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December 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 12


Sexting Among Teens Linked with Porn Use, Study says

Teens practice risky sexual behavior shown in media

Following the recent influx of research exposing the harms of pornography consumption, another new study, published in Belgium, found that sexting among teens is "significantly associated with pornography use." The study also found that "adolescents who visit sexually explicit Web sites are more likely to have permissive sexual attitudes … and to engage in risky sexual behavior."
Researchers Joris Van Ouytsel, Koen Ponnet, and Michel Walrave conducted the study by surveying 329 Belgian high school students with an average age of 16. Their study was published in the December 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

"Porn use among children is destroying childhood," said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of Morality in Media.  She said that the behaviors noted in this study are no different than what is seen as a result of porn use in the United States or in any other country.  Hawkins warned, "Pornography use has created a public health crisis yet to be adequately addressed by governments or the public at large. This crisis has profoundly negative consequences for every child caught up in the world of porn."

The purpose of the study was to determine whether media use, particularly music videos and pornography, impacted teens’ sexual behavior. In a review of the scientific literature, Van Ouytsel et al. wrote, "[Pornography use] also correlated with increased sexually aggressive behavior." The researchers were able to conclude that porn consumption was linked to higher rates of sending sexting texts and pictures or videos and with asking someone for a sexting message.

In addition, the study also found that males who consume music videos are significantly more likely to request a sexting message from someone. According to the researchers, "music videos promote an active sexual role for boys as opposed to a more submissive role for girls."

Morality in Media maintains an extensive online database of peer-reviewed research on the harms pornography, available at This collection of reliable research is accessed and used by people around the world.

Founded in 1962, Morality in Media, Inc. is the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to opposing pornography through education about its harms by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse and obsessive use of porn.


Morality in Media – 1100 G St., NW Washington, DC 20005


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