Britons back age limits for watching online pornography

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
July 22, 2017, 11:00 PM GMT+0

More than eight in ten think there should be an age limit for accessing adult content over the internet

This Monday, the government will formally unveil plans to force pornographic websites to set up an age verification wall so that Britons under the age of 18 cannot access the adult content online.

Ahead of the announcement, research from YouGov reveals that 83% of Britons agree that there should be an age limit for watching pornography online while only 9% think that there shouldn’t. Young adults (29% of 18-24 year olds) and men (14%) are the groups most likely to oppose the changes.

The largest portion of the public also agree with the government that the age limit should be set at 18. Close to half (46%) of Britons would have this as the age limit, while a fifth (20%) would set it at 16 (the age of consent). Young people (40% of 18-24 year olds) are the most likely to set the age limit at 16, and men are much more likely than women to do the same (26% vs 16%).

More than a quarter (26%) think that the age limit should be set at 21 or older – some of these will be wanting to ensure that no-one at all can watch pornography. This group were more likely to be older (40% of 65+ year olds) and female (33%).

What remains to be seen of course is whether Britons will end up backing the government’s methods aimed at restricting access to online pornography. Censorship groups have expressed concerns that non-pornographic content could get unfairly blocked, and more Britons may oppose the policy if it significantly disrupted their own viewing habits.

Photo: iStockphoto

See the full results here

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