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The number of teenagers seeking sex therapy from the UK’s NHS has more than tripled in two years, the Sunday Times reported, quoted NHS Digital figures.

In total, 4,600 people of 19 years of age or younger required psycho-sexual therapy since 2017, the newspaper said. The previous two-year period had 1,400 referrals.

Exposure to pornography via mobile phones and the Internet is driving young people to therapy, the paper said, citing experts.

A paper commissioned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) argued last month that children and teenagers are exposed to pornography from as young as seven years old, a majority of them unintentionally. About 41 per cent of young people surveyed felt they could be less respectful of the opposite sex.

The report showed that 83 per cent of parents surveyed agreed that access to online pornography needs age-verification controls. The BBFC is working on such a regulation, after it was delayed in July.