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


Eric W. Owens, Richard J. Behun, Jill C. Manning, Rory C. Reid

Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity

Vol. 19, Iss. 1-2, 2012

Version of record first published: 09 Apr 2012


The recent proliferation of Internet-enabled technology has significantly changed the way adolescents encounter and consume sexually explicit material. Once confined to a personal computer attached to a telephone line, the Internet is now available on laptops, mobile phones, video game consoles, and other electronic devices. With the growth of the Internet has come easier and more ubiquitous access to pornography. The purpose of this article was to review the recent (i.e., 2005 to present) literature regarding the impact of Internet pornography on adolescents. Specifically, this literature review examined the impact of Internet pornography on sexual attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and sexual aggression. The authors also discuss the literature related to the influence of sexually explicit Internet material on self-concept, body image, social development, as well as the expanding body of research on adolescent brain function and physical development. Finally, recommendations for future research were discussed, based on this literature review.