Youth, Gender and Pornography - A Qualitative Study in Sweden

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Youth, Gender and Pornography - A Qualitative Study in Sweden

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Youth, Gender and Pornography - A Qualitative Study in Sweden
Author(s) Löfgren-Mårtenson, Lotta
Date 2008
English abstract
Introduction and objectives: The visibility and accessibility of pornography in public space has increased dramatically over the last decade. In many Western societies, among them Sweden, there is a wide-spread concern about the implications and consequences of this development, especially for young people. However, seldom are young people’s own voices being heard in this debate. Our research tries to remedy this by asking teenagers about their experiences, views and relationships to pornography. Methods: Data were collected in 2006 through qualitative research interviews and focus groups with young people; 73 informants between 14 and 20 years of age are included in the study, 36 girls and 37 boys. Results: The increasing accessibility of pornography has contributed to a process of normalization with regard to young people’s attitudes and behaviours in relation to pornography. This change, however, is related to both age and gender, which allows us to talk about gender specific pornography careers. Our study also confirms the influence and growing importance of the pornographic script as a frame of reference or behavioural code that more or less explicitly prescribes how to look and what to do. However, it seems that most of our interviewees have acquired the necessary skills in how to navigate in the pornographic landscape in a sensible and reflective manner. Most of them seem to have the ability to distinguish between pornographic fantasies and narratives on the one hand, and real life sexual interaction and relationships on the other. Conclusions: Growing up in a society with an easily accessible pornography both lead to a defused view on sexuality and to a critical and reflective outlook. The impact of the so-called pornographic script is clear. However, at the same time the script brings to the fore an ambivalence towards sexuality, and to pornography specifically. It contains both pleasure and harmfulness in a way that seems to be both tempting and frightening.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Youth
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note International Academy of Sex Research, IASR, Leuven 9-12 July 2008
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