Associations Between Croatian Adolescents’ Use of Sexually Explicit Material and Sexual Behavior: Does Parental Monitoring Play a Role?
- 264 Downloads
The use of sexually explicit material (SEM) has become a part of adolescent sexual socialization, at least in the Western world. Adolescent and young people’s SEM use has been associated with risky sexual behaviors, which has recently resulted in policy debates about restricting access to SEM. Such development seems to suggest a crisis of the preventive role of parental oversight. Based on the Differential Susceptibility to Media Effects Model, this study assessed the role of parental monitoring in the context of adolescent vulnerability to SEM-associated risky or potentially adverse outcomes (sexual activity, sexual aggressiveness, and sexting). Using an online sample of Croatian 16-year-olds (N = 1265) and structural equation modeling approach, parental monitoring was found consistently and negatively related to the problematic behavioral outcomes, regardless of participants’ gender. While SEM use was related to sexual experience and sexting, higher levels of parental monitoring were associated with less frequent SEM use and lower acceptance of sexual permissiveness. Despite parents’ fears about losing the ability to monitor their adolescent children’s lives in the Internet era, there is evidence that parental engagement remains an important protective factor.
KeywordsAdolescents Sexually explicit material Parental monitoring Sexual experience Sexting Sexual aggressiveness
This work has been fully funded by Croatian Science Foundation (Grant No. 9221).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- Baams, L., Overbeek, H., Dubas, J. S., Doornwaard, S. M., Rommes, E., & van Aken, M. A. G. (2015). Perceived realism moderates the relation between sexualized media consumption and permissive sexual attitudes in Dutch adolescents. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 743–754.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Boulat, M., Caddaye, D., D’Souza, H., Glyde, M., Hatwal, A., & Jansz, C. (2013). Submission to the Victorian Parliament Law Reform Committee’s inquiry into sexting. Retrieved 2 March 2016 from http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/file_uploads/LRC_Sexting_Final_Report_0c0rvqP5.pdf.
- Clark, A. B. (2014). Parenting through the digital revolution. In F. Saleh, A. Grudzinskas, & A. Judge (Eds.), Adolescent sexual behavior in the digital age: Consideration for clinicians, legal professionals and educators (pp. 247–261). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hald, G. M., Kuyper, L., Adam, P. C. G., & de Wit, J. B. F. (2013). Does viewing explain doing? Assessing the association between sexually explicit materials use and sexual behaviors in a large sample of Dutch adolescents and young adults. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10, 2986–2995.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hald, G. M., Seaman, C., & Linz, D. (2014). Sexuality and pornography. In D. L. Tolman & L. M. Diamond (Eds.), APA handbook of sexuality and psychology, Vol. 2: Contextual approaches (pp. 3–35). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Horvath, M. A. H., Alys, L., & Massey, K. (2013). ‘Basically…porn is everywhere’: A rapid evidence assessment of the effects that access and exposure to pornography has on children and young people. London: Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Retrieved 2 April 2016 from: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/Basically_porn_is_everywhere.pdf.
- Huber, P. J. (1967). The behavior of maximum likelihood estimates under nonstandard conditions. In L. Lecam & J. Neyman (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth Berkeley Symposium on Mathematical Statistics and Probability: Vol. 1. Theory of statistics (pp. 221–233). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Matthiesen, S. (2013). Youth sexuality in the Internet age: A qualitative study of the social and sexual relationships of young people. Cologne: Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Afklärung.Google Scholar
- Ringrose, J., Gill, R., Livingstone, S., & Harvey, L. (2012). A qualitative study of children, young people and “sexting”: A report prepared for the NSPCC. London: NSPCC. Retrieved 29 February 2016 from http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/documents/MPP/Sexting-Report-NSPCC.pdf.
- Wang, B., Stanton, B., Deveaux, L., Li, Y., & Lunn, S. (2015). Dynamic relationships between parental monitoring, peer risk involvement and sexual risk behavior among Bahamian mid-adolescents. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41, 89–98.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wright, P. J. (2011). Mass media effects on youth sexual behavior: Assessing the claim for causality. Communication Yearbook, 35, 343–386.Google Scholar
- Wright, P. J., & Donnerstein, E. (2014). Sex online: Pornography, sexual solicitation, and sexting. Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews, 25, 574–589.Google Scholar