AMA submission to the Environment and Communications References Committee - Inquiry into the Harm Being Done to Australian Children through Access to Pornography on the Internet

29 Feb 2016

Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications called for submissions for an inquiry into the harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet, including trends in children's consumption of pornography, the impact of this on the development of health and respectful relationships, harm minimisation methods used in other jurisdictions and possible measures to be implemented in Australia.

The AMA submission noted that children viewing highly sexualised pornographic material are at risk of negatively affecting their psychological development and mental health by potentially skewing their views of normality and acceptable behaviour at a critical time of development in their life.

Evidence indicates that exposure to and consumption of internet pornography is strongly associated with risky behaviour among adolescents.  The AMA is also aware of a range of studies that demonstrate a strong link between internet exposure to sexually explicit material and earlier and more diverse sexual practice that can result in adverse sexual and mental health outcomes.