Experiences of and attitudes towards pornography among a group of Swedish high school students (2009)

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2009 Aug;14(4):277-84. doi: 10.1080/13625180903028171.


Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. [email protected]



To investigate consumption of and attitudes toward pornography in relation to demographic factors and relationships to parents among third-year high school students.


A random sample of 718 students with a mean age 18 years (range 17-21) completed a classroom questionnaire consisting of 89 questions.


More students in practical than in theoretical study programmes had parents with a practical profession (p < 0.001). More parents to students attending theoretical programmes owned their housing (p < 0.001). More men than women had ever consumed pornography (98% vs. 72%; p < 0.001).

More practical than theoretical students were influenced by watching pornographic films, fantasizing about (p < 0.05) or having performed acts inspired by pornography (p < 0.05). Both theoretical and practical male students had more favourable attitudes toward pornography than either group of female students (p < 0.001; p = 0.037). More female, than male students, were of the opinion that pornography could create uncertainty and demands.


Students’ high school programme choices partly reflect their social background. Pornography was consumed mainly by male students, who also had the most favourable attitudes, while females mainly had negative attitudes. To promote sexual health these differences between genders and study programmes should be taken into consideration in counselling, and in sex- and relationships education.