What would we do without the Internet!? This technology provides marvelous opportunities for worldwide instantaneous communication, countless resources for researchers and students, and the ability to connect with others near and far. The progress that society, business and commerce have experienced in recent years, I am sure, can be linked to the ever-increasing capabilities of the Internet. In many ways, these are the "best of times" in terms of Internet-possibility.
There is a dark side to the Internet, however. Among other industries, pornography--its production and dissemination--can thank the Internet for its huge success. There are 4.2 million pornographic websites and in 2006 the total porn industry revenue was $13.3 billion in the United States and $97 billion worldwide.
There is a dangerous side to Internet pornography as well: Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children; 100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography; and the average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is age eleven. Online perpetrator statistics are equally alarming: 1 in 7 children who use the Internet have been sexually solicited; 1 in 5 children (ages 10-17) received unwanted sexual solicitations online; and 2 in 5 abductions of children (ages 15-17) are due to internet contact. To view further statistics, click here.