Social bonds and Internet pornographic exposure among adolescents (2009)

J Adolesc. 2009 Jun;32(3):601-18. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.06.004.


Mesch GS.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Center for the Study of Society, University of Haifa, Har Hacarmel 31905, Israel. [email protected]


Concern has grown regarding possible harm to the social and psychological development of children and adolescents exposed to Internet pornography. Parents, academics and researchers have documented pornography from the supply side, assuming that its availability explains consumption satisfactorily. The current paper explored the user’s dimension, probing whether pornography consumers differed from other Internet users, as well as the social characteristics of adolescent frequent pornography consumers. Data from a 2004 survey of a national representative sample of the adolescent population in Israel were used (n=998).
Adolescent frequent users of the Internet for pornography were found to differ in many social characteristics from the group that used the Internet for information, social communication and entertainment. Weak ties to mainstream social institutions were characteristic of the former group but not of the latter. X-rated material consumers proved to be a distinct sub-group at risk of deviant behaviour.

Comments from this review: The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012)

the study found that adolescents with higher degrees of social interaction and bonding were not as likely to consume sexually explicit material as were their less social peers (Mesch, 2009). Additionally, Mesch found that greater quantities of pornography consumption were significantly correlated with lower degrees of social integration, specifically related to religion, school, society, and family. The study also found a statistically significant relationship between pornography consumption and aggressiveness in school, with higher degrees