Social bonds and Internet pornographic exposure among adolescents

Gustavo S. Mesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concern has grown regarding possible harm to the social and psychological development of children and adolescents exposed to Internet pornography. Parents, academics and researchers have documented pornography from the supply side, assuming that its availability explains consumption satisfactorily. The current paper explored the user's dimension, probing whether pornography consumers differed from other Internet users, as well as the social characteristics of adolescent frequent pornography consumers. Data from a 2004 survey of a national representative sample of the adolescent population in Israel were used (n = 998). Adolescent frequent users of the Internet for pornography were found to differ in many social characteristics from the group that used the Internet for information, social communication and entertainment. Weak ties to mainstream social institutions were characteristic of the former group but not of the latter. X-rated material consumers proved to be a distinct sub-group at risk of deviant behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-618
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Deviant behavior
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Internet
  • Pornography
  • Youth at risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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