Adolescents' Exposure to Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Sexual Preoccupancy: A Three-Wave Panel Study (2008)

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COMMENTS: Exposure to porn increases sexual preoccupancy. Study:

  • "sexualized media environment may affect adolescents' sexual development beyond traditionally studied variables, such as sexual attitudes and sexual behavior."
  • “the more frequently adolescents used SEIM, the more often they thought about sex, the stronger their interest in sex became, and the more frequently they became distracted because of their thoughts about sex”

Media Psychology

Volume 11, Issue 2, 2008

DOI: 10.1080/15213260801994238

Jochen Petera & Patti M. Valkenburga

pages 207-234

Abstract

The main aim of this study was to investigate whether adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) increased their sexual preoccupancy (i.e., a strong cognitive engagement in sexual issues).

Further, we wanted to know (a) whether subjective sexual arousal mediated a potential influence of exposure to SEIM on sexual preoccupancy and (b) whether this process differed between male and female adolescents. Over the course of one year, we surveyed 962 Dutch adolescents aged 13–20 years three times.

Structural equation modeling showed that exposure to SEIM stimulated sexual preoccupancy. This influence was fully mediated by subjective sexual arousal from SEIM. The effect of exposure to SEIM on subjective sexual arousal did not differ between male and female adolescents. The findings suggest that a sexualized media environment may affect adolescents' sexual development beyond traditionally studied variables, such as sexual attitudes and sexual behavior.


From - The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012)

  • Recent research suggests a relationship exists between adolescents who are exposed to Internet pornography and the acquisition of a variety of sexual beliefs. Peter and Valkenburg (2008b) argue that sexually explicit material can offer numerous sexual attitudes to viewers, and that these beliefs may differ from those instilled in adolescents by their families and schools. This dissonance, or conflict in sexual beliefs, is attributed to increased sexual uncertainty (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008b).
  • Peter and Valkenburg (2008a) were the first in this review to investigate the relationship between adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit material and sexual preoccupancy, defined as “a strong cognitive engagement in sexual issues, sometimes at the exclusion of other thoughts” (p. 208). Peter and Valkenburg (2008a) surveyed 962 Dutch adolescents three times over the course of 1 year. Their study found that “the more frequently adolescents used SEIM, the more often they thought about sex, the stronger their interest in sex became, and the more frequently they became distracted because of their thoughts about sex” (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008a, p. 226). The results of this study further suggested that “sexual arousal as a result of exposure to SEIM may cue sex-related cognitions in memory. . . . and may eventually lead to chronically accessible sex-related cognitions, that is, sexual preoccupancy” (p. 227)