Clinical Psychology 9 (2016), 1, 12-12

Oral papers

Pornography as a Source of Sex Education and Genital-Related Satisfaction

K. Dawson - National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
S.  Nic Gabhainn - National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Fulltext (english, pages 12-12).pdf

Objective: To examine whether use of pornography as a source of sex education predicted male and female genital dissatisfaction, within a social comparison framework. Design and Method: This study is based on cross-sectional survey data from 2162 University students, of whom 47% were female. Data were collected via an anonymous online questionnaire, which included pornography consumption and frequency and context of use. A combination of eight items from the Male Genital Self-Image Scale and Female Genital Self-Image Scale assessed genital satisfaction. Results: Pornography consumption was reported by 99.7% of males and 89.6% of females, with 72% males and 65% females reporting sex education as a frequent context of their use. For males, those who frequently used pornography for sex education were most likely to report very positive feelings about their genitals (92%), high levels of comfort with a sexual partner looking at their genitals (90%) as well as genital size-related satisfaction (84%), when compared with those who reported that they never used pornography for sex education. For females, frequent use for sex education was associated with genital appearance-related dissatisfaction (40%), compared to females who did not (20%). Conclusions: High proportions of Irish University students use pornography for sex education purposes. The findings suggest that, in terms of genital self-image, males are more likely than females to be positive outcomes of such use. This highlights the importance of the context of pornography use and suggests a potential positive purpose for ‘porn literacy’.

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