Does Pornography Misinform Consumers? The Association between Pornography Use and Porn-Congruent Sexual Health Beliefs

Miller, Dan J., and Stubbings-Laverty, Rory (2022) Does Pornography Misinform Consumers? The Association between Pornography Use and Porn-Congruent Sexual Health Beliefs. Sexes, 3 (4). pp. 578-592.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (290kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Pornography may contribute to sexual health illiteracy due to its often fantastical and unrealistic depictions of sex. This cross-sectional study investigated whether pornography use was associated with holding porn-congruent sexual health beliefs among a sample of 276 Australian and Singaporean university students (Mage = 23.03, SDage = 7.06, 67.9% female, 47.8% Australian). The majority of participants (95.5% of males and 58.9% of females) reported viewing pornography in the past six months. Perceived realism of pornography and prior sexual experience were tested as potential moderators of the relationship between pornography use frequency and sexual health beliefs. Pornography use frequency showed no zero-order association with sexual health beliefs in the overall sample (although a significant zero-order association was observed among female participants). However, a significant positive association between porn use and porn-congruent sexual health beliefs was found in the overall sample, after controlling for demographic variables. Neither perceived realism nor sexual experience were found to act as moderators. Interestingly, prior sexual experience showed a significant zero-order association with sexual health beliefs, such that prior sexual experience was associated with holding porn-congruent beliefs. Perceived realism was unrelated to porn-congruent sexual health beliefs. The study provides some preliminary support for pornography having a misinformation effect on the sexual health knowledge of consumers.

Item ID: 76880
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2411-5118
Keywords: pornography; perceived realism; media realism; beliefs; sexual health; sexual scripts
Copyright Information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Additional Information:

Part of Special Issue: Exclusive Papers Collection of the Editorial Board of Sexes

Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2022 00:17
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 74
Last 12 Months: 22
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page