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Sexuality Education & Therapy with Children

Pornography vs. sexual science

Full Article Title: Pornography vs. sexual science: The role of pornography use and dependency in U.S. teenagers’ sexual illiteracy.

Open Access: No.

 

Abstract

This study examined U.S. adolescents’ pornography consumption, pornography dependency, and belief in a variety of notions contradicted by basic sexological science. Data were from 595 youth aged 14–18 who participated in a population-based probability survey. Consistent with the sexual script acquisition, activation, application model (3AM) of sexual media socialization, adolescents who had viewed pornography were more likely to hold erroneous sexual beliefs than adolescents who had not viewed pornography. Also consistent with the 3AM, more frequent pornography consumption and higher levels of pornography dependency were independently associated with holding erroneous beliefs about sex among pornography consumers. Counter to theoretical expectations, frequency of pornography consumption did not interact with pornography dependency in the prediction of erroneous sexual beliefs.

 

Relevance

According to this study of American youth aged 14-18, the more dependent adolescents were on pornography for sexual learning, or the more frequently they consumed pornography, “the more erroneous sexual beliefs they held.”  In sum, “these results suggest that pornography consumption frequency and dependency independently increase adolescents’ sexual illiteracy.”

 

Citation

Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Herbenick, D., & Paul, B. (2022). Pornography vs. sexual science: The role of pornography use and dependency in U.S. teenagers’ sexual illiteracy. Communication Monographs, 89(3), 332-353. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2021.1987486