Seventeen percent of the non-religious girls polled said they visited sexually-oriented websites, while over 30% of the national religious and haredi girls polled responded likewise.
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Over 500 11th and 12th-grade students from the national religious, haredi, and secular sectors participated in the study, which focused on the amount of exposure to the Internet and the "sexual conflict." The research is a follow-up to a qualitative study published a year ago that examined attraction vs. reversion to sexuality and attraction vs. reversion to morality and conservatism.
Dr. Yaniv Efrati of Bar-Ilan University, who used the statistical research to examine religious youths' sexual conflict, explains that sexual attraction among girls is "perceived as a much stricter taboo in the religious society than in secular society."
Only a keystroke away (Illustrative photo: Visual/Photos)
"It seems that because religious girls feel that it is forbidden, they want it more than the secular girls," Efrati observed.
Efrati, a former yeshiva homeroom teacher and counselor, points out the gap between how religious educators believe that they address the issue of sexuality and what really takes place.
"When I met with one of the respondents, a high school student in a national-religious school, I asked if the rabbi who taught him to discuss sexuality with the students," Efrati recalls. "The student said no. Later, I met the rabbi, and without telling him about the meeting with the student, I asked if he discussed the subject with his students. Surprisingly, he answered 'all the time.'"
"If you like, this is additional proof of the gap between how educators see 'addressing the issue' and what the students experience," Efrati adds.
"It appears that the level of conflict grows the deeper the surfer's religious background is," Efrati notes, citing "curiosity and interest as opposed to rejection and shame."
Interestingly, while the percentage of religious and haredi girls who surf porn sites is significantly higher than the number of secular girls who do, there was virtually no difference by sector in the number of boys who surf porn sites. According to the study, over 80% of all teens are exposed to online porn.