Pornography and teenagers: the importance of individual differences (2005)

Adolesc Med Clin. 2005 Jun;16(2):315-26, viii.

Malamuth N, Huppin M.



Department of Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 3130 Hershey Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1538, USA. [email protected]


This article focuses on the effects of exposure to pornography on teenagers, particularly males, and concentrates on sexually aggressive outcomes and on the characteristics of the individual as crucial in determining whether pornography consumption may or may not lead to sexually aggressive outcomes. In future work, it is important not to use an overly simplistic lens of focus in which pornography exposure is seen as generally harmful or not.

Depending on particular constellations of personality characteristics, the effects of pornography may differ considerably among different teenagers as well as within different cultures. The research suggests that particular concerns may be needed for those who are highly frequent consumers of pornography, those who seek out sexually violent content, and those who also have other risk factors.

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

  • A 2005 study by Malamuth and Huppin also focused on sexually explicit material and its relationship to sexual aggression. They found that a male adolescent who “possesses certain combinations of risk factors determines how likely he is to be sexually aggressive following pornography exposure” (p. 316). Focusing directly on violent sexually explicit material, Malamuth and Huppin (2005) suggest that, not only are these higher risk adolescent males “more likely to be exposed to such media but when they are exposed, they are likely to be changed by such exposure, such as changes in attitudes about the acceptance of violence against women” (p. 323–24).