More porn is coming to SA TV in 2014 says the interim CEO of StarSat. How will this influence the sexual behaviour of young people?
Viewing sexually explicit material through media such as the
Internet, videos, and magazines may be directly linked with the sexual behaviour
of adolescents and young adults, but only to a very small extent.
That is the conclusion of a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The
findings suggest that the practice is just one of many factors that may
influence the sexual behaviour of young people.
Concerns have been raised that viewing sexually explicit
material may negatively affect sexual behaviour, particularly in young people.
Because previous studies on the topic have been narrowly focused or limited in
other ways, Gert Martin Hald, PhD, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark,
and his colleagues conducted an online survey of 4 600 young people aged 15 to
25 years who lived in The Netherlands.
One of a number of factors
The survey revealed that 88% of males and 45% of
females had watched sexually explicit material (through the Internet,
magazines, videos, television, and/or other media) in the past 12 months.
There was a direct association between watching sexually
explicit media and a variety of sexual behaviours – in particular adventurous sex
and sex that involves the exchange of money – even when a number of other factors
were taken into account. However, the association was modest, accounting for
between 0.3% and four percent of differences in sexual behaviours. This
indicates that watching sexually explicit media is one of a number of factors
that may shape the sexual behaviours of young individuals, but it may not be as
directly linked as previously thought.
"Our data suggest that other factors such as personal
dispositions specifically sexual sensation seeking – rather than consumption of
sexually explicit material may play a more important role in a range of sexual behaviours
of adolescents and young adults, and that the effects of sexually explicit
media on sexual behaviours in reality need to be considered in conjunction with
such factors," Dr Hald said.
"It has been 65 years since Kinsey first published on
sexual behaviours, yet researchers continue to avoid this area of science. It
is important to have factual information in order to make educated
decisions," explained Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The study's findings may be particularly informative for
policy makers and educators concerning the effects of sexually explicit media
consumption on young people's sexual behaviours.
(Picture: Porn button on keyboard from Shutterstock)