What does it mean to be ‘porn literate’? Perspectives of young people, parents and teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand

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Taylor and Francis Group
CC BY 4.0
Porn literacy education is a pedagogical strategy responding to youth engagement with pornography through digital media. The approach is intended to increase young people's knowledge and awareness regarding the portrayal of sexuality in Internet pornography. However, what being 'porn literate' entails, and what a porn literacy education curricula should therefore include, is not a settled matter. Recognising the importance of end-user perspectives, 24 semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents, teachers and young people in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and analysed via critical, constructionist thematic analysis. Participants drew on a developmentalist discourse and a discourse of harm to construct porn literacy education as a way to inoculate young people against harmful effects, distortions of reality, and unhealthy messages. In addition to this dominant construction of porn literacy education, we identified talk that to some extent resisted these dominant discourses. Building on these instances of resistance, and asset-based constructions of youth based on their agency and capability, we point to an ethical sexual citizenship pedagogy as an alternative approach to porn literacy education.
sexuality education, sex education, pornography, porn literacy, youth, parents, teachers, New Zealand
Culture, Health and Sexuality, 2023, Online First