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Professionals’ perceptions of the effect of pornography on Swedish adolescents
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland. 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 Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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 Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Akademin för Hälsa, Vård och Välfärd, Mälardalens Högskola, Västerås.
2014 (English)In: Public Health Nursing, ISSN 0737-1209, E-ISSN 1525-1446, Vol. 31, no 3, 196-205 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective:The aims were to gain a deeper understanding of how personnel, who work with adolescents, reason about the effect of pornography and its spread in the media, and to explore how well prepared they consider themselves to be in addressing sexual health and gender equality.

Design and Sample: An inductive, exploratory, qualitative study with focus group discussions was selected. Seventeen participants with different professions were invited into five heterogeneous groups.

Measures: Data were analyzed according to grounded theory. Results: Conflicting messages about sexuality became the core category. Participants were of the opinion that pornography conveyed a contradictory message compared with national public health goals, societal laws, and regulations. They believed that young people use pornography as a source of information and stimulation. Furthermore, they thought that pornography contributed to norm-creating ideals and a demanding sexuality, thus, confirming the traditional gender order. The participants opined that a professional approach was required when addressing sexuality and gender equality issues and requested better training tools and more cultural competence.

Conclusions: Professionals working with adolescents perceived that pornography conveys a conflicting message about sexuality. They expressed a need for adequate tools for improving education on health and sexuality, including gender equality aspects and critical media analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 31, no 3, 196-205 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescents, grounded theory, health education, personnel, pornography
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217335DOI: 10.1111/phn.12058ISI: 000334045300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217335DiVA: diva2:695261
Available from: 2014-02-10 Created: 2014-02-03 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, MagdalenaLarsson, MargaretaTydén, TanjaHäggström-Nordin, Elisabet

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