British women give online porn the thumbs up

Women account for a quarter of the 3.8 million British surfers accessing pornographic Web sites

More than a quarter of the entire UK home Internet population visited pornography Web sites in June, with a quarter of the surfers being women.

Adult Web sites were visited by 3.8 million British surfers throughout June, according to research conducted by the Internet monitoring company NetValue. Of these, 26.9 percent were women. X-rated sites make up 41.2 percent of all sites visited in the UK, with many visitors spending longer than 45 minutes looking at one particular site.

"The Internet provides a more anonymous way of accessing pornography -- it services people's curiosity, and it is easy to cruise quietly on the Web," said Alki Manias, managing director of NetValue UK. "In this difficult financial climate, there is also an emphasis on a lot of mainstream sites to accept certain levels of porn," he added. In the UK, lastminute.com has joined a long line of e-tailers and portals moving into this area, by recently introducing an auction for adult toys and sex aids.

The NetValue study confirms that Britons feel comfortable about accessing the profitable areas of pornographic Web sites, which require them to enter their credit card details. In June, 85.5 percent of people looking at pornography went on to visit restricted sections of these sites. "People are now much happier to use secure areas of adult sites -- which attract a prime consumer segment of young men who are loyal, and have been on the Internet since before 2000," said Manias.

Students account for nearly a quarter of Britons accessing online pornography, while manual workers account for 15 percent and professionals 13 percent. Adult content is surprisingly popular with the over 50s, with almost 16 percent of this age group accounting for the number of Britons accessing this material. But the popularity of pornography is also steadily expanding outside of its target group -- the NetValue report highlights that in June, one fifth of online children under the age of 14 have accessed adult-rated material on the Internet.

Pornographic sites are also popular among the earliest adopters of the Internet. People who first got online at home before 1997 account for nearly one fifth of visitors to pornographic sites, though they only make up 14 percent of the entire UK online population.

See the Internet News Section for full coverage.

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