[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 17:41 GMT
Youths 'access extreme websites'
Person using a computer
Mr Wyre raised concerns about the lack of regulation on the internet
Young people across Scotland are accessing a range of extreme material online, MSPs have been warned.

Independent expert Ray Wyre, who has a history of working with sex offenders, highlighted websites about bestiality, necrophilia and incitement to rape.

He said the situation with many obscene internet sites was heading out of control and he raised concerns about a failure by legislators to intervene.

The Equal Opportunities Committee was discussing the impact of pornography.

Mr Wyre compared laws prohibiting incitement to racial hatred with the relative lack of regulation on the internet.

Young people know what sites to go to, behind their parents back
Ray Wyre

He said: "We can have everything from incitement to abuse, incitement to rape women, incitement to have sex with children and we do nothing about it.

"The young people know what sites to go to, behind their parents back and we do nothing about it.

"They are talking about it in playgrounds and yet it isn't even part of this debate as we wouldn't necessarily class it as pornography."

Dr Karen Boyle, of Glasgow University, told the committee that youngsters could learn about pornography as part of sex education at schools to leave them more informed on the issue.

'Policy implications'

"It's a mistake to assume that censorship is the only way of dealing with this," she said.

"There are social policy implications that we can consider."

The discussion followed a petition from Scottish Women Against Pornography calling for porn to be made a hate crime.

Last year, MSP Elaine Smith had called for the petition to be dismissed.

The committee agreed with the Labour MSP but backed an evidence session, allowing experts to put forward their views on the issue.

Avedon Carol, of Feminists Against Censorship, argued against a ban, claiming the link to sexual violence was not proven.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific