Porn & Early Sexual Debut

An early sexual debut correlates with early pornography consumption. At the same time pornography consumption is only one factor in the complex mix across a wide range of antisocial factors.

Canadian research on adolescents found 98% of the sample had been exposed to pornography, with average age of first exposure being 12.2 years. Nearly one-third had seen pornography by the age of 10, and pornography exposure tended to occur prior to sexual activity. There were disturbing differences between those who initially viewed pornography at age 9 or younger compared with youth aged 10 or over. The younger age group sample reported having engaged in more sexually questionable acts, a desire to engage in more varied sex, more sexual aroused to violence, higher consumption of pornography later in life, and spending more time each week looking at pornography.

In a 2015 Swedish study (Kastbom) the researchers found that “watching pornography increased the odds of having a significant deterioration in mental health”. “Early debut was positively correlated with risky behaviours, such as the number of partners, experience of oral and anal sex, health behaviours, such as smoking, drug and alcohol use, and antisocial behaviour, such as being violent, lying, stealing and running away from home. Girls with an early sexual debut had significantly more experience of sexual abuse. Boys with an early sexual debut were more likely to have a weak sense of coherence, low self-esteem and poor mental health, together with experience of sexual abuse, selling sex and physical abuse”.

Other Swedish research from 2011 (Svedin) reported that frequent pornography users had a more positive attitude to pornography, were more often “turned on” viewing pornography and viewed more often advanced forms of pornography. Frequent use was also associated with many problem behaviours. “…boys in the frequent users group reported their sexual debut to be significantly more often before 15 years of age and reported higher sexual desire 5 times more often than the boys in the reference group.

The 2012 study of German adolescents (Weber) found a positive correlation between high pornography consumption and earlier sexual debut. They noted that “For most adolescents, pornography is the only accessible source of depictions of sexual behavior. Pornography might thus be used by adolescents not only for sexual arousal but also to discover sexual behavior and explore their own sexual preferences”.

In Taiwan using online social networking and surfing pornographic websites respectively increase the odds of a sexual debut in adolescence by 33% and 53%, whereas using the Internet for educational purposes decreases the odds by 55%.

In Singapore a notable correlation was that boys engaging in anal heterosex intercourse have a significantly lower age of sexual debut.

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