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If a parent were to type “New Zealand teens and porn” into Google, rather than being presented with news and information about pornography use by New Zealand adolescents, they would see a series of links to websites such as pornhub, xvideos, and redtube. That is, they will be directed to pornography websites that purportedly contain videos of New Zealand adolescents having sexual intercourse. To provide New Zealand parents with a less treacherous pathway to information about pornography use in adolescents, the New Zealand Government recently launched their “Keep It Real Online” website.1 The website provides, among other things, information on how to talk to adolescents about pornography and a link to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Classification Office) research report on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents.2

The Classification Office report represents one of the few sources of information on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents. They recruited an online, nationally representative, sample of 2,071 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17. Consistent with research conducted in Australia, 66% (n=1,369) of New Zealand adolescents had seen pornography, with 37% (n=771) viewing it in the past six months.2–4 With respect to frequency, 55% (n=425) had viewed pornography a few times or less. At the other end of the spectrum, 5% (n=41) had viewed it daily or almost daily, and just 1% (n=10) had viewed it more than once a day. When broken down in this way, while one could argue lifetime exposure to pornography in adolescents is high, the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively small. Indeed, even if we factored in some level of underreporting of frequency due to social desirability bias, viewing rates would still be relatively low.

Based on the Classification Office report and data from the Youth2000 Survey Series,5 Taylor recently called attention to the potential disconnect between 1) popular narratives on the prevalence of pornography use in adolescents and 2) the quantitative data suggesting the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively low. Beyond merely misrepresenting New Zealand adolescents’ pornography use, Taylor recently noted that “…it is somewhat ironic that the concern about an epidemic of pornography viewing may itself be perpetuating normative pressures for young people to watch pornography” (p. 17).6

Here we use data from the Classification Office report to test the association between normative perceptions of pornography use and the frequency of pornography use. Normative perceptions was measured by asking adolescents how common adolescents thought it was for boys and girls their age to look at porn, with responses options ranging from not common (1) to very common (3). Frequency of use was captured by a single question asking how often adolescents had seen porn in the last six months, with response options ranging from not at all (0) to more than once a day (6). A complete list of variables is available online.2

Table 1: Hurdle models predicting the perceived frequency of pornography use.

Given the high number of adolescents that had not watched pornography in the past six months (n=555), we employed hurdle models. Supporting Taylor’s assertion,6 those who reported higher normative perceptions of pornography use reported watching pornography more often (Incident Rate Ratio = 1.27; 95% CI = [1.15–1.41]) and were more likely to report any pornography use (Odds ratio = 2.46; CI = [2.01–3.02]). That is, for every 1-point increase in normative perception, the odds of viewing pornography increases 2.46 times.

The findings of the current study have important implications for campaigns that aim to address pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.1 Indeed, given the risk of iatrogenic effects,7 education campaigns should provide accurate information on the frequency of pornography use. Providing accurate information will help to curtail the normative pressures that may, unwittingly, increase pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin; Benjamin Riordan, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne; Taylor Winter, Department of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054.

Correspondence Email

damian@psy.otago.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1. Keep It Real Online, <http://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz/> (2020).

2. NZ Youth and Porn. (Office of Film and Literature Classification, Wellington, NZ, 2018).

3. Henry C, Talbot H. The complexities of young New Zealanders’ use and perceptions of pornography: a quantitative survey in context. Porn Stud 2019; 6:391–410, doi:10.1080/23268743.2019.1656544.

4. Lim MS, Agius PA, Carrotte ER, et al. Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours. Aust NZ J Publ Heal 2017; 41:438–443, doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12678.

5. Clark TC, Moselen E, Dixon R. Sexual and Reproductive Health & Sexual Violence among New Zealand secondary school students: Findings from the Youth’12 national youth health and wellbeing survey. (The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015).

6. Taylor K. ‘Accessing something that’s meant to be inaccessible’: pornography viewers’ reconciliation between early pornographic memories and pornography’s perceived risk. Porn Stud, 2020:1–19, doi:10.1080/23268743.2020.1736609.

