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Swedish girls' adult-video habits surprise scientists

Published: 07 Apr 2014 14:58 GMT+02:00

"Although a greater proportion of teenage boys than girls watch and fantasize about sex they have seen in pornography, there are no differences between the sexes when it comes to what types of sex they fantasize about," Uppsala University researchers said in a statement.

The researchers published their findings on Swedish teenagers' sexual behaviour in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics on Monday. The study was based on more than 800 Swedish upper-secondary school students' answers to a questionnaire. The average age was 16.

Almost all of the boys had watched porn, while more than half of the girls had. One in ten of the boys watched pornography daily.

The majority of survey respondents who said they watched adult videos, regardless of whether they were male or female, said their consumption influenced their own sexual behaviour.

The lead scientist, Magdalena Mattebo at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, said it was "unexpected" that there was no difference between girls and boys when it came to fantasizing about sexual acts.

"And that an equal proportion of girls and boys said that pornography influences their sexual behaviour," said Mattebo, who admitted that she and her colleagues thought there would be more differences.

"It's consuming (adult content) in itself, not if you're a boy or a girl, that shows up in how you answers certain questions," she told The Local. "There hasn't been much research on girls and pornography, apart from findings that they consume less than boys do."

To look at how the teenagers responded to adult content, the researchers looked specifically at the one third of teen girls and 90 percent of teen boys who said they watched pornography "regularly", although that did not account for how often.

"Every tenth girl in the consumption group stated that they watch pornography less than they would like to," Mattebo said.

The researchers found that in general, the surveyed teenagers were more accepting of boys with many sex partners than of girls who had had sex with several partners.

"Based on traditional stereotyped gender roles it was not surprising," the researchers noted.

But, the more experience a teenager had, the more accepting he or she was of both genders' interest in sex.

"Among the most sexually experienced adolescents, there was a perception that girls and boys are equally interested in sex, which is a positive finding from the perspective of gender equality," said Mattebo. 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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