Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults


pornography, emerging adulthood, sexually explicit material, risk behaviors


This study examined correlates of pornography acceptance and use within a normative (nonclinical) population of emerging adults (individuals aged 18—26). Participants included 813 university students (500 women; M age = 20 years) recruited from six college sites across the United States. Participants completed online questionnaires regarding their acceptance and use of pornography, as well as their sexual values and activity, substance use, and family formation values. Results revealed that roughly two thirds (67% ) of young men and one half (49%) of young women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable, whereas nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) young men and nearly one third (31%) of young women reported using pornography. Results also revealed associations between pornography acceptance and use and emerging adults' risky sexual attitudes and behaviors, substance use patterns, and nonmarital cohabitation values. The discussion considers the implications of pornography use during the transition to adulthood.

Original Publication Citation

Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., Nelson, L. J., & Olson, C. D.*, Madsen, S., Barry, C., (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23, 6-30.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Adolescent Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor