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Pornography and the effect on users' self-esteem

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Katie Buckle

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Pornography and the effect on users' self-esteem

Pornography Use and Adolescent Sexuality
Ven-hwei Lo and Ran Wei on Exposure to internet pornography and Adolescent's Sexual Attitudes
Survey study of about 1,000 adolescents, researchers found that pornography in the media exerted significant pressure on teens to engage in sexual activities. Exposure to internet porn was the strongest predictor of permissive sexual behavior and attitudes by adolescents.
Points of Interest
Pornography and the effect on users' self-esteem
Porn users' attitudes and beliefs about sex
Relationship between pornography use and risky behavior
Pornography's effect on intimacy and relationships
Effects on Self-Esteem, Sexual Esteem and Body Image
Haggstrom-Nordin et al. (2006)
10 females, 8 males age 16-23 in Sweden
Participants expressed common themes they found about body image in porn
Women should be small, thin and inferior
Men should be muscular and superior
This research also concluded that frequent exposure to internet pornography is correlated to higher instances of engaging in sexually permissive behavior.
This lead to concerns that teens will have greater desire to engage in extramarital sexual activity and having a higher number of sex partners as those who do not frequently view pornography.
Researchers acknowledged that teens who are already sexually active will look for pornography.
Tsitsika et al 2009
Lofgren-Martenson and Mansson (2010)
N=51 in Sweden
Age: 14-20

• Young men are not necessarily interested in women who resemble those in porn
• Males expressed insecurities about their ability to perform sexually
o Concerns about being able to perform as well sexually and for the duration of porn actors
• Females expressed insecurities about body image
o Women in porn represented ideal body type, leading to feeling unattractive
• Decrease in consumption of explicit material as individual self-confidence increased
• Increased ability to “handle pornography satisfactorily” if they had developed positive relationships with others, specifically friends and family

A cross-sectional study found that Greek adolescents who viewed sexually explicit material had higher expectations for sex and misleading attitudes toward relationships
Another study by Jochen Peter and Patti M. Valkenburg found that more frequent exposure to internet porn lead to higher sexual uncertainty and more positive attitudes towards uncommitted sex explorations.
No participants regret starting to watch porn
3/4 believe it negatively affected confidence with partners
3/4 are happy while watching porn
1/2 feel "dirty" after
One participant felt lonely
Todd G. Morrison study:
Significant relationship between frequent pornography use and feelings of loneliness, including major depression
Adolescents with high levels of pornography exposure had lower sexual self-esteem
Beliefs and Attitudes about sex
-I interviewed one of my friends from OSU and he stated that frequent watching of porn gave him higher expectations for how sex should be and how women should look and act in bed. My interviewee also stated that he would like to watch porn with a significant other in order to teach her how to be better in bed.
-Tsitsika et al 2009 research concluded that frequent porn use lead to an adoption of porn as an information source for sexual role models and behaviors
Relationship Between Pornography Use and Risky Behaviors
How This Relates to Risky Behaviors
Braun-Corville and Rojas, 2009 found that adolescent men and women that viewed sexually explicit material were linked to a higher number of sexual partners and substance abuse at sexual encounters.
Wingood et al., found that porn usage was also linked to a lower likelihood of condom usage.
Aubrey et al., 2003 found that females who view sexually explicit material have sex at a younger age.
(Stulhofer, Busko, and Schmidt, 2012) hypothesized an indirect association between adolescent exposure to pornography and relationship intimacy in young adults.
They also hypothesized that the acceptance of recreational sex was a mediator between pornography exposure and intimacy.
They found some empirical support for both hypotheses, but only among females.
They concluded that adolescent exposure to sexually explicit materials was practically unrelated to intimacy in teens. Only among women was intimacy associated with attitudes towards recreational sex.
Intimacy Interview
I interviewed one of my friends about her relationships and use of porn.
She is an OSU student and 21 years old.
She stated that she watches porn about 2 times a week.
She said that after she admitted to watching porn to a boyfriend, he was surprised and intimidated.
She also said she thought recreational sex was acceptable, if at least in college
At the end, she stated that having a long relationship was not what she wanted right now and just wanted to "have fun."
Research related to Interviews
-Two interviewees tried to imitate what they saw in pornography and realized it was unrealistic and ultimately painful.
-Similar themes were shown throughout interviews where porn viewers had higher expectations for sex but those expectations did not inhibit actual sexual experiences for them, stating "sex is good even when it is bad".
-One outlier who stated that pleasure is decreased because it is not as good as porn.
-Finally, I found that the person I interviewed views sex without love and emotional commitment because porn has transformed the way he views sex and that he wants all of his sexual experiences to be the way he sees sex in porn.
Works Cited
Stulhofer, Aleksandar, Vesna Busko, and Gunter Schmidt. "Adolescent Exposure to Pornography and Relationship Intimacy in Young Adulthood."
Psychology & Sexuality
3.2 (2012): 95-107.
Lo, Wei. "Exposure to Internet Pornography and Taiwanese Adolescents' Sexual Attitudes and Behavior."
Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 49 (2010): 221-237.
Eric , Owens. "The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research." (2012): n. page. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/tafarodi/psy427/articles/Owens et al. (2012).pdf>.
"The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community." Family North Carolina. 2010: n. page. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ncfpc.org/FNC/1001SF.html>.
Cooper, A.L., PhD. “Surfing the Internet: Surfing Into the New Millennium.”
CyberPsychology and Behavior.
Mary Ann Leibert Inc., 1998. Web. 8 April 2014.
Taylor and Francis. “Revisiting the Association between Pornography Use and Risky Sexual Behaviors: The Role of Early Exposure to Pornography and Sexual Sensation Seeking.”
The Journal of Sex Research
. 01 Aug 2012. Web. 8 April 2014.
(Stulhofer, Busko, and Schmidt, 2012) sent out an online questionnaire to 544 Croatian college students.
Participants' mean age = 21.3 years, with the majority being women (66%).
Measured four areas:
Use of porn as ages 14-17
Perceived realism of porn
Attitudes towards recreational sex
Degree of intimacy
Adolescent exposure to pornography and relationship intimacy in young adulthood
20 year old college female in a relationship
Started watching porn her freshman year of college - when having a long distance boyfriend
Views porn about once a month when in a relationship and once a week when not in a relationship
Starting have sex at 16 years old.
In the past year she has:
Had 4 sexual partners
Smoked weed 3 times
Drinks alcohol 1-2 times per month
Has unprotected sex with her boyfriend 2-4 times per week with her boyfriend but is on birth control
Has had 1 one-night stand
Freeman-Longo, R.E., and Blanchard, G.T. (1997) found that men who surf the internet for porn do it in an obsessive and addictive manner.
Häggström-Nordin, Sandberg, Hanson, & Tyden, 2006; Rogala & Tyden, 2003 found that viewing sexually explicit images is linked to participating in oral and anal sex
In a longitional study by Peter and Valkingburg in 2011 to assess pornography use and sexual risk taking, found that the effect was sensation seeking
Bancroft et al., 2004 found that this personality trait (sensation seeking) has been repeatedly associated with sexual and other health risks.
Take Away
With our research and interviews, I have found that porn usage doesn't exactly
risk behaviors. People can watch porn and not be involved in certain or all risk behaviors. But, people who have tried sensation seeking behavior can be drawn to porn.
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