Perceived Pornography Realism as a Mediator of the Association Between Pornography Use and Problematic Sexual Behavior Among Male Adolescents
Faculty of Humanities And Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Fulltext (english, pages 188-188).pdf
Objective: High rates of pornography use among male adolescents have been reported in the literature. Due to a lack of real-life experiences, early exposure to pornography may contribute to the development of unrealistic ideas about sexuality and problematic sexual behaviors. This study explored the mediating role of perceived pornography realism in the association between pornography use and early sexual debut, sexual aggressiveness, and sexting.
Design and Method: Meditational models were tested using structural equation modeling. Participants were 928 high school male sophomores from Zagreb who reported exposure to pornography (mean age=16.1). Pornography use was measured by the frequency of use two years ago, in the past six months, and two weeks (α=.79). Validated 4-item scales were used to assess perceived pornography realism (α=.86) and sexting (α=.74). Early sexual debut and proclivity to sexually aggressive behavior were measured with single items.
Results: Pornography use was directly associated with sexting (β=.29; p<.01) and sexual aggression (β=.11; p<.01). Pornography use was also linked to perceived realism of pornography (β=.22; p<.01), which in turn was associated both with sexting (β=.12; p<.01) and aggressive behavior (β=.10; p<.01). Albeit small, indirect effects were statistically significant, indicating (partial) meditational role of perceived pornography realism. No evidence of direct or indirect links between pornography use and early debut was found.
Conclusions: Pornography use was indicated to be associated with some problematic outcomes. The findings support the need for educational programs aimed at developing critical reception of sexual representations in adolescents. (This work was fully supported by Croatian Science Foundation under the project 9221.)