“You wouldn’t get taught it in school”: The significance of viewing online pornography and of school sex education provision for adolescent boys in Scotland; a mixed methods study

Rebecah MacGilleEathain

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

    Abstract

    Background

    An increasing body of research evidence indicates that young people may use pornography as a source of sexual information. Little is known about the prevalence of pornography use of young Scottish adolescents. It is unclear how young people perceive pornography use in relation to themselves, and in relation to their relationships and sexual health education in school.

    Methods

    A mixed methods study was conducted with 715 (male/female) school pupils aged 13-15 years in West Scotland. Data collected included survey and focus group (n=32; male only). Analysis included descriptive statistics, binary regression analysis and discourse analysis.

    Results

    86% of boys and 61% of girls had viewed online pornography. Those that expressed the need for more RSHE were around one and a half times more likely to have viewed online pornography (OR 1.497, 95% CI 1.040-2.154, p=0.03). Young men used discourses expressing viewing pornography as a ‘rite of passage,’ of the ‘rules’ about the type of pornography used to represent heterosexual masculinity, and as a way to become knowledgeable about sex.

    Conclusions

    The findings suggest that the use of online pornography is incorporated as both a source of sexual learning and as a sexual behaviour for young people, particularly for adolescent boys.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pagesoral presentation
    Publication statusUnpublished - 20 Oct 2021

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