Mobile porn a rising trend

Mobile porn a rising trend

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A student sneaks a naughty peek behind books. Photograph: Menghourng Ngo/Phnom Penh Post

Since the internet was introduced in Cambodia, pornography has become much more widely available and accessible.

Now, young Cambodians have been caught watching pornography in class on mobile phones, prompting education experts to call for better sex education provision in schools.

One 17 year-old boy, a student at a high school in Phnom Penh said: “I watched video sex in the class via my mobile phone because I was bored with my teacher. He was teaching alone, and he did not know what I was doing since I took a book to hide my mobile phone. I’m not the only one who was doing it.”

“We weren’t shy about it! A big group of boys watched it, and the girls watched it in their own group too.”

Another 19 year-old girl, who studies at a private university in Phnom Penh, said that the boys in her class always watch pornography on their mobile phones and sometimes throw it to the girls to watch.

I wrote a research thesis on the subject which found that most Cambodians use mobile phones rather than computers to watch porn as they’re small and portable.

Some of my interviewees said that watching porn increased their sexual desire. Many could control it, but some said they sought out prostitutes – which could put them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDs and other STIs. Previous studies like World Vision Cambodia’s reports in 2005, 2006 and by Child Welfare Group in 2003 came to the same conclusion.

Moa, 22, a male high school student in Phnom Penh said he sent violent pornography to friends via Bluetooth. He also showed them new websites where they could download porn, and sent pictures to female classmates.

“I loved watching violent video porn and wanted to practice it too. It made me feel excited,’ he said. “I lied to my parents that I needed money for studying in order to get $5 or $10 to have sex with prostitutes.”

Pung Chhivkek, president of Licadho and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) said the country needs proper sex education.

“School is a place for students to study, not to watch porn. The Ministry of Education should make a strict rule to punish those students,” she said. “The teachers should be careful. They should ask students to put all electronic tools on the desk.”

“Our country should have sex education that will educate Cambodian youths in order to prevent all immoral activities,” she added.

Thoung Kep Bunnate, planning officer at Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Education said that the Ministry has not yet created sex education programs as much of Cambodian society retains conservative attitudes towards sex.

“We just introduce sex education program step by step rather than suddenly make it otherwise, Cambodian youth will be too overjoyed like it’s suddenly Valentine’s Day. We want to add sex education to the education about the morality of society,” just insert fickle sex education to education about morality of society,” he said.

“We have to educate and announce about this issue widely. We cannot ban youth from using pornographic material because it is their rights, but we can minimize the utilization of those supply via verbal of teachers,” he said.

Somchan Sovandara, a university lecturer in Phnom Penh, stressed that it was a minority of students who watched pornography in class. Most played games and looked at celebrity photos, he said.

“During my class, I collected all of the electronic material from my students in order to make them to concentrate on my lessons. If there is something strange, I go to check up in order to prevent students from viewing pornography in the class.”

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