The effects of pornography on children and young people: an evidence scan

Youth Children Pornography Gender identity Sex education Sexual health Australia

In 2016, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) was engaged to review what the available research evidence tells us about the impact exposure to and consumption of online pornography has on children and young people.

The increasing availability of pornography online has raised concerns about the impacts it may have on children and young people’s:

- knowledge of, and attitudes to, sex;

- sexual behaviours and practices; l attitudes and behaviours regarding gender equality;

- behaviours and practices within their own intimate, sexual or romantic relationships; and

- risk of experiencing or perpetrating sexual violence.

The purpose of this project was not to duplicate the considerable work undertaken by other researchers working on these issues (e.g., Flood, 2009; Flood & Hamilton, 2003a, 2003b; Sabina, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2008; Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2007; Ybarra & Mitchell, 2005). Rather, the purpose was to synthesise recent research and current approaches/interventions across this range of domains to inform future initiatives to reduce the negative impacts of pornography on children and young people.

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