Getting the 'blues': the existence, diffusion and influence of pornography on young peoples' sexual health in Sierra Leone (2014)

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Cult Health Sex. 2014;16(2):178-89. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2013.855819.

Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Day A1.

Abstract

While substantial research has examined the effects of pornography on young people in developed societies, existing studies fall short in addressing how sexually-explicit material affects young people in developing countries. The importance of such knowledge increases as the globalising effects of technology expand young peoples' access and exposure to pornography. During the summer of 2012, a study was undertaken in Sierra Leone examining factors affecting young peoples' sexual and reproductive health. The research assessed the influence of HIV knowledge, communication about sex, civil war and contraception myths on sexual behaviours, while remaining open to unanticipated factors. During data collection, respondents identified pornography, also called blues, as an influential factor, detailing its newfound accessibility driven by improved access to information and communication technologies in the country. Respondents also addressed several presumed ways in which pornography impacts young peoples' decisions about sexual health. The following study examines perceived effects of young peoples' exposure to pornography based on existing literature. It then outlines the findings of research conducted in Sierra Leone, drawing on primary data from the respondents and relevant published literature and concludes with proposals for addressing its negative effects.