Internet pornography and adolescent health

Rebecca J Guy, George C Patton and John M Kaldor
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10637
Published online: 21 May 2012

Early findings on effects of online pornography on adolescents show associations with risky behaviour

There has been an explosion in the use of the internet in the past decade, particularly among young people.1 In 2009, 96% of 12–14-year-olds in Australia went online, with 60% doing so via a mobile device.1 The massive volume of sexually explicit material, now easily accessible on the internet, has led to mounting concern about young adolescents easily engaging with pornography. Some of this concern undoubtedly has a moral overtone, but there are also genuine questions about the potential for exposure to pornography at a young age to bring forward the onset of sexual activity. Early sexual activity heightens the risk for sexually transmissible infections and unwanted pregnancy,2 which are in turn linked to poor mental health.3,4

  • 1 Sexual Health Program, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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