“Without Porn… I Wouldn’t Know Half the Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study of Pornography Use Among a Sample of Urban, Low-Income, Black and Hispanic Youth

AUTHOR(S)

Rothman, Emily F.; Kaczmarsky, Courtney; Burke, Nina; Jansen, Emily; and Baughman, Allyson

PUBLISHED

2015 in Journal of Sex Research

KEY FINDINGS
  • This qualitative look into how teenagers understand and use pornography found that they tend to report that pornography is a normal part of their lives, that they use porn to learn about sex, and that they can feel pressured to imitate or create porn during their sexual encounters.
ABSTRACT
Information about the pornography-viewing habits of urban, low-income youth of color in the United States is lacking. This study was designed to answer the following using a sample of 16- to 18-year-old urban-residing, low-income Black or Hispanic youth: (1) What types of pornography do youth report watching; where and for what purpose? (2) Do youth feel that pornography exposure has an impact on their own sexual behaviors? and (3) How do parents react to their pornography use? The following themes emerged from interviews... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "Several themes were generated, including (a) that youth had seen a wide range of subgenres of pornography; (b) that youth had easy, free access to online pornography both at home and in school; (c) that youth watched pornography for several reasons, but almost every participant reported learning how to have sex by watching pornography; (d) pressure to make or to imitate pornography may be an element of some unhealthy dating relationships; and (e) parents of youth in this sample were generally described as unsupportive of youth’s use of pornography but also underequipped to discuss it with them."
  • "There are two primary reasons to worry about the potential impact of pornography on adolescents. First, the sexual scripts that the majority (55%) of free adult Internet Web sites present promote hypermasculinity, male domination, and the prioritization of male sexual pleasure as the norm. Second, youth will naively attempt to re-create sexual scenes from pornography that are acted, physically uncomfortable or injurious, or unrealistic (e.g., expecting all women to have orgasms from anal sex)."
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