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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Teen Risky Sexual Behavior Linked to Watching Internet Porn

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2012 May 23
  • Comments

I don't find it surprising that an association exists between teens viewing online pornography and higher rates of risky sexual behaviors.

But, we should take note that the study did not find a causal link that viewing internet porn results in the increase in risky sexual behaviors. Without a clear causal link, it might be argued that teens engaging in risky sexual behaviors may be a factor in leading them to watch online porn, or perhaps that some other mechanism leads kids to watch online porn and that same mechanism also leads them to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

A study by Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne indicates an association between internet pornography and the sexual health of teenagers, with a review of literature in the area finding a strong correlation between teenage consumers of online porn and risky sexual behavior.

The study was based on a review of research in the area and on experiences in a number of countries, but primarily the United States.

Young people who reported having visited sexually explicit websites were more likely to have higher numbers of sexual partners, engage in a wider diversity of sexual practices, and use alcohol or drugs in association with sexual encounters,” according to the study. These factors have been associated with higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

"We found that there were consistent associations in surveys of young adolescents between reporting exposure to online sexual content, and reporting having engaged in earlier, more diverse, or riskier sexual activity," said Dr. Rebecca Guy of the Kirby Institute’s Sexual Health Program at the University of NSW. However, "the design of the studies did not allow a clear conclusion to be drawn as to whether the relationship was a causal one."

The study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Source: Techworld Australia
http://www.techworld.com.au/article/425409/internet_porn_bad_teen_health_/