'Sex' makes list of top search terms for children

The term is the ninth most searched term for children under seven, but doesn't make the top 20 for older teens.

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Symantec has released a list of the most popular search terms used by children and teenagers - and it could set off a few alarm bells among parents.

The security firm collects data from its OnlineFamily.Norton parental control software, and the results are collated from the searches of 4,000 UK children aged 18 and under.

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Across all age ranges, the top five search terms hold relatively steady, with Facebook, YouTube, Google appearing in the top spots for all age groups.

However, the lists begin to take on a very different complexion in the top 20. In the 8-12 age range, eBay, CBBC and flash-games site Miniclip debut, with sex and porn making an unwelcome appearance at 11th and 18th place respectively.

Surprisingly, sex ranks ninth in the list of search terms for the under 7s age bracket, though it doesn't even make the top 20 for the 13-18 year olds, which is dominated by shopping sites eBay, Amazon and Argos. Porn appears as the 14th most searched term in this demographic.

The study also breaks down the results by gender, and it appears both boys and girls are equally curious about sex; the search term is the seventh most popular among boys and 10th most popular among girls.

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Indeed, there's very little to choose between the top 10 lists, beyond the fact that CBBC and Hotmail appear for girls and not for boys who propel Miniclip into their top ten.

The results suggest celebrities aren't exactly high on kids' priorities these days. Cheryl Cole is the highest ranked celeb across all lists - usually hovering just outside the top 20 - with Michael Jackson never far behind.

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