Age of Onset of Pornography Use / Exposure


     I noticed that someone made a post on Reddit asking people what their age of first use or explore to pornography was.  This is noteworthy in a subreddit like r/PornAddiction because people are usually there to kick the habit.

     The scientist in me went back to the post later to see what people had given as their first use or exposure.  And I counted up the figures: 39 people replied with a number that is statistically useful.  So I thought, why not run the numbers and see what happens?


    So I ran the numbers.  The data totalled 39 participants, total number 375, divided by 39, which leads to 9.6 as the average age of first exposure to pornography.


    I would be amiss to not discuss the limits of such statistical analysis.

    The first limit is that of self-reported surveys.  It's possible that people are remembering wrong, or indeed could have blanked out earlier traumatic exposure to pornography.  So we cann't be 100% sure they are remembering perfectly.

    Second, it's the internet.  While it's highly unlikely that people's replies were tampered with, it's still not 100% certain that didn't happen.

    Third, it was not an official scientific survey, so people could have potentially misunderstood the instructions.

    Fourth, there is no directionality or causation implied here.  Further studies would need to differentiate between accidental exposures, intentional exposures, and exposures as the result of child hood sexual abuse.


    There is a growing concern about the potential effects of exposure to pornography under the age of 18.  Psychology is still studying the potential effects and correlations between early exposure to pornography and the results.  This study exists to explain to parents why they should monitor their devices to ensure their kids are not being exposed to any inappropriate material.