Skip to main content
NOW AVAILABLE: OUR FREE PORN-CRITICAL SEX-ED CURRICULUM!
NOW AVAILABLE: OUR FREE PORN-CRITICAL SEX-ED CURRICULUM! ×

Sexuality Education & Therapy with Children

Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health

Full Article Title: Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health: Latest evidence from the literature.

Open Access: No

 

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Nowadays adolescents and children are more and more exposed to sexually explicit internet material (SEIM), but most parents and healthcare professionals neglect this issue. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of online pornography on minors’ health with a specific focus on the effects produced on their behavioural, psychophysical and social development.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A literature search was performed on PubMed and ScienceDirect in March 2018 with the query “(pornography OR sexually explicit internet material) AND (adolescent OR child OR young) AND (impact OR behaviour OR health).” Results published between 2013 and 2018 were analysed and compared with previous evidence.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: According to selected studies (N.=19), an association between consumption of online pornography and several behavioral, psychophysical and social outcomes – earlier sexual debut, engaging with multiple and/or occasional partners, emulating risky sexual behaviors, assimilating distorted gender roles, dysfunctional body perception, aggressiveness, anxious or depressive symptoms, compulsive pornography use – is confirmed.

CONCLUSIONS: The impact of online pornography on minors’ health appears to be relevant. The issue can no longer be neglected and must be targeted by global and multidisciplinary interventions. Empowering parents, teachers and healthcare professionals by means of educational programs targeting this issue will allow them to assist minors in developing critical thinking skills about pornography, decreasing its use and obtaining an affective and sex education that is more suitable for their developmental needs.

 

Relevance

The aim of the present study was to investigate the findings of the most recently published literature about minors’ consumption of SEIM and its impact on their health in terms of behavioural, psychophyisical and social development. As it turns out, scientific evidence produced during the past five years confirms what was already known. Beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours regarding minors’ body image and sexuality are highly influenced by pornography. There is an evident need for education and prevention programs targeting this issue that are lacking at date, mainly because the problem has long been overlooked and underestimated…Caring for adolescents’ health includes educating parents about the power of sexual media and teaching them how to acknowledge potentially dangerous sexual contents, limit exposure for their children and further elaborate on how the influence that pornography may have on their welfare” while “The primary goal of education about pornography and sex education in general is to allow minors to develop consciousness and critical thinking skills and make them prepared for the encounter with sexually explicit material.” Moreover, “Healthcare professionals, especially Paediatricians, should play a fundamental role by sharing knowledge, promoting prevention strategies and giving support to parents and kids.”

Citation

Principi, N., Magnoni, P., Grimoldi, L., Carnevali, D., Cavazzana, L., & Pellai, A. (2022). Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health: Latest evidence from the literature. Minerva Pediatrics, 74(3), 332-339. DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.19.05367-2