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Specialists urge children protection from explicit content

young middle eastern father teaching his daughter
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Specialists are warning parents to tighten control over their children who could be exposed to pornographic material on the Internet, specifically social networking sites.اضافة اعلان

Young Jordanians of different backgrounds opt for the internet as their main source of information. Many are also active on social media sites, like Facebook and TikTok.

Social Development Specialist Mohammed Basharat said that accessing pornographic material “is particularly sensitive and dangerous for the society, and specifically children.”

“Homes and individuals are being targeted, especially since most children use smart devices on a daily basis, and some of them may be out of parental control,” he told Jordan News.

He explained that “there are disgraceful and flawed acts seen by children on several available applications, which may present sensual content, or have sexual implications.”

“Visual pornography also promotes children’s sexual expression,” he pointed out.

“The most significant harm this content has on children is its impact on their mental and physical health, and its effect on their cognition, sexual, and intellectual development,” he said.

He also said that “the child’s exposure to explicit content may continue to maturity, and may leave him or her in a bad state as a result of continuous exposure to such activity or scenes.”

In turn, he added, this may “bring them closer to sexual perversion, or make it easier for them to accept sexual harassment.”

According to Basharat, 31 percent of males and 18 percent of females “may actually practice what they have seen in such content.”

He noted that “extensive exposure to explicit content affects one’s perception of women in general.”
Among those risks are cyber-bullying, sexual harassment and exploitation, brainwashing, instilling concepts of violence and hatred, immorality and lack of religion, addiction to explicit content, defiance, and death,
“Children will have poor sexual development and their brain will be adversely affected,” he noted.

Internet consultant Hana Al-Ramli said that there are many serious risks which children face as a result of their exposure to explicit content online.

“Among those risks are cyber-bullying, sexual harassment and exploitation, brainwashing, instilling concepts of violence and hatred, immorality and lack of religion, addiction to explicit content, defiance, and death,” she told Jordan News.

Ramli said the types of explicit content to which a child is exposed to “vary”, and “not only includes content found on explicit sites”.

She believed that “the most dangerous of which is the content sent to children by strangers through social media platforms and electronic games.”

“Strangers may photograph themselves naked and send these pictures to the child. In addition, it is also possible that children would be photographed naked or open a video chat with strangers to display their bodies under threat or blackmail”, she explained.

She said that “boys and girls sending personal videos to each other, for the purpose of entertainment, is dangerous too.”

According to Ramli, “the child, who is exposed to inappropriate content, must be given the opportunity to acknowledge the source of his access to this content, whether it is an advertisement, a mistaken entry to the site, or someone sending him a link or video with such content.”

“It is important to remind parents to avoid any scolding or punishment on the child, as this will prevent them in the future from talking to their parents on such matters,” she explained.

She said punishment may also prevent children from “seeking help, if they are exposed to any pornographic content, blackmail, or sexual bullying on the Internet”.

As for the role of the school, she stressed that “the majority of schools do not adopt an awareness-raising approach to the culture of using the Internet, including explicit content, on children.”

Farah Al-Baddawi, a teacher at a private school, told Jordan news that “in one incident, two students were caught watching explicit content inside the school.”

She said that “in such cases, the school communicates with the children’s parents to let them know about the incident, so that the matter is dealt with on a scientific and educational basis aimed at correcting the problem and not aggravating it.”

She advised parents to continuously cooperate with schools to create a healthy environment for children in homes and schools and to protect them from the dangers of digital explicit content.

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