Linking Pornography Consumption to Support for Adolescents’ Access to Birth Control: Cumulative Results from Multiple Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal National Surveys (2018)

Wright, Paul, and Robert S. Tokunaga.

International Journal of Sexual Health just-accepted (2018): 1-37.


This paper reports the results of three meta-samples investigating U.S. adults’ pornography consumption, attitudes toward teen sex, and support for teen access to birth control. Findings were based on multiple independent samples totaling more than 11,000 people. Pragmatic motivations included examining what public health advocacy groups would consider a positive public opinion effect of pornography at a potentially pivotal time for U.S. policy makers. Theoretical motivations included probing key tenets from the sexual script acquisition, activation, application model (3AM) of sexual media socialization and the reinforcing spirals model (RSM) of media uses and effects. Consistent with the 3AM, path and mediation analyses of both cross-sectional and longitudinal data suggested that pornography consumption may increase support for teens’ birth control access through a shift in perspective on teen sex. In alignment with the RSM, participants’ prior beliefs and attitudes were prospectively predictive of their likelihood of future pornography consumption.

Keywords: pornographypublic opinionpublic health3AMreinforcing spirals model