How Does Porn

Affect Teenagers?

  1. Initial studies show that the adolescent brain is more sensitive to sexually explicit material than adult brains (Brown & Wisco, 2019).

  2. A review of 19 studies found that adolescents who view online pornography are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and to have anxiety or depression (Principi et al., 2019).

  3. Among adolescents, pornography use increases with age, especially with boys.  Adolescents who attend religious services frequently are less likely to view pornography (Rasmussen & Bierman, 2016).

  4. Adolescents who use pornography are more likely to commit sexual violence (Peter & Valkenburg, 2016; Ybarra & Thompson, 2017).

  5. Adolescents who use pornography are more likely to have disturbed family relationships (Peter & Valkenburg, 2016). 

  6. Males who report using pornography during adolescence followed by daily consumption of pornography often advance to viewing extreme content, including violence, to maintain arousal.  Over time these men become less interested in physical intercourse as it is viewed as bland and uninteresting.  Men then lose the ability to have sex with a real life partner.  Some who give up pornography have successfully “re-booted” and regained their ability to have erections with a partner (Begovic, 2019).

  7. Boys who view pornography are more likely to be involved in sexting—sending sexually explicit messages and images (Stanley et al., 2016).

  8. Boys’ regular viewing of pornography is associated with increased sexual coercion and abuse (Stanley et al., 2016). 

  9. In people aged 10-21, continuing exposure to violent pornography leads to sexual harassment, sexual assault, coercive sex, attempted rape, and rape (Ybarra & Thompson, 2017). 

  10. Adolescents using pornography report diminished life satisfaction (Willoughby, Young-Petersen, & Leonhardt, 2018).

  11. Adolescents who view pornography become less religious over time (Alexandraki et al., 2018). 

  12. Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to have been sexually assaulted (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  13. Boys who regularly view pornography are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  14. The more frequently adolescents view pornography, the more likely they are to attend religious services less frequently, the less importance their faith is to them, the less frequently they pray and feel close to God and the more religious doubts they have (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  15. Adolescents who are more attached to religious leaders have lower levels of pornography consumption (Alexandraki et al., 2018). 

  16. Adolescents who view pornography frequently are also more likely to have relationship problems with their peers (Alexandraki, et al., 2018).

  17. Boys who use pornography frequently are more likely to be overweight or obese (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  18. Adolescents who use pornography frequently have worse relationships with their parents, lower commitment to their family, believe their parents care less about them, and communicate less with their parents (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  19. Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to begin sexual activity at an earlier age. This early onset of sexual activity is due to more permissive attitudes toward casual sex that are directly linked to their pornography use (Van Oosten, Jochen, & Vandenbosch, 2017).  

20.  Asking adolescents if they use pornography has no effect on whether or not they will actually access pornography in the future 

       (Koletic, Cohen, Stulhofer, & Kohut, 2019).

(c) 2020 John Foubert

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