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Adolescents and online pornography

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12697 | 22 August 2011

several Assembly members
Mr Mikael OSCARSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Fernand BODEN, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Mr Roberto Mario Sergio COMMERCIO, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Gianpaolo DOZZO, Italy, EDG ; Mr Dario FRANCESCHINI, Italy, ALDE ; Ms Cindy FRANSSEN, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris FROMMELT, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Giuseppe GALATI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Marco GATTI, San Marino, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Sylvi GRAHAM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Ms Claude GREFF, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Olha HERASYM'YUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Ms Françoise HOSTALIER, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Pia KAUMA, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr László KOSZORÚS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Ms Christine MARIN, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr José MENDES BOTA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Alejandro MUÑOZ-ALONSO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Pasquale NESSA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Lajla PERNASKA, Albania, EPP/CD ; Ms Zaruhi POSTANJYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr André SCHNEIDER, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Marc SPAUTZ, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Mr Giacomo STUCCHI, Italy, EDG ; Ms Melinda SZÉKYNÉ SZTRÉMI, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Oreste TOFANI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Ms Arenca TRASHANI, Albania, EPP/CD ; Mr Imre VEJKEY, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Luigi VITALI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Marco ZACCHERA, Italy, EDG

In recent years, various member countries of the Council of Europe have reported an alarming increase in the number of adolescents entering the most explicit and violent pornographic websites.

A survey published in February 2011 by the Italian Society of Medical Andrology and Sexual Medicine (Società Italiana di Andrologia Medica e Medicina della Sessualità - SIAMS) based on a sample of 28,000 pornographic site users, has revealed that children as young as 14, before they have matured an affectivity-linked sexuality, are surfing websites showing very hardcore images.

Of the roughly 27 million Internet users in Italy, 7.8 million, i.e. 28.9%, use pornographic websites. This ranks Italy as Europe's fourth largest pornographic website user, after Germany (34.5%), France (33.6%) and Spain (32.4%). In some cases, children begin even before 13 years of age (3.9%), and the contacts increase considerably between the ages of 14 and 18 (5.9%).

The excessive use of online pornography from the early adolescence interrupts the maturity of sexuality linked to affectivity and creates a kind of addiction to even the most violent images, leading to a kind of "sexual anorexia”.

In more general terms, pornography and above all ease of access and the resultant overexposure to it can even create the same kind of addiction and sickness as that caused by drugs, compulsive gambling and sadomasochism.

We believe that the time has come for the Assembly to open up a debate on these issues to sensitise public opinion, the Committee of Ministers and the parliaments of the Council of Europe member countries to their implications.