The aims were to gain a deeper understanding of how personnel, who work with adolescents, reason about the effect of pornography and its spread in the media, and to explore how well prepared they consider themselves to be in addressing sexual health and gender equality.
An inductive, exploratory, qualitative study with focus group discussions was selected. Seventeen participants with different professions were invited into five heterogeneous groups.
Data were analyzed according to grounded theory.
Conflicting messages about sexuality became the core category. Participants were of the opinion that pornography conveyed a contradictory message compared with national public health goals, societal laws, and regulations. They believed that young people use pornography as a source of information and stimulation. Furthermore, they thought that pornography contributed to norm-creating ideals and a demanding sexuality, thus, confirming the traditional gender order. The participants opined that a professional approach was required when addressing sexuality and gender equality issues and requested better training tools and more cultural competence.
Professionals working with adolescents perceived that pornography conveys a conflicting message about sexuality. They expressed a need for adequate tools for improving education on health and sexuality, including gender equality aspects and critical media analysis.