The nature and dynamics of internet pornography exposure for youth (2008)

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2008 Dec;11(6):691-3. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0179.

Sabina C, Wolak J, Finkelhor D.


Penn State Harrisburg School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Olmsted Building W-311, Middletown, PA 17075, USA. [email protected]


We examined exposure to Internet pornography before the age of 18, as reported by college students (n = 563), via an online survey. Ninety-three percent of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to online pornography during adolescence.

Exposure prior to age 13 was relatively uncommon. Boys were more likely to be exposed at an earlier age, to see more images, to see more extreme images (e.g., rape, child pornography), and to view pornography more often, while girls reported more involuntary exposure.

If participants in this study are typical of young people, exposure to pornography on the Internet can be described as a normative experience, and more study of its impact is clearly warranted.

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

  • Additional research has shown that exposure to sexually explicit material is a normative experience among adolescents who are following traditional developmental trajectories regarding sexual curiosity (Sabina, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2008; Svedin, Åkerman, & Prieve, in press; Ybarra & Mitchell, 2005).