LONDON, March 4, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pornography and depictions of sexuality have turned more than 4,500 British children – some of them as young as five – into sexual offenders, according to a UK-based child welfare charity.

A Freedom of Information Act request showed that 4,562 minors – 98 percent of them boys – committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period, from 2009-2012.

Three separate police forces reported five-year-olds committing sexual offenses.

However, the London Telegraph reports, “the true figure” of total offenders “could be even higher as nine forces, including the three largest – the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police – could not provide the relevant figures.”

Twenty percent of cases reported involved a family member. In another third, a family friend was victimized.

“We know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s views of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behavior,” said Claire Lilley, policy adviser at The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

The report's content, though specific to Great Britain, contains universal truths.

“Child-on-child sex abuse and rape is a growing problem in every culture where pornography flourishes,” Patrick Trueman, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan administration and president of Morality In Media, told LifeSiteNews.com.

“Children act out what they see. If they see acts of love and charity, they will mimic those,” Trueman said. “But when they see sexual violence, domination, rape, and other similar acts so commonly depicted in modern-day pornography, as today's children do, they will act out those, as well.”

The British report joins an accumulating mound of heartwrenching stories showing how pornography has permanently scarred children around the world – both the victims and the perpetrators.

In the Australian state of Victoria alone, 414 minors were referred for sexual offenses to the Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) last year. Just more than half could be placed in rehabilitation programs.

Therapists continually cite the role access to pornography and sexually explicit television scenarios play in sexualizing children and, in some cases, triggering them to exploit others.

Child therapist John Woods of London reported a case of a 13-year-old boy who raped his five-year-old sister after developing a “complex fantasy world” warped by “two years of constant porn use.”

Similar reports come from North America.

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In Canada, a 13-year-old boy said his gay porn consumption led to his repeated rape of a four-year-old boy who lived in his foster home.

The omnipresent flickers of porn have caused alarm at the highest levels of European government.

A cross-party report from the British parliament found most boys learned about sex by watching pornography, an influence that “negated the primacy of relationships whilst promoting a self-centered focus of sex.”

That influence magnifies anti-social behavior. A 2010 study from Australia's La Trobe University found boys who watch porn are more likely to harass girls. Nearly one-third of British girls aged 16-18 said they experienced unwanted sexual touching in a 2010 YouGov poll.

“We must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualized society,” Lilley said.

As a result of cases such as these, Iceland is considering banning pornography because of the harm it inflicts on women and children.

The move touched off fierce debate in the UK. This report elevates that discussion to a new importance.

“The world is suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography and children are suffering the most,” Trueman told LifeSiteNews.