The relationship between Online Porn Consumption and Perceived Sexual Skills and the moderating role of Perceived Realism of Online Porn
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The Internet has grown tremendously, and with that, the availability of sexually explicit material has changed dramatically. Many adolescents are exposed to porn. This longitudinal study examined the (bidirectional) relationship between porn use and adolescents’ perceived sexual skills, as well as the role of perceived realism of online porn in this relationship. For this study, data were used from ‘Project STARS’, a longitudinal study with four moments of data collection from 2011 till 2013. The sample consisted of 116 adolescents (51.7% girls), aged 13 to 18 years (M = 15.92, SD = 1.28). Results showed that two out of five participants reported watching porn on a regular basis, boys more often than girls. When adolescents don’t watch porn and perceive online porn as realistic, they rate their sexual skills lower. In addition, girls who regularly watch porn rate their sexual skills as better than girls who don’t watch porn, whereas boys rate their sexual skills as worse than boys who don’t watch porn. Since perceived realism and gender were found to be important, the advice is to develop informative online tools, so, particularly girls, can learn and thus increase their perceived sexual skills.