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Pornography consumption, sexual experiences, lifestyles, and self-rated health among male adolescents in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, ISSN 0196-206X, E-ISSN 1536-7312, Vol. 34, no 7, 460-468 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE

To describe patterns of pornography use among high school boys and to investigate differences between frequent, average, and nonfrequent users of pornography with respect to sexual experiences, lifestyles, and self-rated health.

METHODS

A population-based classroom survey among 16-year-old boys (n = 477), from 53 randomly selected high school classes in 2 towns in mid-Sweden.

RESULTS

Almost all boys, 96% (n = 453), had watched pornography. Frequent users of pornography (everyday) (10%, n = 47) differed from average users (63%, n = 292) and nonfrequent users (27%, n = 126). Frequent users versus average users and nonfrequent users had more sexual experiences, such as one night stands (45, 32, 25%, respectively) and sex with friends more than 10 times (13, 10, 2%). A higher proportion of frequent users spent more than 10 straight hours at the computer several times a week (32, 5, 8%) and reported more relationship problems with peers (38, 22, 21%), truancy at least once a week (11, 6, 5%), obesity (13, 3, 3%), use of oral tobacco (36, 29, 20%), and use of alcohol (77, 70, 52%) versus average and nonfrequent users. One third of frequent users watched more pornography than they actually wanted. There were no differences between the groups regarding physical and psychological self-rated health.

CONCLUSIONS

The boys, defined as frequent users of pornography, were more sexually experienced, spent more time at the computer, and reported an unhealthier lifestyle compared with average and nonfrequent users. No differences regarding self-rated health were detected even though obesity was twice as common among frequent users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 34, no 7, 460-468 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214708DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31829c44a2ISI: 000330359000002PubMedID: 23899659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-214708DiVA: diva2:685405
Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Use of Pornography and its Associations with Sexual Experiences, Lifestyles and Health among Adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Use of Pornography and its Associations with Sexual Experiences, Lifestyles and Health among Adolescents
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate pornography consumption and its relation to sexual experiences, lifestyles, health and perceptions of sexuality and pornography. One qualitative study (focus group discussions) and one prospective longitudinal quantitative study (baseline and follow-up questionnaires) are included.

The core category emerging from the focus group discussions, among personnel working with adolescents, was “Conflicting messages about sexuality”. The participants’ stated that the message conveyed by pornography was contradictory to the message conveyed by national public health goals and laws. A professional approach was emphasized, and adequate methods and knowledge to improve sexuality and relationship education were requested (I).

Participants at baseline in 2011 were 477 boys and 400 girls, aged 16 years. Almost all boys (96%) and 54% of the girls had watched pornography. The boys were categorized into frequent users (daily), average users (every week or a few times every month) and nonfrequent users (a few times a year, seldom or never) of pornography. A higher proportion of frequent users reported experience of sex with friends, the use of alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, peer-relationship problems and obesity. One-third watched more pornography than they actually wanted to (II).

There were few differences between pornography-consuming girls and boys regarding fantasies about sexual acts, attempted sexual acts inspired by pornography and perceptions of pornography. Predictors for being sexually experienced included: being a girl, attending a vocational high school programme, stating that boys and girls are equally interested in sex, and having a positive perception of pornography. Boys were generally more positive towards pornography than girls (III).

Participants at follow-up in 2013 were 224 boys (47%) and 238 girls (60%). Being male, attending a vocational high school programme and being a frequent user of pornography at baseline predicted frequent use at follow-up. Frequent use of pornography at baseline predicted psychosomatic symptoms to a higher extent at follow-up than depressive symptoms (IV).

In conclusion, pornography has become a part of everyday life for many adolescents. Frequent users of pornography were mainly boys, and there were minor differences in sexual experiences between the male consumption groups. Frequent use was associated with lifestyle problems, such as the use of alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle to a higher extent than with sexual experiences and physical symptoms. In the longitudinal analyses frequent use of pornography was more associated to psychosomatic symptoms compared with depressive symptoms. Access to pornography will presumably remain unrestrained. It is therefore important to offer adolescents arenas for discussing pornography in order to counterbalance the fictional world presented in pornography, increase awareness regarding the stereotyped gender roles in pornography and address unhealthy lifestyles and ill health among adolescents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 82 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 974
Keyword
Adolescents, Pornography, Sexuality, Sexual experiences, Lifestyles, Health
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218279 (URN)978-91-554-8881-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-28, Aulan, Ing 21, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-03-07 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2014-04-29

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Mattebo, MagdalenaTydén, TanjaHäggström-Nordin, ElisabetNilsson, Kent WLarsson, Margareta

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Mattebo, MagdalenaTydén, TanjaHäggström-Nordin, ElisabetNilsson, Kent WLarsson, Margareta
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