Characteristics of Adolescents’ Exposure to and Conversations About Pornographic Content: Slovenian Adolescents’ and Their Parents’ Perspectives Urška Fekonja and Sabina Čepon
Summary: This study examined various aspects of Slovenian adolescents’ intentional and unintentional exposure to pornographic content and the characteristics and importance of their conversations with parents. The sample comprised 302 participants: 138 pairs of adolescents, aged 11–15 years, and their parents, and nine adolescents and 17 parents without pairs. The adolescents and parents filled out a demographic questionnaire, The Exposure to Pornographic Content Questionnaire and The Questionnaire on the Characteristics of a Conversation about Pornographic Content. The results show that a high percentage of Slovenian adolescents have been unintentionally and intentionally exposed to pornographic content, with the internet being the most common medium of exposure. Most adolescents first encountered pornographic content in middle childhood and some even in early childhood. The frequency of adolescents’ intentional exposure to pornographic content increased along with their age. By the time of the interviews, more than half of the parents had already discussed pornographic content with their adolescent children, while the adolescents had mostly discussed the content with their peers. Most parents believed that the appropriate time for having a conversation about pornographic content with adolescents was after exposure. Though many parents were open to having a conversation about pornographic content with their adolescent children, the parents often believed that they were not adequately prepared for it. The findings highlight the importance of preventive education about pornographic content for children, adolescents and their parents as well as the need to overcome the perception of sexuality and pornographic content as taboo topics.