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Pornography consumption, psychosomatic health and depressive symptoms among Swedish adolescents
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.
Akademin för Hälsa, Vård och Välfärd, Mälardalens Högskola, Västerås.
Centrum för klinisk forskning, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aims of the study were to investigate predictors for frequent use of pornography and to investigate such use in relation to psychosomatic and depressive symptoms among Swedish adolescents.

Methods: Data collection was performed longitudinally in 13 randomly selected senior high schools in 53 classes in 2011 with a follow up in 2013. Two hundred twenty-four boys (47%) and 238 girls (60%) participated.

Results: Using a multivariate general linear model (GLM) we found that being a boy born outside Sweden, living in a parent-owned dwelling, attending a vocational high school program and being a frequent user of pornography at baseline had major effects in relation to the frequent use of pornography at follow-up (adjusted R2 0.689). In a second GLM we found that being a girl, living with separated parents, attending a vocational high school program, and being a frequent user of pornography at baseline had major effects on psychosomatic symptoms at follow-up (adjusted R20.254).

Conclusions: Being male, attending a vocational high school program and being a frequent user of pornography at baseline predicted frequent use of pornography at follow-up. Frequent use of pornography at baseline predicted psychosomatic symptoms at follow-up to a higher extent compared to depressive symptoms.

Keyword [en]
adolescents, pornography, longitudinal, psychological health, psychosomatic health
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217341OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217341DiVA: diva2:695272
Available from: 2014-02-10 Created: 2014-02-03 Last updated: 2014-04-29
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, Magdalena

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