• Marsali Hancock

What porn research for the boy scouts taught me

The Real Risk to Children: Exploited By Commercial Algorithms



I have spent my career dealing with research on the effects of technology and content on human beings. For decades, I have been on the front line of this work, analyzing, and utilizing what we learn. I have been particularly focused on child health and wellness online since 2003 (15 years ago), so it was natural that I was asked to direct a program that would help Boy Scout troops address healthy online habits and experiences. They wanted a program based on data and evidence that would prepare parents and leaders to support the Scouts in their online experiences, including healthy ways to respond to traumatic content like sexual violence, which is commonly streamed in online pornography.  So I started with reviewing current research in these areas, particularly sexual health and pornography. The alarming thing was: the effect of my online “search” for this project profoundly shaped me and my online experience, and not because of what I learned in developing the curriculum content for the Boy Scout project. (read full article)

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