Feature

The internet porn 'epidemic': By the numbers

Some child-safety advocates say the spread of online pornography has become "epidemic." Here, a statistical look at the all-too-big business of smut

Speaking in Washington this week, advocates for internet safety called on Congress and the Department of Justice to enforce obscenity laws more vigorously and drew parallels between the spread of web porn and the BP oil spill. Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough, a Virginia-based non-profit that aims to make the web more family-friendly, says internet pornography has reached "epidemic" proportions: "We are facing a national crisis that is every bit as damaging to our citizens and our culture as the oil spill is to... the Gulf community." (Watch Hughes' testimony on the internet porn epidemic.) Following, a statistical look at the online porn explosion:

12
Percentage of total websites that contain pornography, according to Good magazine

25
Percentage of search engine requests related to pornography

28,000
Number of internet users viewing porn, every second

75 million
Average monthly unique visitors to adult websites between 2005 and 2008

43
Percentage of all internet users who view pornographic material online

75
Percentage of people who "accidentally" viewed a pornographic site

81
Percentage of Americans who believe federal laws against internet obscenity should be "vigorously enforced"

266
Number of new pornographic websites that appear online, every day

3,000
Approximate number of English-language websites that distribute child pornography

1 in 7
Number of "youths" who report being solicited for sex online

11
Age at which the average child is first exposed to adult material

7 in 10
Number of children who've inadvertently viewed online pornography

1,536
Number of sites featuring child pornography in 2008, according to the Internet Watch Foundation

58
Percentage of those sites that are housed in the United States

48
Percentage of kindergarten and first grade students who have reported seeing online content that "made them feel uncomfortable," according to a 2008 study by the Rochester Institute of Technology

34
Percentage of teenage girls who've shared photos or physical descriptions of themselves online, compared to 15 percent of teenage boys

$89
Amount spent on internet pornography, every second

$13 billion
Estimated revenue generated by pornography in the U.S. in 2006, including $2.84 billion from online pornography

$97 billion
Approximate total worldwide revenue generated by pornography annually, as of 2006

This article was updated on June 22.

Sources: Washington Times, CNBC, Good, ThePinkCross.org, MSNBC, Enough.org, NationalCoalition.org, Huffington Post

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