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 ; Månsson, Sven-Axel
Date 2007
English abstract
Introduction and objectives: The visibility and accessibility of pornography in public space has increased dramatically over the last decade, not least thanks to the Internet. In many Western societies, among them Sweden, there is a wide-spread concern and public debate 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. How do they reason about gender, sexuality and pornography? And how do they navigate in the pornographic landscape surrounding them? What implications do the “pornographic script” (cultural representations with a pornographic content) have on young people’s views of bodily ideals and sexual interaction? Methods: Data were collected in the year of 2006 in Sweden through qualitative research interviews and focus groups with young people; 73 informants between 14 and 20 years of age are included, 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. More boys than girls are active pornography consumers. Boys also have a more positive attitude towards pornography than girls. However, these differences vary with age and concurrently with the accumulation of the person’s own sexual experience. Girls become more positive to pornography the older they get, although still to a comparatively lesser degree than boys. At the same time, the most relentless critics of pornography are to be found among the girls. These differences allow 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 and/or behavioural code that more or less explicitly prescribes how to look and what to do. It seems that most of our interviewees have acquired the necessary skills of how to navigate in the pornographic landscape in a sensible and reflective manner. Conclusions: Growing up in a society with an easily accessible pornography both lead to a defused view on sexuality, but also to a critical and reflective outlook. The impact of the so-called pornographic script is clear when it comes to what to do, how to look and how to react on pornography. But at the same time the script brings to the fore an ambivalent and a split feeling towards sexuality, and to pornography specifically.
Publisher NACS
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Youth
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note NACS (Nordic Association for Clinical Sexology) Copenhagen, 6-9 september 2007
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Link,28 (external link to related web page)

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