Supporting young people to think critically about pornography

These resources are designed to support practitioners to take an evidence-based approach to talking about pornography in their work with young people.

Pornography is a sensitive and challenging topic, but young people’s high level of exposure and access to pornography, as well as its impacts on young people, make it an important issue to address.


These resources aim to:

  • increase practitioner knowledge of the nature of pornography and its impacts on young people, including how pornography can reinforce the attitudes and beliefs that are known to drive violence against women
  • promote practitioners’ understanding of how best to address the issue with young people
  • build practitioner capacity to safely and effectively incorporate a focus on pornography into their work with and for young people.

What’s included?

These resources include:

Understanding the issues:
The evidence about young people, pornography and violence against women

Professional practice guidance:
Guiding principles, key aims and advice for managing challenges and ethical considerations practitioners may confront when incorporating a focus on pornography into their work with young people

Practical tools for engaging young people:
Key messages for young people, tips for starting the conversation, answers to frequently asked questions and activities to use with young people

Practical tools for engaging parents, carers and guardians:
Key messages for parents, hooks for engaging parents, advice on responding to parents’ frequently asked questions and common roadblocks and a series of tip sheets to share with parents.

    Using these resources

    These resources have been created for use by:

    • practitioners who work with young people in group or one-on-one settings, for example, youth workers, social workers, counsellors, healthcare professionals, and people working in violence prevention, health promotion and out-of-home care
    • practitioners who work with parents of young people
    • those working in management or policy roles in related areas.

    Some of the resources are suitable for use by anyone who would like to better understand pornography’s impact on young people and how it can be addressed.

    It is strongly recommended that practitioners familiarise themselves with the Understanding the issues and Professional practice guidance resources before reading or using the practical tools for engaging young people, parents and organisations.

    How these resources were developed

    These resources were developed by Director of It’s time we talked Maree Crabbe, on behalf of Our Watch.

     These resources are underpinned by evidence from Change the story: a shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia. Change the story brings together international and domestic research, and nationwide experience, on what works to prevent violence against women and their children. It shows us that violence against women begins with gender inequality, disrespect towards women and girls, and sexist attitudes. Change the story identifies young people’s exposure to pornography, including violent pornography, as a potential influence on their behaviours, attitudes and norms about gender, relationships, and violence against women.

    The resources are also underpinned by Our Watch’s background paper Pornography, young people and preventing violence against women, which brings together findings from the literature, and from Our Watch’s research with almost 2,000 15-20 year old young people from around Australia.

    To inform the development of these resources, Our Watch consulted with a range of professionals who work with young people about how best to support them to integrate discussions about pornography into their work.