Fast Facts About Pornography
Fact 1: Viewing pornography is the second most popular use of the Internet.
Until recently, viewing pornography was the most popular activity on the Internet. While that’s now been surpassed by the use of social media, approximately 1,000 people visit pornography sites every second of every hour of every day.
Fact 2: Online pornography reaches almost everyone.
While more men than women view online pornography, the gap is closing. In addition, almost all boys and two-thirds of girls report having been exposed to online pornography by their early teens. A recent survey of online use found that children under the age of 10 now account for approximately 20% of online pornography consumption.
Fact 3: There is no clear correlation between viewing pornography and committing sexual abuse.
Researchers have not found a clear correlation between viewing pornography and committing sexual abuse. Depending on the reason someone is viewing pornography, combined with their beliefs, attitudes, and other personal characteristics, the pornography could serve as a catalyst to act out the behaviors they are viewing or it could satisfy their sexual needs. This is true of both adult and child pornography. While studies have found a correlation between viewing child pornography and pedophilia, not everyone who views child pornography is a pedophile, nor is everyone who sexually assaults a child a pedophile. There are many different motives for viewing pornography and for sexually abusing someone.
Fact 4: There is no clear evidence that frequent viewing of pornography is a form of addiction.
Some studies have found that people who frequently view pornography display at least two behaviors in common with addiction –- escalation and withdrawal. There also are indications that frequent viewing of pornography can become compulsive anc can interfere with the development of healthy sexual relationships. However, research has not determined conclusively that pornography is addictive.
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The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.
- Correlates of admitted sexual interest in children among individuals convicted of child pornography offenses: Seto & Eke (2017)
- Viewing child pornography: Prevalence and correlates in a representative community sample of young Swedish men: Seto, Hermann, Kjellgren, Priebe, Svedin, & Langstrom (2015)
- Correlates and moderators of child pornography consumption in a community sample: Ray, Kimonis, & Seto (2014)
- Prioritizing child pornography notifications: Predicting direct victimization: Smid, Schepers, Kamphuis, van Linden, & Bartling (2014)
- Treatment and management of child pornography use: Seto & Ahmed (2014)
- Child pornography offender characteristics and risk to reoffend: Seto & Psych (2012)
- Child pornography offending seen through three theoretical lenses: Jung, Ennis, & Malesky (2012)
- Online solicitation offenders are different from child pornography offenders and lower risk contact sexual offenders: Seto, Wood, Babchishin, & Flynn (2012)
- Predicting hands-on child sexual offenses among possessors of internet child pornography: Lee, Nien-Chen, Lamade, Schuler, & Prentky (2012)
- Examining the criminal history and future offending of child pornography offenders: An extended prospective follow-up study: Eke, Seto, & Williams (2011)
- Explanations given by child pornography offenders for their crimes: Seto, Reeves, & Jung (2010)
- Pornography use and sexual aggression: The impact of frequency and type of pornography use on recidivism among sexual offenders: Kingston, Fedoroff, Firestone, Curry, & Bradford (2008)
- Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia: Seto, Cantor, & Blanchard (2006)
- The criminal histories and later offending of child pornography offenders: Seto & Eke (2005)
- The role of pornography in the etiology of sexual aggression: Seto, Maric, & Barbaree (2001)