London, Aug 21 (IANS): An early exposure to porn and explicit material online can damage teenagers' cognitive abilities, clarity about relationships and studies later in life.
According to a recent study by the Institute of Public Policy Research, a British think tank, watching pornography was "common" by the time teenagers reach their mid-teens.
The internet was ranked higher than parents as a source of information about sex and relationships, it added.
"Few realise how their time spent watching pornography will affect their brains, relationships and studies later in life," said the study reported by Telegraph.
According to psychotherapist Paula Hall she has worked with a significant number of young people who are virgins in their twenties because all their sexual experiences happen online.
"They have never had a physical relationship. They do not know how to do real sex so they avoid it," she was quoted as saying.
Watching too much porn forces young people into secrecy, which can lead to depression, anxiety and difficulty relating to others.
"It also creates a cycle where students watch more and more porn to cope with their unhappiness. Porn starts as a curiosity but becomes a coping strategy," Hall added.