Top 100 Kids’ Online Search Words for 2009

Wow, I saw this over on Youth Ministry Geek – it’s pretty sobering.  It’s also very, very informative.  Definitely something parents should be aware of; for me, as a youth worker it’s particularly telling about how early kids in America are starting to think about, and wonder about sex – and where they’re going to find their information.  It also shatters some stereotypes; young girls are looking up sexually explicit material almost as much as young boys are.  Where they actually did the research breaks it down even further than what you see below (you can see it all here), I was shocked to see that the number four search for kids 7 years old and under (that’s a year younger than my oldest!!!) is ‘porn.’  And these are kids whose parents have installed protective software, so they’re in households that are at least trying to prevent this kind of thing from happening by being somewhat proactive; this is why I’ve said for years that parents should never allow their kids to have internet access in secluded areas of the house – it should always be somewhere that it is easily monitored visually.  Protective software isn’t enough – it’s actually pretty easy to get around for tech-savvy kids.  On the other hand, with pocket size devices having wireless technology, and lots of porn available through cell phones, it’s becoming even more challenging.  Anyway, here’s what Brandon wrote over at Youth Ministry Geek:

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There is an interesting article over at churchrelevance.com about the most popular words searched by teens.  This is good insight for youth workers.

Here’s what they deemed as “bad” in the top 100:

BAD SEARCHES FROM THE TOP 100
by boys and girls (ages 18 & under)

#4 – Sex (#4 for boys & #5 for girls)
#5 – Porn (#5 for boys & #24 for girls)
#32 – Boobs (#17 for boys)
#82 – Pussy

Here’s a little of what they found:

You can learn a lot about someone by what they search for online. These top search results paint a pretty clear psychographic picture of the priorities, preferences, and habits of online youth.

Kids and teens are obviously learning and experimenting with adult content much sooner than many parents, kids’ ministries, and youth ministries realize. As Time magazine reported early this month, 40% of adolescents have intercourse before ever talking to their parents about safe sex, birth control, or sexually transmitted diseases. Parents often dread giving their kids the sex talk(s), but studies show that kids want to learn from their parents. Instead, many kids learn about sex through friends, the Internet, and experimentation.

I find it really ironic that in the top 100 is a search on how to disable one of the more popular internet filters that many parents use thinking they are protecting their kids.

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