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This can be beneficial to many people including new mothers and those recovering from eating disorders. Pedagogy, Culture & Society 21(1): 111-127 Image: Woman-typing-on-laptop2An estimated 90% of 12-18 year olds have internet access, raising concerns regarding their exposure to pornographic websites (Ybarra et al, 2005).
However the desire to conform to some online identities, such as that of pro-ana communities, can be dangerous as users can not be identified to receive real world help. (2012) Pro-anorexia Communities and Online Interaction: Bringing the Pro-ana Body Online. (2012) Hundreds of websites urging girls to ‘starve for perfection’. In an article written by the Huffington Post (2012), Pippa Smith identifies with the dangers of online porn exposure, with “Children as young as eight admitting to pornography addiction” and the extreme example of a “ 12-year-old boy who raped a nine year old girl…after viewing explicit images(Smith,2012)”.
Proving they are thin allows the users to claim a ‘pro-ana identity’ (Boero and Pascoe, 2012).
Paechter (2012) suggests that a positive of the pro-ana communities is that the girls do not have to go through the process alone.
These are not the only countries that have taken measures to prevent citizen access to online porn. Social networking sites themselves demonstrate the importance of online spaces in promoting awareness about certain health issues.
A national study questioning older teens found that 59% of interviewees believe that viewing internet porn promotes a negative attitude towards women, with 49% believing pornographic images “promote the perception that unprotected sexual activity is okay(Ybarra et al,2005,p.2)”.Indeed with improving internet access for younger people, issues regarding this online platform and the exposure to the messages of online porn are becoming increasingly concerning.Despite arguable benefits to the online pornographic industry, there are some genuine health concerns associated with its viewing.The main concern is the perception that erectile dysfunction is normal at the age of twenty ( Mail online, 2011) with the negative health impacts of online porn exposure arguably poorly documented.Geographically there are variations in the identities of young men suffering from the disorder (Robinson, 2011) dissolving the assumption of a clear correlation between socio-economic status and those affected.
The last 10 years has seen the growth of online communities surrounding eating disorders.