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Direct and mediating effects of accessing sexually explicit online materials on Hong Kong adolescents' attitude, knowledge, and behavior relating to sex

Author

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  • To, Siu-ming
  • Ngai, Steven Sek-yum
  • Iu Kan, Siu-mee

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of accessing sexually explicit online materials (SEOM) on Hong Kong adolescents' attitude, knowledge, and behavior relating to sex. Challenging the assumption of a direct relationship between the frequency of accessing SEOM and its influence on adolescent sexuality, the basic premise of the study is that exposure to SEOM elicits adolescents' intrapersonal reactions with mediating effects on their sexual development. To test this, the study employed a survey design with data based on a sample of 503 adolescents in Hong Kong. Analyses of covariance and mediation were conducted to test the hypotheses derived from the conceptual framework. The results indicated that adolescents' frequency of accessing and reactions to SEOM were positively linked to their acceptance of stereotyped gender roles and power imbalance in sexual relationships, permissiveness of premarital sex, sexual compulsion, and sexual daydreaming. Furthermore, the results supported the premise of the study that adolescents' reactions to SEOM mediate and amplify the effects of the frequency of accessing SEOM. The study provides a frame of reference for youth workers generating an in-depth analysis of adolescents' experience of SEOM exposure, thus broadening the conceptualization of the needs and problems faced by adolescents while expanding potential areas of intervention, prevention, and education.

Suggested Citation

  • To, Siu-ming & Ngai, Steven Sek-yum & Iu Kan, Siu-mee, 2012. "Direct and mediating effects of accessing sexually explicit online materials on Hong Kong adolescents' attitude, knowledge, and behavior relating to sex," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2156-2163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:11:p:2156-2163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.07.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Székely, Levente & Nagy, Ádám, 2011. "Online youth work and eYouth — A guide to the world of the digital natives," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2186-2197.
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