the state monopoly on liquor sales and the ID demand, the same must be done with internet pornography using filters. After all, we never leave open fridges with liquor bottles at school or at home, and it's not up to the kids whether they want to try a shot or not," Freethem wrote, urging the government to tackle this problem alongside other global issues, such as eliminating all forms of child abuse or reaching the UN sustainability goals.

    Freethem is an international youth NGO existing in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Austria. It is politically and religiously independent and by its own account works to reduce the demand for prostitution, pornography and forced labor.

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    pornography, children, Scandinavia, Sweden, Norway
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