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Icelandic Teens Watch Porn To Learn About Sex Even With Required Sex Ed Classes

By February 24, 2018February 20th, 2020No Comments

Even though curriculum that teaches about sex is mandatory in many European countries, that isn’t stopping this upcoming generation from seeking porn out to learn more about it. As reported by Euronews, Iceland has its own curriculum, yet young people seem to be increasingly turning to porn for information on sex.

As an anti-porn organization that receives thousands of messages from teens who say their porn struggle started when they sought porn out to learn about it, this news isn’t surprising. Even so, it’s more than worth discussing the detrimental effects of this continuing trend.

“I believe — and research backs it — that material that children see online affects their ideas on sex. Nonetheless, this is something that teaches us that we need to react before the damage is done and we need to prevent children seeing something online that might harm them or give them delusions,” explained Dagbjört Ásbjörnsdóttir, a sexologist at the Reykjavik department of Education and Youth.

She’s right. Researchers are finding that porn’s influence can and does find its way into teenagers’ sexual behaviors. [1] For example, people who have consumed a significant amount of porn are more likely to start having sex sooner and with more partners, to engage in riskier kinds of sex that put them at greater risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, and to have actually contracted an STI. [2]

A Nordic and Worldwide Trend

Iceland isn’t alone in its porn-seeking habits, obviously. Included in the tens of billions of visits to Pornhub every year are other Nordic countries who are, unsurprisingly, also logging on supposedly for “educational” purposes. Also note how this site, one of the largest free porn tube sites in the world, doesn’t admit that minors make up a huge chunk of their audience:

Some recent stats on Nordic women’s porn consumption, according to the site: Sweden ranks highest for female traffic at 16th worldwide, followed by Norway at 27, Denmark at 28, Finland at 38 and Iceland at 108. And interestingly enough, on average, Scandinavian women spend 11 minutes and 14 seconds when they visit Pornhub, which is 36 seconds longer than their male counterparts.

But what’s the big deal about young teens turning to porn for a little information on sex? Plenty, and we’ll tell you why.

“Adult Entertainment” for Kids

While porn is often called “adult material,” many of its viewers are well under the legal age, even if Pornhub doesn’t report that. [3] In fact, the majority of teens are getting at least some of their information about sex from porn, whether they mean to or not. [4] And just like cigarette commercials show healthy people puffing away instead of the cancer-causing reality, porn is offering a completely warped idea of what partners, sex, and relationships are really like. [5]

Studies show that people who consume porn are far more likely to believe that things like group sex or dangerous sex acts are more common than their non-porn-consuming peers. [6] Why? Because that’s what they’ve seen in porn. In one study of popular porn videos, the average number of sexual partners in a scene was three, although the number ranged as high as 19. Today’s mainstream porn sites include whole categories of unprotected sex with strangers, brutal gang rape, and other dangerous and violent sex acts.

But just as harmful as the things porn shows is what it doesn’t show. Pornography doesn’t give an accurate picture of what healthy sex is like; they cut out things like talking, cuddling, bonding touch, and other ways partners are responsive to each other’s needs and preferences. [7] They also cut out the consequences of the kinds of sex portrayed in porn. [8] No one ever contracts sexually transmitted infections in porn. There are no unplanned pregnancies, no cervical cancer, no intestinal parasites, and no skin tearing or bruises.

Not Education

Ultimately, porn isn’t education—it’s indoctrination. It embodies the very process of “teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically,” only to their detriment.

We fight not because we’re out to ban porn, but because we believe consumers deserve to know the mess they’re stepping into by inviting porn into their understanding of sex. Bottom line:

What YOU Can Do

Porn is anything but educational. SHARE this post and get the word out that porn does not equal sex education.

Spark Conversations

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Citations

[1] Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P. M., (2016) Adolescents And Pornography: A Review Of 20 Years Of Research. Journal Of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441; Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908
[2] Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations Between Young Adults’ Use Of Sexually Explicit Materials And Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, And Satisfaction. Journal Of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Nelson, L. J. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance And Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal Of Adolescent Research 23(1), 6–30. Doi:10.1177/0743558407306348; Haggstrom-Nordin, E., Tyden, T., & Hanson, U. (2005). Associations Between Pornography Consumption And Sexual Practices Among Adolescents In Sweden. International Journal Of STD & AIDS, 16(2), 102–7. Doi:10.1258/0956462053057512; Wingood, G. M., Et Al. (2001). Exposure To X-Rated Movies And Adolescents’ Sexual And Contraceptive-Related Attitudes And Behaviors. Pediatrics, 107(5), 1116–19. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pubmed/11331695
[3] Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Adolescents And Pornography: A Review Of 20 Years Of Research. Journal Of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441; Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., Ezzell, M., (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2 (Finding That Nearly Half Of College-Age Men Report Having Been First Exposed To Internet Porn Prior To Age 13)
[4] Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908; Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography To Porno To Porn: How Porn Became The Norm. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co., 16-17; Prigg, M., & Sims, P. (2004). Truth About Dangers Of Net As Half Of Children Are Exposed To Porn. The Evening Standard (London), September 3; U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2003). File-Sharing Programs: Peer-To-Peer Networks Provide Ready Access To Child Pornography. Washington, D.C.: GAO, February.
[5] Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography To Porno To Porn: How Porn Became The Norm. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute; Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., And Nelson, L. J. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance And Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal Of Adolescent Research, 23(1), 6–30. Doi:10.1177/0743558407306348; Layden, M. A. (2004). Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation, Subcommittee On Science And Space, U.S. Senate, Hearing On The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction, November 18; Marshall, W. L. (2000). Revisiting The Use Of Pornography By Sexual Offenders: Implications For Theory And Practice. Journal Of Sexual Aggression, 6(1-2), 67. Doi:10.1080/13552600008413310; Mosher, D. L. & MacIan, P. (1994). College Men And Women Respond To X-Rated Videos Intended For Male Or Female Audiences: Gender And Sexual Scripts. Journal Of Sex Research 31(2), 99–112. Doi:10.1080/00224499409551736; Brosius, H. B., Et Al. (1993). Exploring The Social And Sexual “Reality” Of Contemporary Pornography. Journal Of Sex Research, 30(2), 161–70. Doi:10.1080/00224499309551697
[6] Weinberg, M. S., Williams, C. J., Kleiner, S., & Irizarry, Y. (2010). Pornography, Normalization And Empowerment. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 39 (6) 1389-1401. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9592-5; Doring, N. M. (2009). The Internet’s Impact On Sexuality: A Critical Review Of 15 Years Of Research. Computers In Human Behavior, 25(5), 1089-1101. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2009.04.003; Layden, M. A. (2004). Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation, Subcommittee On Science And Space, U.S. Senate, Hearing On The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction, November 18; ; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27(2), 41–44. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00137-3
[7] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866
[8] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.
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