London, Nov 14 : Although pornography is connected with sexual aggression over time, but researchers have found that porn use could not predict sexual aggression, as people reported with sexually aggressive tendencies were more likely to watch a lot of pornography.
The research, conducted by National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and Zagreb University in Croatia, also found that watching porn in isolation did not result in individuals acting in a sexually aggressive manner.
For the study, published in the journal Aggressive Behaviour, looked at the links between porn usage, sexual behaviour and the personality traits of 600 Croatian male high school students aged between 15 and 17-years-old, over a 20-month period.
"Taking into account the need to prevent sexual coercion among young people, and the significant association between pornography use and self-reported sexual aggressiveness at the age of 16-17 years, we suggest that school-based sexual violence prevention programmes should commence for that age group," said study lead author Kate Dawson from NUI Galway.
Adolescence is a key stage in sexual development, where beliefs about appropriate sexual behaviour is formed.
It is well documented that many harmful behaviours manifest during adolescence, with approximately half of sexual offenders reporting their first assault during this time.
During the study, researchers found that those who watched none or very little pornography were least likely to report that they had acted in a sexually aggressive way.
The research team also found that bullying and peer pressure consistently predicted sexual aggression, with people who reported bullying or delinquency in early adolescence being more likely to report sexual aggressiveness in later adolescence.
"Intervention efforts should also address the potential contributing role of violent pornography in the reinforcement of sexually aggressive behaviour, Dawson said.
"Similarly, our findings may inform recently proposed pornography literacy programmes, which provide tools for critical interpretation of sexually explicit imagery, but also to educate that a lack of consent is never acceptable," she added.