Generation P? Youth, Gender and Pornography

Generation P? Youth, Gender and Pornography

Generation P? Youth, Gender and Pornography

Generation P? Youth, Gender and Pornography

Synopsis

This book provides insight into the young generations relations and experiences with pornography. The book is based on a unique and comprehensive study giving voice to the words and opinions of the young people themselves. Never before have pornography and sexualised material been so readily available and pervasive in young people's everyday life. TV programmes, advertising, and the music industry exploit and play with pornographic codes and scenarios. The sex industry launches and promotes its products via youth channels and websites. How do young people navigate through this pornographic landscape? Does the omnipresence of pornography breed curiosity or resistance? How does pornography challenge the role of parents and teachers? The book provides answers to these questions and presents a unique body of new research on youth, gender and pornography. The study shows that the vast majority of young people in the Nordic countries have seen porn. But young people do not swallow the pornographic messages without resistance, and some are very critical of or actively opposed to them. It is very seldom that the voices of young people are heard in the public debate on pornography. In the book focus is set on the voices, definitions and experiences with pornography of young people themselves. The book contains contributions from leading researchers from different academic fields: sociology, psychology, media research, social work and public health.

Excerpt

Pornography is a familiar phenomenon to most young people in the Nordic countries. The vast majority have seen porn and many use it actively. An internetbased questionnaire administered to Danish, Norwegian and Finno-Swedish youth in the autumn 2005 shows that 92% of the respondents had seen porn at least once (see Kjørholt’s & Sørensen’s chapter). These results coincide with other recent research findings in the Nordic countries (Hammarén & Johansson 2002, Svedin & Priebe 2004, Häggström-Nordin et al. 2005a, 2005b, Hald 2006). The majority of the respondents of the Nordic questionnaire say that they had viewed pornography by the age of 12–14. Also, they report experiences with a wide variety of pornography, although it is the conventional hardcore genres that stand out as the most common. Compared to earlier studies on the use of pornography, for example from the mid 1990’s, these results imply an increase in young people’s experiences and use of pornography (Månsson 2000).

Hard core pornography has been freely available in the Nordic countries for a long time. In 1967, Denmark became the first nation in the world to legalise unlimited production of pornography. The other Nordic countries have followed suit and removed the general provision on pornography from the penal code. However, since pornography became freely available, it has changed considerably in its content and dissemination. There are many ways to describe this change. One is to say that the boundaries have been stretched. Many of the images that appear in mainstream media today – images depicting nakedness or explicit sexual activity and situations – would have been defined as pornography some twenty to thirty years ago. Conversely, much of what was then regarded as ‘indecent’ would most likely not be considered as such by the majority of people today. The portrayals of sex and nakedness in films and books that . . .

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