Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Online Material and Recreational Attitudes Toward Sex (2006)

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COMMENTS: Positive attitudes about recreational sex corrleate with porn use.


Journal of Communication

Jochen Peter*, Patti M. Valkenburg

DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00313.x

Abstract

Previous research has largely ignored the implications of adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit online material for their sexual attitude formation. To study whether adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit material on the Internet is related to recreational attitudes toward sex, we conducted an online survey among 471 Dutch adolescents aged 13–18.

In line with an orientation 1 – stimulus – orientation 2 – response (O1-S-O2-R) model, we found a pattern of multiple mediated relationships. Male adolescents (O1) used sexually explicit online material (S) more than female adolescents, which led to a greater perceived realism of such material (O2). Perceived realism (O2), in turn, mediated the relationship between exposure to sexually explicit online material (S) and recreational attitudes toward sex (R).

Exposure to sexually explicit online material, then, is related to more recreational attitudes toward sex, but this relationship is influenced by adolescents’ gender and mediated by the extent to which they perceive online sexual material as realistic.


From - The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012)

  • Relative to other media, the Internet is considered a highly sexualized environment (Cooper, Boies, Maheu, & Greenfield, 1999; Peter & Valkenburg, 2006a), and research has shown significant increases in the number of youth who are intentionally or accidentally encountering pornographic material online
  • Peter and Valkenburg (2006a) also surveyed Dutch adolescents (N = 471) in order to explore the use of sexually explicit material and the formation of sexual attitudes. The authors found that adolescents with more positive attitudes toward recreational sex used sexually explicit material more frequently. Within this study, however, it remains unclear if “adolescents with more recreational attitudes toward sex use sexually explicit online material more frequently, or that recreational attitudes and exposure to sexually explicit online material influence each other reciprocally” (Peter & Valkenburg, 2006a, p. 654).