Facts about today’s pornography 2019

Facts About Today’s Pornography 2019

SOURCE: https://www.johnfoubert.com/porn-research-fact-sheet-2019

John D. Foubert, Ph.D., LLC
Author, How Pornography Harms: What Teens, Young Adults, Parents & Pastors Need to Know


  1. Pornography routinely depicts objectification of and violence against women.  These images create abnormal sexual expectations, leading to making sexual advances that are unwanted, that can lead to violence (Sun, Ezzell, & Kendall, 2017).

  2. Men’s consumption of pornography impacts their views of women in measurable ways—including, but not limited to, objectification, acceptance of sexual mistreatment of women, and making unwanted sexual advances toward women (Mikorski & Syzmanski, 2017; Wright & Bae, 2015).

  3. Pornography use is most likely to lead to sexual violence when the pornography is especially violent, when the individual has peer support for sexual violence, and when the individual is hypermasculine and emphasizes impersonal sex (Hald & Malamuth, 2015).

  4. When compared to non-users, those exposed to softer forms of pornography have greater rape myth acceptance and a higher likelihood of committing rape (Romero-Sanchez, Toro-Garcia, Horvath, & Megias, 2017).

  5. When a man is already predisposed to aggression in other realms, violent pornography is particularly influential in producing increased sexual aggression (Baer, Kohut, & Fisher, 2015).

  6. Watching pornography often leads to acts of sexual violence or risky sexual behaviors such as multiple partners and unprotected sex (Van Oosten, Jochen, & Vandenbosch, 2017).

  7. Child abusers under age 21 report difficulty controlling their pornography use and often cite such use as a factor leading to their abuse of other children (McKibbin et al., 2017).

  8. Characteristics of men that are associated with a higher likelihood of viewing child pornography include ever having sex with a male, holding the perception of children as seductive, having friends who have watched child pornography, frequent pornography use, greater than average aggressive tendencies, ever viewing violent pornography, and engaging in sexually coercive behavior (Seto, Hermann, Kjellgren, Priebe, Svedin, & Langstrom, 2015).

  9. One reason why pornography use is connected to sexually coercive behavior is that viewers begin to develop sexual scripts that involve coercion and then seek to act them out in real life (Marshall, Miller, & Bouffard, 2018).

  10. Among men at high risk for committing acts of sexual aggression, watching violent pornography or child pornography adds to the risk for committing sexual assault, essentially adding fuel to the fire they have for committing sexual violence.  In some cases, viewing pornography serves as a tipping point that leads an at risk person who might not act out to actually do so (Malamuth, 2018).

  11. The more men and women watch pornography, the less likely they are to intervene to help prevent a sexual assault from happening (Foubert & Bridges, 2017).

Sexual Functioning

  1. People who watch pornography experience decreased levels of sexual satisfaction and experience erectile dysfunction at higher rates as compared to those who do not watch pornography regularly (Wery & Billieux, 2016).

  2. Regular consumers of pornography report lower levels of satisfaction with their sexual performance, questions about their virility, lower levels of self-esteem, and more body-image issues (Sun, Bridges, Johnson, & Ezzell, 2016).

  3. The more pornography people viewed, the less sexually satisfied they are (Wright, Bridges, Sun, Ezzell, & Johnson, 2017).

  4. With increased pornography use, people have more risky sex, more non-consensual sex, and less sexual intimacy (Braithwaite, Coulson,  Keddington, & Fincham, 2015).

  5. Women whose partners use porn are less satisfied sexually, with their relationship in general, and with their bodies (Wright & Tokunaga, 2017).

Content of Pornography

  1. Over the past decade the levels of violent porn, gore porn, child porn, and racist acts depicted in porn have increased exponentially (DeKeseredy, 2015).

  2. During the last decade, interest in pornography featuring teens (above and below the age of consent) has significantly increased (Walker, Makin, & Morczek, 2016).

  3. Female performers in pornographic video clips are very likely to express pleasure when aggression (such as spanking, forced vaginal or anal penetration, and forced gagging) is directed toward them; particularly if the performer is a teenager.  Such videos perpetuate the notion that women enjoy being subject to aggressive and demeaning sexual behaviors (Shor, 2018).

