Study: More Than Half of Canadians Favor Porn Opt-in Program

Jul 25, 2014 12:45 PM PST

TORONTO — More than half of those polled in a new study in Canada favor legislation requiring ISPs to restrict online adult content through filtering.

The Forum Poll, conducted over the telephone in a survey of 1,624 randomly selected Canadians 18 years of age and older, showed that 52 percent would prefer an opt-in program similar to the one imposed in the U.K.

More than one-third  (34 percent) opposed an opt-in program and 14 percent had no opinion, according to the poll conducted on July 18.

Opposition to the proposal is characteristic of the youngest (46 percent), males (48 percent), the wealthiest (44 percent), in BC (40 percent) but not in Alberta  (28 percent), among Green Party voters (43 percent), the best educated (post grad, 40 percent), those who are not religious (48 percent) and those who have viewed pornography in the past year (71 percent) and think it is not harmful to society (59 percent).

"Those who claim to use pornography resent any attempt by the state  to interfere with their access," Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said. "To users, this is an area where personal liberty  trumps the concerns of the state."

The study also looked at other user views and practices related to porn, including consumption.

The study said that one-eighth of those polled admitted to having purchased or viewed pornography in the past year (16 percent), while a further one-quarter preferred not to answer (26 percent), "which may stand as a proxy for admission of use." 

Admitted use is characteristic of the youngest (27 percent), males (26 percent), the  wealthiest (22 percent), Atlantic Canada (21 percent) and BC (20 percent), Green Party supporters (23 percent), those with no religion (23 percent).

Those with children were very slightly more likely to admit use (18 percent) than are those with no children in the house (15 percent), the study said.

The plurality of viewers say they view pornography about once a week or more  often (35 percent). About one-tenth claim to use it once a year or less often (11 percent).

The majority, two thirds of viewers (62 percent) watch pornography alone, while about  one seventh watch it with another person (14 percent). One tenth do both (12 percent). 

"We pride ourselves as Canadians on our open?mindedness, but even with the  anonymity guaranteed by the ...  survey method, it would appear there is  substantial under?reporting of pornography use," Bozinoff said. "While uncommon among  females, certainly, it must be assumed that more than one quarter of Canadian males have encountered pornography in the past year."

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