7. Lilienfeld SO. Psychological treatments that cause harm. Perspect Psychol Sci 2007; 2:53–70, doi:10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00029.x.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

If a parent were to type “New Zealand teens and porn” into Google, rather than being presented with news and information about pornography use by New Zealand adolescents, they would see a series of links to websites such as pornhub, xvideos, and redtube. That is, they will be directed to pornography websites that purportedly contain videos of New Zealand adolescents having sexual intercourse. To provide New Zealand parents with a less treacherous pathway to information about pornography use in adolescents, the New Zealand Government recently launched their “Keep It Real Online” website.1 The website provides, among other things, information on how to talk to adolescents about pornography and a link to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Classification Office) research report on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents.2

The Classification Office report represents one of the few sources of information on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents. They recruited an online, nationally representative, sample of 2,071 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17. Consistent with research conducted in Australia, 66% (n=1,369) of New Zealand adolescents had seen pornography, with 37% (n=771) viewing it in the past six months.2–4 With respect to frequency, 55% (n=425) had viewed pornography a few times or less. At the other end of the spectrum, 5% (n=41) had viewed it daily or almost daily, and just 1% (n=10) had viewed it more than once a day. When broken down in this way, while one could argue lifetime exposure to pornography in adolescents is high, the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively small. Indeed, even if we factored in some level of underreporting of frequency due to social desirability bias, viewing rates would still be relatively low.

Based on the Classification Office report and data from the Youth2000 Survey Series,5 Taylor recently called attention to the potential disconnect between 1) popular narratives on the prevalence of pornography use in adolescents and 2) the quantitative data suggesting the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively low. Beyond merely misrepresenting New Zealand adolescents’ pornography use, Taylor recently noted that “…it is somewhat ironic that the concern about an epidemic of pornography viewing may itself be perpetuating normative pressures for young people to watch pornography” (p. 17).6

Here we use data from the Classification Office report to test the association between normative perceptions of pornography use and the frequency of pornography use. Normative perceptions was measured by asking adolescents how common adolescents thought it was for boys and girls their age to look at porn, with responses options ranging from not common (1) to very common (3). Frequency of use was captured by a single question asking how often adolescents had seen porn in the last six months, with response options ranging from not at all (0) to more than once a day (6). A complete list of variables is available online.2

Table 1: Hurdle models predicting the perceived frequency of pornography use.

Given the high number of adolescents that had not watched pornography in the past six months (n=555), we employed hurdle models. Supporting Taylor’s assertion,6 those who reported higher normative perceptions of pornography use reported watching pornography more often (Incident Rate Ratio = 1.27; 95% CI = [1.15–1.41]) and were more likely to report any pornography use (Odds ratio = 2.46; CI = [2.01–3.02]). That is, for every 1-point increase in normative perception, the odds of viewing pornography increases 2.46 times.

The findings of the current study have important implications for campaigns that aim to address pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.1 Indeed, given the risk of iatrogenic effects,7 education campaigns should provide accurate information on the frequency of pornography use. Providing accurate information will help to curtail the normative pressures that may, unwittingly, increase pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin; Benjamin Riordan, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne; Taylor Winter, Department of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054.

Correspondence Email

damian@psy.otago.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1. Keep It Real Online, <http://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz/> (2020).

2. NZ Youth and Porn. (Office of Film and Literature Classification, Wellington, NZ, 2018).

3. Henry C, Talbot H. The complexities of young New Zealanders’ use and perceptions of pornography: a quantitative survey in context. Porn Stud 2019; 6:391–410, doi:10.1080/23268743.2019.1656544.

4. Lim MS, Agius PA, Carrotte ER, et al. Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours. Aust NZ J Publ Heal 2017; 41:438–443, doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12678.

5. Clark TC, Moselen E, Dixon R. Sexual and Reproductive Health & Sexual Violence among New Zealand secondary school students: Findings from the Youth’12 national youth health and wellbeing survey. (The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015).

6. Taylor K. ‘Accessing something that’s meant to be inaccessible’: pornography viewers’ reconciliation between early pornographic memories and pornography’s perceived risk. Porn Stud, 2020:1–19, doi:10.1080/23268743.2020.1736609.

