Do pornographic websites influence boys' sexual behavior?

TitleDo pornographic websites influence boys' sexual behavior?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPittet, I, Berchtold, A, Akré, C, Michaud, P-A, Surís, J-C
JournalJOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH
Volume44
PaginationS17-S18
DOI10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.10.051
Type of ArticleMeeting Abstract
ISSN1054-139X
ISBN Number1054-139X
KeywordsAdolescent, Erotica, Internet, Male, Sexual Behavior, Switzerland
Abstract

Purpose: To compare the sexual behavior of adolescent males who do and do not watch pornographic websites. Methods: This study was presented as a school survey. Data were drawn from the 2002 Swiss Multicenter Adolescent Survey on Health (SMASH02) database, a survey including 7,548 adolescents age 16-20. The setting was post-mandatory schools in Switzerland. A total of 2,891 male students who connected to the internet in the last 30 days were enrolled and distributed into two groups: boys who deliberately watched pornographic websites in the last 30 days (n ¼ 942; 33%) and boys who did not (n ¼ 1,949; 67%). Socio-demographic characteristics; frequency of connection to the internet; sexual behavior parameters (having a girlfriend and if yes, for more or less than 6 months; having had sexual intercourse; age at first sexual intercourse; use of a condom at last sexual intercourse; number of sexual partners; having made a partner pregnant). Results: A logistic regression was performed using STATA 9.2. The only significant socio-demographic variable was having a low socioeconomic status (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.66); no difference was found for age and academic track between the two groups. Boys who watch pornographic websites were also significantly more likely to connect frequently to the internet (one day a week: AOR 1.75; several days a week: AOR 2.36; every day: AOR 3.11), to have had sexual intercourse (AOR 2.06), and to have had their first sexual intercourse before age 15 (AOR 1.48). The stability of the relationship with their girlfriend did not appear to have any influence on the search for pornography on the internet. Conclusions: About one third of boys in our sample report having accessed pornographic websites in the last 30 days, a proportion similar to other studies. Watching such websites increases with the frequency of connection to the internet and seems to be correlated with an earlier sexual activity debut among adolescent males. However, having had first sexual intercourse before age 15 is the only sexual risk behavior that seems to be increased when watching pornographic websites among boys. Further studies should address the causality of this correlation and the factors influencing the search for pornography on the web among boys, in order to explore some new ways of prevention about sexual risk behaviors. Sources of Support: The SMASH02 survey was carried out with the financial support of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the participating cantons.

WOS ID (UT)

000263270100040

Citation Key / SERVAL ID6667

                         

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