Pornography & Mental Health, Scottish Edition


How do multi-billion dollar internet companies make money if their products are free? What impact does the pornography-influenced culture have on our body image? On our levels of attainment? On our mental health? How can we cut back? What are good alternative activities to help us be successful?


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 to run training on the impact of Internet pornography on mental and physical health. This lesson is aimed at 15-18 year olds.

What impact does it have on mental health? On body image? On levels of attainment? And 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? This diversity friendly lesson does not show any pornography.

Pornography & Mental Health, Scottish 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.

Style of lesson

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, youth and community leaders, psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists and many parents. We have piloted the lessons in over a dozen schools across the UK.

Resources: Pornography & Mental Health, Scottish 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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