- Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit internet material, sexual uncertainty, and attitudes toward uncommitted sexual exploration: is there a link?
- Communication Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The link between adolescents' exposure to sexual media content and their sexual socialization has hardly been approached from an identity development framework. Moreover, existing research has largely ignored the role of adolescents' exposure to sexually explicit Internet material in that association. This study introduces two characteristics of adolescents' sexual self—sexual uncertainty and attitudes toward sexual exploration—and investigates these characteristics as potential correlates of adolescents' exposure to sexually explicit Internet material. Drawing from a sample of 2,343 Dutch adolescents aged 13 to 20, the authors find that more frequent exposure to sexually explicit Internet material is associated with greater sexual uncertainty and more positive attitudes toward uncommitted sexual exploration (i.e., sexual relations with casual partners/friends or with sexual partners in one-night stands). The findings call for more attention to adolescents' exposure to sexually explicit material on the Internet and identity-related issues.
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