75% of Thai youth on Net visited porn sites
Also, 45 per cent are regular visitors, says a study on the danger of youth being
sexually exploited through the Internet
BANGKOK - Almost 75 per cent of young computer users in Thailand have visited pornographic
websites, and 45 per cent of them have become regular visitors, according to a survey by an
international non-governmental organisation.
The findings also showed that the children and youths were not bothered by inconveniences of
adult sites, like pop-up windows or by the possibility that virtual friends or confidants they chat
with could be impostors.
The survey, among the first of its kind in Asia, was aimed at finding out whether the Advertisement
Internet posed a danger to children in terms of sexual exploitation.
Entitled Are Our Children at Risk Online?, the survey was conducted by ECPAT International, an
association of several organisations, over the last two months.
Children, youths, parents and teachers in Thailand were asked questions about their use of the
Internet, exposure to online pornography, awareness of dangers, and shocking experiences with
websites and online chats.
Ms Isabelle Michelet, director of consulting firm Prasena, which designed the questionnaires, said
the findings showed that more than 71 per cent of respondents aged 12 to 25 had visited a
pornographic website at least once, while 45 per cent of them were repeat visitors.
A total of 73 per cent of the porn site regulars were undeterred by the 'inconvenient'
consequences of visiting those sites.
That included facing dozens of porn-related commercial pop-up windows and having their
homepage settings changed.
Most children and youths were aware of the possibility that their virtual friends or confidants
could be impostors.
However, the issue did not seem to worry them.
More astonishing, half of the children and youths surveyed discovered that at least one of their
'friends' on the Net was an impostor.
The survey indicates that parents should not let children go online without supervision or let them
go on their own to meet online friends face to face, said Ms Michelet.
According to the survey, filtering software does not help because half of the youngsters said that
they could easily bypass it.
PRASENA (Thailand) Ltd – 117/11 Soi Samahan, Sukhumvit Soi 4, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Telephone: 66-2-254 13 00 – Fax: 66-2-254 13 04 – E-mail: email@example.com
Discussing the causes of negative behaviour patterns related to the Internet, ECPAT official Guy
Thompstone said: 'The Internet is a powerful new technology located within a culturally specific
He said children and youths were undergoing a crisis of identity in the midst of which the Internet
offered them a new, autonomous and even rebellious image of who they are.--The Nation/Asia
ONLINE: Trading dirty pictures
THIRTY per cent of children aged seven to 11 and 52 per cent of youths in Thailand said they
have no problems with trading pictures of nude movie stars via computers.
But 43 per cent of children and 63 per cent of youths admitted they have faced some websites
with shocking pictures or bad language.
Ninety-two per cent of children and youths have been invited to talk about sex.
When faced with such situations, most of them opted to change the subject or switch off while 17
per cent continued the conversation.