Original Paper

Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 408-427

First online:

Peers, Parents and Pornography: Exploring Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Material and Its Developmental Correlates

  • Mathias WeberAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, University of Mainz Email author 
  • , Oliver QuiringAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, University of Mainz
  • , Gregor DaschmannAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, University of Mainz

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On the basis of an online survey of 352 teenagers aged between 16 and 19, the use of pornographic video clips and films was investigated along with the connection between this use and indicators of adolescents’ perceived autonomy, peer group influences, and notions of sexuality. We found that many adolescents regularly use pornographic video clips or films. Respondents who regard themselves as less independent of their environment, especially their parents, use pornography more frequently themselves. For girls, this also applies if they assess the use within their peer group as particularly extensive, and for boys, if they frequently discuss pornography within their peer group. A high level of consumption of sexually explicit media also goes hand in hand with the assumption that people generally have sexual intercourse earlier in life and that people generally favor more varied sexual techniques.


Pornography Adolescence Peer group Developmental tasks Sexual socialization