Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 2137–2147 | Cite as

The Association Between Exposure to Violent Pornography and Teen Dating Violence in Grade 10 High School Students

  • Whitney L. RostadEmail author
  • Daniel Gittins-Stone
  • Charlie Huntington
  • Christie J. Rizzo
  • Deborah Pearlman
  • Lindsay Orchowski
Original Paper


Exposure to pornography in general has been linked with adolescent dating violence and sexual aggression, but less is known about exposure to violent pornography specifically. The current study examined the association of violent pornography exposure with different forms of teen dating violence (TDV) using baseline survey data from a sample of Grade 10 high school students who reported being in a dating relationship in the past year (n = 1694). Gender-stratified logistic regression models generated odds ratios adjusted for demographics, substance use, history of suspension/expulsion, gender equitable attitudes, and tolerance of rape myths to identify significant associations between violent pornography exposure and self-reported physical, sexual, and threatening TDV perpetration and victimization. Violent pornography exposure was associated with all types of TDV, though patterns differed by gender. Boys exposed to violent pornography were 2–3 times more likely to report sexual TDV perpetration and victimization and physical TDV victimization, while girls exposed to violent pornography were over 1.5 times more likely to be perpetrate threatening TDV compared to their non-exposed counterparts. Comprehensive prevention strategies for TDV may consider the potential risks associated with exposure to violent pornography, particularly for boys, and provide an alternative source of education about healthy sexual behavior and relationships.


Teen dating violence Pornography Risk factors Violence prevention 



Funding was provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant No. U01-CE002531).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Whitney L. Rostad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Gittins-Stone
    • 2
  • Charlie Huntington
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christie J. Rizzo
    • 2
  • Deborah Pearlman
    • 5
  • Lindsay Orchowski
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Bouvé College of Health SciencesNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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