Background: Pornography can affect the lifestyles of adolescents, especially in terms of their sexual habits and porn consumption, and may have a significant influence on their sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Objective: The aim of this study was to understand and analyze the frequency, duration, and perception of web porn utilization by young Italians attending high school.
Materials and methods: A total of 1565 students attending the final year of high school were involved in the study, and 1492 have agreed to fill out an anonymous survey. The questions representing the content of this study were: 1) How often do you access the web? 2) How much time do you remain connected? 3) Do you connect to pornographic sites? 4) How often do you access pornographic sites? 5) How much time you spend on them? 6) How often do you masturbate? and 7) How do you rate the attendance of these sites? Statistical analysis was performed by Fischer's test.
Results: All young people, on an almost daily basis, have access to Internet. Among those surveyed, 1163 (77.9%) of Internet users admit to the consumption of pornographic material, and of these, 93 (8%) access pornographic websites daily, 686 (59%) boys accessing these sites perceive the consumption of pornography as always stimulating, 255 (21.9%) define it as habitual, 116 (10%) report that it reduces sexual interest towards potential real-life partners, and the remaining 106 (9.1%) report a kind of addiction. In addition, 19% of overall pornography consumers report an abnormal sexual response, while the percentage rose to 25.1% among regular consumers.
Conclusion: It is necessary to educate web users, especially young users, to a safe and responsible use of the Internet and of its contents. Moreover, public education campaigns should be increased in number and frequency to help improve knowledge of Internet-related sexual issues both by adolescents and by parents.