Pornography & Mental Health, American Edition


What impact does our pornography-influenced culture have on mental health? Adolescent body image? Levels of attainment?  Relationships? How can we cut back? What are good alternative activities to help us be successful?


Pornography & Mental Health, American Edition is aimed at 15-18 year olds. Internet pornography is increasingly being recognised by experts as a contributory factor in mental health problems among young people today. “Of all activities on the internet, porn has the most potential to become addictive” says Dutch neuroscientists (Meerkerk et al. 2006). The Reward Foundation is accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners (family doctors) to run training on the impact of Internet pornography on mental and physical health. One of the lead authors of these lessons was a board member of the (American) Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health from 2016-2019.

What impact does pornography have on mental health? On body image? On levels of attainment? On relationships? What are the signs and symptoms of overuse? How can a user cut back? What are good alternative activities to help a user be successful? No pornography is shown in these lessons.

Pornography & Mental Health, American Edition is the last of our three lessons on Internet Pornography. You can teach it as a stand-alone lesson or after Pornography on Trial and Love, Pornography and Relationships. All lessons are available together in a bundle or as part of a superbundle with lessons on sexting.

This fully resourced lesson runs as a teacher-led class using the slides. There are a number of opportunities for discussion in pairs, small groups and for feedback as a class. The Teacher’s Guide provides you with all the information you need to deliver the lesson and enable you to speak confidently about the subjects raised by the issue of pornography. There are links to research papers where appropriate.

The Reward Foundation has worked with a range of experts including more than 20 teachers, lawyers, youth and community leaders, psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists and many parents. We have piloted the lessons in schools across the UK.

Resources: Pornography & Mental Health, American Edition has a 16-slide PowerPoint (.pptx) and an 18-page Teacher’s Guide (.pdf). There are hot links to relevant research and further resources.

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