  4. On just one pornography site, 33.5 Billion visitors accessed pornography in 2018.  Daily visits to the site now exceed 100 million.  The site logs 962 searches a second.  Every minute 63,992 new visitors access its content (pornhub.com).

  5. The more degrading pornography men watch, the more likely they are to objectify the women in that pornography (Skorska, Hodson & Hoffarth, 2018).

Mental Health

  1. Using pornography is associated with less satisfaction in relationships, less close relationships, more loneliness and more depression (Hesse & Floyd, 2019).

  2. Women who use pornography are more likely to have false or stereotyped views about rape and are more self-conscious about their bodies (Maas & Dewey, 2018).

  3. In a study looking at brain scans of males, neurologists found that the brain activity among heavy porn users showed a behavioral addiction, much like substance and gambling addiction (Gola, Wordecha, Sescousse, Lew-Starowicz, Kossowski, Wypych, Makeig, Potenza & Marchewka, 2017).

  4. Women whose partners use pornography are more likely to have eating disorders (Tylka & Calogero 2019).

  5. Men who have high levels of pornography use are less likely to get married than are men with moderate levels of use (Perry & Longest, 2018).

  6. The more a married person consumes pornography the less satisfied they are in their marriage (Perry, 2016).


  1. The more frequently men view pornography, the less committed they are to their religion.  In addition, the more frequently men view pornography, the less likely they are to hold a leadership position in their congregation during the following 6 years (Perry, 2018).

  2. The more religious men are, the less frequently they use pornography.  And the less frequently they use pornography, the less likely they are to sexually harass women online (Hagen, Thompson, & Williams, 2018).

  3. The more religious one’s spouse is, the less they view pornography.  The study author suggests that spousal religiosity may decrease pornography viewing among married Americans by promoting greater religious intimacy and unity between the couple, consequently decreasing one’s interest or opportunities to view pornography (Perry, 2017).


  1. Initial studies show that the adolescent brain is more sensitive to sexually explicit material than adult brains (Brown & Wisco, 2019).

  2. A review of 19 studies found that adolescents who view online pornography are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and to have anxiety or depression (Principi et al., 2019).

  3. Among adolescents, pornography use increases with age, especially with boys.  Adolescents who attend religious services frequently are less likely to view pornography (Rasmussen & Bierman, 2016).

  4. Adolescents who use pornography are more likely to commit sexual violence (Peter & Valkenburg, 2016; Ybarra & Thompson, 2017).

  5. Adolescents who use pornography are more likely to have disturbed family relationships (Peter & Valkenburg, 2016).

  6. Males who report using pornography during adolescence followed by daily consumption of pornography often advance to viewing extreme content, including violence, to maintain arousal.  Over time these men become less interested in physical intercourse as it is viewed as bland and uninteresting.  Men then lose the ability to have sex with a real life partner.  Some who give up pornography have successfully “re-booted” and regained their ability to have erections with a partner (Begovic, 2019).

  7. Boys who view pornography are more likely to be involved in sexting—sending sexually explicit messages and images (Stanley et al., 2016).

  8. Boys’ regular viewing of pornography is associated with increased sexual coercion and abuse (Stanley et al., 2016).

  9. In people aged 10-21, continuing exposure to violent pornography leads to sexual harassment, sexual assault, coercive sex, attempted rape, and rape (Ybarra & Thompson, 2017).

  10. Adolescents using pornography report diminished life satisfaction (Willoughby, Young-Petersen, & Leonhardt, 2018).

  11. Adolescents who view pornography become less religious over time (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  12. Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to have been sexually assaulted (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  13. Boys who regularly view pornography are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  14. The more frequently adolescents view pornography, the more likely they are to attend religious services less frequently, the less importance their faith is to them, the less frequently they pray and feel close to God and the more religious doubts they have (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  15. Adolescents who are more attached to religious leaders have lower levels of pornography consumption (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  16. Adolescents who view pornography frequently are also more likely to have relationship problems with their peers (Alexandraki, et al., 2018).

  17. Boys who use pornography frequently are more likely to be overweight or obese (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  18. Adolescents who use pornography frequently have worse relationships with their parents, lower commitment to their family, believe their parents care less about them, and communicate less with their parents (Alexandraki et al., 2018).