7. Lilienfeld SO. Psychological treatments that cause harm. Perspect Psychol Sci 2007; 2:53–70, doi:10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00029.x.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

If a parent were to type “New Zealand teens and porn” into Google, rather than being presented with news and information about pornography use by New Zealand adolescents, they would see a series of links to websites such as pornhub, xvideos, and redtube. That is, they will be directed to pornography websites that purportedly contain videos of New Zealand adolescents having sexual intercourse. To provide New Zealand parents with a less treacherous pathway to information about pornography use in adolescents, the New Zealand Government recently launched their “Keep It Real Online” website.1 The website provides, among other things, information on how to talk to adolescents about pornography and a link to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Classification Office) research report on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents.2

The Classification Office report represents one of the few sources of information on pornography use by New Zealand adolescents. They recruited an online, nationally representative, sample of 2,071 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17. Consistent with research conducted in Australia, 66% (n=1,369) of New Zealand adolescents had seen pornography, with 37% (n=771) viewing it in the past six months.2–4 With respect to frequency, 55% (n=425) had viewed pornography a few times or less. At the other end of the spectrum, 5% (n=41) had viewed it daily or almost daily, and just 1% (n=10) had viewed it more than once a day. When broken down in this way, while one could argue lifetime exposure to pornography in adolescents is high, the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively small. Indeed, even if we factored in some level of underreporting of frequency due to social desirability bias, viewing rates would still be relatively low.

Based on the Classification Office report and data from the Youth2000 Survey Series,5 Taylor recently called attention to the potential disconnect between 1) popular narratives on the prevalence of pornography use in adolescents and 2) the quantitative data suggesting the number of adolescents that frequently view pornography is relatively low. Beyond merely misrepresenting New Zealand adolescents’ pornography use, Taylor recently noted that “…it is somewhat ironic that the concern about an epidemic of pornography viewing may itself be perpetuating normative pressures for young people to watch pornography” (p. 17).6

Here we use data from the Classification Office report to test the association between normative perceptions of pornography use and the frequency of pornography use. Normative perceptions was measured by asking adolescents how common adolescents thought it was for boys and girls their age to look at porn, with responses options ranging from not common (1) to very common (3). Frequency of use was captured by a single question asking how often adolescents had seen porn in the last six months, with response options ranging from not at all (0) to more than once a day (6). A complete list of variables is available online.2

Table 1: Hurdle models predicting the perceived frequency of pornography use.

Given the high number of adolescents that had not watched pornography in the past six months (n=555), we employed hurdle models. Supporting Taylor’s assertion,6 those who reported higher normative perceptions of pornography use reported watching pornography more often (Incident Rate Ratio = 1.27; 95% CI = [1.15–1.41]) and were more likely to report any pornography use (Odds ratio = 2.46; CI = [2.01–3.02]). That is, for every 1-point increase in normative perception, the odds of viewing pornography increases 2.46 times.

The findings of the current study have important implications for campaigns that aim to address pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.1 Indeed, given the risk of iatrogenic effects,7 education campaigns should provide accurate information on the frequency of pornography use. Providing accurate information will help to curtail the normative pressures that may, unwittingly, increase pornography use in New Zealand adolescents.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin; Benjamin Riordan, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne; Taylor Winter, Department of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Damian Scarf, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054.

Correspondence Email

damian@psy.otago.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1. Keep It Real Online, <http://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz/> (2020).

2. NZ Youth and Porn. (Office of Film and Literature Classification, Wellington, NZ, 2018).

3. Henry C, Talbot H. The complexities of young New Zealanders’ use and perceptions of pornography: a quantitative survey in context. Porn Stud 2019; 6:391–410, doi:10.1080/23268743.2019.1656544.

4. Lim MS, Agius PA, Carrotte ER, et al. Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours. Aust NZ J Publ Heal 2017; 41:438–443, doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12678.

5. Clark TC, Moselen E, Dixon R. Sexual and Reproductive Health & Sexual Violence among New Zealand secondary school students: Findings from the Youth’12 national youth health and wellbeing survey. (The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015).

6. Taylor K. ‘Accessing something that’s meant to be inaccessible’: pornography viewers’ reconciliation between early pornographic memories and pornography’s perceived risk. Porn Stud, 2020:1–19, doi:10.1080/23268743.2020.1736609.

7. Lilienfeld SO. Psychological treatments that cause harm. Perspect Psychol Sci 2007; 2:53–70, doi:10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00029.x.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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