Boys and girls may differ in many ways, but one thing they have in common is their favorite Internet searches. According to Symantec, “YouTube,” Google” and “Facebook” were the top three search terms in 2009 for boys and girls of all ages. For parents who are concerned about what their kids are doing online, this news is probably somewhat reassuring.
Not so fast. Things take a decidedly R-rated turn when you look at the fourth most popular search term: For kids ages 8 to 18, it’s “Sex.” Okay, kids are curious about sex and that isn’t all that surprising, right? But what about the little kids? What are kids under the age of seven looking for online? According to the research, they are looking for “porn.”
“Porn” beat out “Club Penguin,” “Webkinz” and “Disney” for kids aged 7 and under. Interestingly, the term “sex” didn’t even make the top 25 for that age group. What’s that about? Are little kids really interested in viewing some porn or are they just trying to find out what the word means? I am going to assume the latter and make some time with my nine-year-old for a little vocabulary lesson. Right after I revisit the parental control settings on the family computer.
These survey results were based on data collected from 14.6 million searches made between February 2 and December 4, 2009 by users of the OnlineFamily.Norton service. See Symantec’s entire list of kids’ top 100 Internet searches of 2009 here.