  19. Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to begin sexual activity at an earlier age. This early onset of sexual activity is due to more permissive attitudes toward casual sex that are directly linked to their pornography use (Van Oosten, Jochen, & Vandenbosch, 2017).

  20. Asking adolescents if they use pornography has no effect on whether or not they will actually access pornography in the future (Koletic, Cohen, Stulhofer, & Kohut, 2019).

Alexandraki, K., Stavropoulos, V., Anderson, E., Latifi, M.Q., & Gomez, R. (2018). Adolescent pornography use: A systematic literature review of research trends 2000-2017. Current Psychiatry Reviews 14 (47) doi.org/10.2174/2211556007666180606073617.

Baer, J.L., Kohut, T., & Fisher, W. A. (2015). Is pornography use associated with anti-woman sexual aggression? Re-examining the Confluence Model with third variable considerations. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 24(2), 160-173.

Begovic, H. (2019) Pornography induced erectile dysfunction among young men. Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence, 4 (1), Article 5. DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2019.04.01.05

Braithwaite, S., Coulson, G., Keddington, K., & Fincham, F. (2015). The influence of pornography on sexual scripts and hooking up among emerging adults in college. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 111-123

Brown, J.A. & Wisco, J.J. (2019). The components of the adolescent brain and its unique sensitivity to sexually explicit material. Journal of Adolescence, 72, 10-13.

DeKeseredy, W. S. (2015). Critical criminological understandings of adult pornography and woman abuse: New progressive directions in research and theory. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4, 4–21.

Foubert, J.D. & Bridges, A. J. (2017). What is the attraction? Understanding gender differences in reasons for viewing pornography in relationship to bystander intervention.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32 (20), 3071-3089.

Gola, M. Wordecha, M., Sescousse, G., Lew-Starowicz, M., Kossowski, B., Wypch, M., Makeig, S., Potenza, M.N. & Marchewka, A. (2017).  Can pornography be addictive?  An fMRI study of men seeking treatment for problematic pornography use.  Neuropsyhopharmacology, 42(10), 2021-2031.

Hagen, T., Thompson, M.P., & Williams, J. (2018).  Religiosity reduces sexual aggression and coercion in a longitudinal cohort of college men: Mediating roles of peer norms, promiscuity, and pornography.  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 57, 95-108.

Hald, G., & Malamuth, M. (2015). Experimental effects of exposure to pornography: The moderating effect of personality and mediating effect of sexual arousal. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 99-109.

Hesse, C. & Floyd, K. (2019). Affection substitution: The effect of pornography consumption on close relationships.  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.  DOI: 10.1177/0265407519841719.

Koletic, G., Cohen, N., Stulhofer, A., & Kohut, T. (2019).  Does asking adolescents about pornography make them use it?  A test of the question-behavior effect. Journal of Sex Research, 56 (2), 1-18.

Maas, M.K. & Dewey, S. (2018).  Internet pornography use among collegiate women: Gender attitudes, body monitoring, and sexual behavior.  SAGE Open, DOI: 10.1177/2158244018786640.

Malamuth, N. M. (2018). “Adding fuel to the fire”? Does exposure to non-consenting adult or to child pornography increase risk of sexual aggression? Aggression and Violent Behavior, 41, 74-89.

Marshall, E.A., Miller, H.A., & Bouffard, J.A. (2018).  Bridging the theoretical gap: Using sexual script theory to explain the relationship between pornography use and sexual coercion. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, DOI: 10.1177/0886260518795170.

McKibbin, G., Humphreys, C., & Hamilton, B. (2017). “Talking about child sexual abuse would have helped me”: Young people who sexually abused reflect on preventing harmful sexual behavior. Child Abuse & Neglect, 70, 210-221.

Mikorski, R. M., & Szymanski, D. (2017). Masculine norms, peer group, pornography, Facebook, and men’s sexual objectification of women. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 18(4), 257-267.

Perry, S.L. (2018). How pornography use reduces participation in congregational leadership: A research note.  Review of Religious Research, DOI:10.1007/s13644-018-0355-4.

