Watching TV porn may spur teenagers to share sexual selfies on media

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Teenagers who watch porn and other explicit material on television may be at a risk of sharing sexual images of themselves on social media, researchers have warned.

The study found that watching sexual reality television stimulated adolescents aged 13-17 to produce and share sexual images of themselves on social media.

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Similarly, for both boys and girls, sexual self-presentation on social media led to more frequent watching of sexual reality TV.

“Mental health professionals should assess adolescents’ viewing patterns to help identify possible risk behaviour,” said Brenda K. Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, California, US.

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For the findings, Laura Vandenbosch, Johanna van Oosten and Jochen Peter from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, examined the relationship between exposure to internet pornography and teenagers’ social media content.

The researchers, however, found no relationship between exposure to pornographic online content and a tendency to distribute sexually suggestive images of themselves on social media for either adolescent girls or boys.

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“The results can be used as an entry point to prevention measures by teaching adolescents to be more judicious consumers of electronic media,” Wiederhold added.

The results were reported in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

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