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Pornography: What teens should know

It’s perfectly normal to be curious about sex. This is what leads some people to look at or watch pornography. Pornography is any printed or visual material that shows explicit images or descriptions of sexual organs or practices. One report indicated that as many as 60% of teens have looked at porn to learn more about sex. The problem is pornography is far from an accurate depiction of sex – it’s just a fantasy. Keep reading to learn more about how watching pornography can affect you and your relationships and how to learn more about sex in a healthy way.
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The problem with pornography

The problem with pornography is that it is not realistic and can lead to inaccurate ideas of what sex is really like. It’s a production or show designed to draw you in. Most people who are shown in pornography are paid actors.

In addition, many people in the pornography industry have had either enhancements done to their bodies (like plastic surgery) or have been photoshopped, making things look exaggerated compared to the average person. Watching or looking at porn can cause you to have a poor body image if you feel like you don’t measure up or fit that image.

It can also lead to unhealthy relationships. In heterosexual porn (between members of the opposite sex), women are often portrayed as objects for male satisfaction. Often, they may be shown in non-consenting roles. Consent is extremely important in all sexual relationships. And pornography focuses on sex, not the other essential aspects of a relationship, like respect and trust.

Healthy ways to learn about sex

Here are some healthier ways to learn about sex:

  • Talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent, guardian, health care provider, . It’s good to ask questions – that’s how you learn.
  • Find a book or online resource, such as Centerstone, Sex, Etc. or AMAZE.

Need more info? Ask an Expert.


For more information about staying in charge of your health and future, visit:

Healthy Teen Network
Sex, Etc.

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