Perry, S.L. (2017).  Spousal religiosity, religious bonding, and pornography consumption.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46 (2), 561-574.

Perry, S.L. (2016).  From bad to worse? Pornography consumption, spousal religiosity, gender, and marital quality.  Sociological Forum, 31 (2), 441-464.

Perry, S. & Longest, K. (2018).  Pornography use and marriage entry during early adulthood: Findings from a panel study of young Americans.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI:10.31235/osf.io/xry3z

Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. (2016). Adolescents and pornography: A review of 20 years of research. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531.

Pornhub.com (2019). https://www.pornhub.com/insights/2018-year-in-review

Principi, N., Magnoni, P., Grimoldi, L., Carnevali, D. Cavazzana, L. & Pellai, A. (2019).  Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors’ health: Latest evidence from the literature.  Minerva Pediatrics, doi: 10.23736/S0026-4946.19.05367-2.

Rasmussen, K. & Bierman, A. (2016).  How does religious attendance shape trajectories of pornography use across adolescence?  Journal of Adolescence, 49, 191-203.

Romero-Sánchez, M., Toro-Garcia, V., Horvath, M.A.H., & Megias, J.L. (2015). More than a magazine: Exploring the links between lads’ mags, rape myth acceptance and rape proclivity. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-20. doi:10.1177/0886260515586366

Seto, M.C., Hermann, C.A., Kjellgren, C., Priebe, G., Sveden, C. & Langstro, N. (2014). Viewing child pornography: Prevalence and correlates in a representative community sample of young Swedish men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44 (1), 67-79.

Shor, E. (2018). Age, aggression, and pleasure in popular online pornographic videos.  Violence Against Women, DOI: 10.1188/1077801218804101.

Skorska, M.N., Hodson, G. & Hoffarth, M.R. (2018). Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women (objectification, sexism, discrimination). The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 27 (3), 261-276.  

Stanley, N., Barter, C., Wood, M., Aghtaie, N., Larkins, C., Lanau, A., & Overlien, C. (2018). Pornography, sexual coercion and abuse and sexting in young people’s intimate relationships: A European study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(19), 2919–2944.

Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnson, J., & Ezzell, M. (2016). Pornography and the male sexual script: An analysis of consumption and sexual relations.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 995-995.

Sun, C, Ezzell, M., Kendall, O. (2017).  Naked aggression: The meaning and practice of ejaculating on a woman’s face. Violence Against Women, 23(14) 1710–1729.

Tylka, T.L. & Calogero, R.M. (2019). Perceptions of male partner pressure to be thin and pornography use: Associations with eating disorder symptomatology in a community sample of adult women.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, doi: 10.1002/eat.22991.

Van Oosten, J., Jochen, P., & Vandenbosch, L. (2017). Adolescents’ sexual media use and willingness to engage in casual sex: Differential relations and underlying processes. Human Communication Research, 43(1), 127–147.

Walker, A., Makin, D., & Morczek, A. (2016). Finding Lolita: A comparative analysis of interest in youth-oriented pornography. Sexuality & Culture, 20(3), 657-683.

Wery, A. and Billieux, J. (2016). Online sexual activities: An exploratory study of problematic and non-problematic usage patterns in a sample of men. Computers in Human Behavior, 56(March), 257.

Willoughby, B., Young-Petersen, B., & Leonhardt, N. (2018). Exploring trajectories of pornography use through adolescence and emerging adulthood. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(3), 297-309.

Wright, P., & Bae, J. (2015). A national prospective study of pornography consumption and gendered attitudes toward women. Sexuality & Culture, 19(3), 444-463.

Wright, P.J., Bridges, A.J., Sun, Ch, Ezzell, M. & Johnson, J.A. (2018).  Personal pornography viewing and sexual satisfaction: A quadratic analysis.  Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44, 308-315.

Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2017). Women’s perceptions of their male partners’ pornography consumption and relational, sexual, self, and body satisfaction: toward a theoretical model. Annals of the International Communication Association, 42(1), 55-73.

Ybarra, M., & Thompson, R. (2017). Predicting the emergence of sexual violence in adolescence. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research. DOI 10.1007/s11121-017-0810-4