According to a new study, British men lead all others in the consumption of online pornography. The study was commissioned by The Independent [London] and the results seem to have shocked the paper’s reporters, Anthony Barnes and Sophie Goodchild:

Record numbers of men and women are downloading pornography from the internet, making Britain the fastest-growing market in the world for the booming £20bn adult website industry.

In the first definitive portrait of the nation’s consumption of pornography, The Independent on Sunday can today reveal that more than nine million men – almost 40 per cent of the male population – used pornographic websites last year, compared with an estimated two million in 2000.

In a major survey for the IoS by Nielsen NetRatings, a world leader in internet analysis, research discloses that women are among the fastest-growing users of pornography on the internet, with a 30 per cent rise from just over one million to 1.4 million in the past 12 months. The figures also show that more than half of all children – some seven million – have encountered pornography on the internet “while looking for something else”.

Until now, the extent of the use by Britons of internet pornography had not been accurately measured. But the new figures show that one in four men aged 25 to 49 have visited an adult website in the past month – a total of 2.5 million. The surge in use of web pornography mirrors a huge boom in the number of hard-core sex films available to buy legally in the UK over the past few years. Film censors passed more hard-core sex films last year than 18-rated movies.

More:

Phillip Hodson of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy warned that this new generation of “voyeurs” risk problems in their love lives. “The internet has made sex-lazy men even sex-lazier where they get lost in their own world,” he added.

The UK porn industry is estimated to be now worth about £1bn, compared with £20bn worldwide. British internet surfers look up the word “porn” more than anyone in the English-speaking world.

From the Daily Mail:

Relationship experts said women have to compete with ‘perfect’ models online, which could lead to an explosion of young people unable to hold down normal relationships.

Christine Lacey, a senior counsellor with the relationship advice service Relate, said: ‘On the Internet there are no bounds.

‘You can look at the most perfect bodies doing the most unusual sex practices and having sex whenever you want to watch.

‘What normal woman can compete with that? If people are watching this sort of thing all the time without contact with other people, it can nor-malise it.’ Clinical psychologist and author Oliver James said: ‘If a man looks at a lot of pornography – in which women are essentially slaves – it interferes with their ability to sustain a real relationship.’

These are true and important insights — just ask anyone who deals with these issues. For my address to young men on this issue see, “The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage.”