Examining the first, second and third-person effects of Internet pornography on Taiwanese adolescents: implications for the restriction of pornography (2008)


Ven-Hwei Loa*, Ran Weib & Hsiaomei Wuc

pages 90-103, Version of record first published: 17 Mar 2010

Received: 28 Nov 2008


To explore the impact of Internet pornography on users as compared with traditional forms of pornography, a total of 1688 adolescents in Taiwan were surveyed.

Results show that respondents estimated the harms of Internet pornography to exceed that of pornographic materials in print and broadcast media.

More importantly, findings show that exposure to Internet pornography resulted in desensitizing effects in that users tended to perceive the harms of Internet pornography as less on self and others.

In addition, exposure was found to be negatively related to support for restrictions of Internet pornography, but the perceived harm on self was found to be positively related to support for restrictions. Finally, the joint effects of the first and third-person effect (the second-person effect) were shown as a more reliable predictor of behavioral intention than the third-person perception. Findings help resolve the contradiction in past research that reported the third-person perception as both a significant and non-significant predictor of support for restrictions on pornography.