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Early Exposure to Pornography Use Examined

J Sex Res; ePub 2017 Oct 3; Willoughby, et al

Early exposure to pornography was related to elevated current pornography use patterns and, to a lesser extent, dysfunctional pornography use, according to a recent study that examined the link with adult mental health and pornography use. Using a sample of 908 adults from the US, retrospective data on pornography use through adolescence and emerging adulthood were gathered to explore trajectories of pornography use across these developmental periods. Researchers found:

  • Latent mixture models suggested the presence of common patterns of use across both developmental periods.
  • Adolescence patterns appeared to largely be distinguished by those who either engaged or did not engage with pornography, while emerging adulthood data revealed the presence of a group of experimenters who engaged in pornography through adolescence but then decreased use through their 20s.
  • Men were found to be more likely to have consistent profiles of pornography use, while single adults were likely to have delayed entry into pornography use.


Willoughby BJ, Young-Petersen B, Leonhardt ND. Exploring trajectories of pornography use through adolescence and emerging adulthood. [Published online ahead of print October 3, 2017]. J Sex Res. doi:10.1080/00224499.2017.1368977.

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