Student Christopher Damian undertook a survey among more than 400 University of Notre Dame students, according to the Irish Rover, finding that 63 percent of men and 11 percent of women had viewed pornography over the Internet while on campus at Notre Dame.
Responses to a second question revealed that 86 percent of men and 37 percent of women have friends who have viewed pornography over the Internet while on Notre Dame's campus.
Those figures differ little from national statistics reported by Covenant Eyes, an Internet accountability and filtering program, which reports that 68 percent of young adult men and 18 percent of young adult women use pornography weekly.
Damian told the Rover that more women than men responded to the survey, and believes the numbers of actual pornography use are most likely much higher:
“The numbers for men who have viewed pornography are probably significantly higher. About twice as many women responded to the survey as men," said Damian. "Still, if the results of this survey are accurate, then more than 2500 undergraduate men and 400 undergraduate women have viewed pornography over Notre Dame’s wireless network."
..."If the University is going to monitor illegal downloading, I don’t understand why it can’t monitor access to pornography,” Damian said. “It’s one thing for the University to trust students to abide by minor policies or policies that don’t need to be enforced for various reasons, but thousands of students on this campus have freely accessed pornography without any real incentive to avoid it. I wouldn’t suggest adding harsh penalties for students who do, but I would like to see the University be more proactive in helping students to live out their sexuality in healthy and holistic ways."
The University of Notre Dame does not filter Internet access on campus. According The Irish Rover, The Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) “Responsible Use of Information Technology Resources” statement instructs, “never use University resources to post, view, print, store, or send obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material, except for officially approved, legitimate academic or University purposes.” OIT maintains and oversees all of the university’s web systems and internet usage.
University spokesman Dennis Brown commented to the Rover about the University's policy:
“When brought to our attention, we reserve the right to investigate any claim of inappropriate use of technology resources by a student or employee, and when we find a violation we can and will assess an appropriate sanction…," said Brown. "The university relies on the integrity of our students, faculty and staff to abide by this and other policies.”
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.