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Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
'One in three' view online porn
Pornographic web address
One in three British surfers visit pornographic sites
Pornographic internet sites are proving a big hit with UK surfers with more than a third of users regularly visiting them.

A survey by NetValue, which measures internet activity, found that 3.6m people in Britain log on to adult websites.

The worst offenders were students who account for a fifth of all visits to pornographic sites.

Gambling online is also becoming increasingly popular, with two million people visiting bookmakers' sites - double the number four months ago.

Britain's internet habits
10m Britons use the internet
3.6m people visit adult sites
2m gamble online
3.8m women surf the net
1.8m of the over 50s regular surfers
The survey found that the number of people using the internet has grown steadily in the last six months with just under 10m users in May.

Surfers are also spending longer online with more than six hours a month the average time.

The number of women using the internet has increased by 12% to 3.8m.

The survey also revealed a rise in the number of internet users aged over 50, so-called silver surfers.

Cybersex

They now account for more than a fifth of internet users, with 1.82m regularly online.

Microsoft's MSN was the most visited website and the top e-commerce site was StreetsOnline, a books, music and games website, which kept Amazon off the top spot for the second month running.

Jannnie Cahill, NetValue's marketing manager, said internet porn had always proved popular.

"I don't think the figures are very surprising," she told BBC News Online. "It's just not something that has been focused on before."

Last month psychologists warned at a conference on sexual addiction in California, that a compulsive need for cybersex can choke the life out of marriages and partnerships.

They said cybersex addiction should be treated seriously and required therapy, the same as eating or personality disorders.

Netvalue bases its estimates on a sample of 1,600 British surfers and measures overall numbers via a wider telephone survey of homes.

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See also:

06 May 00 | Sci/Tech
Net sex addiction on the rise
30 Sep 99 | Health
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02 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
200,000 net porn addicts in US
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