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Sexual Health Week 2019


"Let’s Talk About Sex – Pornography"


The annual Dumfries and Galloway Sexual Health Awareness Week aims to get people talking about Sexual Health and Wellbeing, with a particular focus each year on an emerging theme or issue for partner organisations and the wider public.

Following on from last year’s successful Sexual Health Week, the theme of Pornography will be continued in 2019 with this year’s campaign aiming to widen awareness of the effects of pornography on relationships and wellbeing. Seven key themes (one for each day of the campaign) are identified and links to further reading included for those who wish to find out more.

A FREE drama production ‘The Coolidge Effect’ on Monday 21st January 2019, 10.30am – 12.30 pm, at Lockerbie Town Hall will bring together a blend of storytelling, poetry and science to tackle the taboo around pornography. Email: to book your place.

Please also look out for our new animation ‘Talking about porn’ which has been developed in partnership between Sexual Health D&G, DG Health and Wellbeing, D&G Public Protection partnership, Annandale & Eskdale SHAP, LGBT Plus, LGBT Youth Scotland, South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre and Dumfries YMCA.

Please share this information, along with the other resources available on our website, with your colleagues and service users to continue to create discussion around the effects of pornography.

Porn Hub

Porn hub, launched in Canada in 2007, is the largest free pornographic video sharing website. It’s yearly analysis which in 2017 reported 28.5 billion visits to the site, an increase of 5.5 billion from 2016. And that’s 3.75 visits per person currently living on earth. This equates to 81 million visits per day, 50,000 searches per minute and 800 visits per second. Read more: pornhub reports most viewed porn

Online Porn

Thanks to the internet, online pornography has never been so freely available. The online porn sector is believed to be worth around $97 billion. Recent research indicates that that the most common reasons for engaging in online sexual behaviors include sexual pleasure, sexual satisfaction and arousal. Other reasons cited include a desire to alleviate stress or boredom, and wishing to forget daily problems. Read more: the reasons someone looks at porn.

UK plans to block online Porn

Since 2015 the UK government has been trying to impose restrictions on access to pornography. The changes are being introduced under the Digital Economy Act 2017, which states that commercial providers of porn should have age checks on their websites to stop children from seeing explicit images and videos. This means that every user to a pornographic website will have to prove they are over 18. The law was due to come into force in April 2018 but deploying technology to check people's age across thousands of websites has proven too great a challenge. It is expected age checks will start to appear online in early 2019. Read more: uk age verification law.

Porn & Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to get or keep an erection, is increasing in sexually active men aged under 40. A growing number of studies suggest that Internet pornography is in part to blame for this rise with a correlation between pornography and ED evident. Now, researchers have identified new issues pornography induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) and pornography induced low libido. Read more: science behind porn induced ED.

Designer vaginas/vulvas

Labiaplasty is a procedure which reduces the length of the inner folds and occasionally the outer folds of skin of the Vulva. In 2016, the number of labiaplasties performed by cosmetic surgeons increased by 45%. In 2015-16, more than 200 girls under 18 had labiaplasty on the NHS. More than 150 of the girls were under 15. Some experts fear that pornography and images viewed through social media are leading young girls to have unrealistic perceptions of how their genitals should look. Read more: understand normal vulva appearance.

Revenge Porn

Less than half of so-called revenge porn cases reported to the Police have been passed to prosecutors for further action, BBC Scotland has learned. Between July and December 2017, 225 complaints were reported to Police Scotland with just 89 (39%) being referred to prosecutors. Most victims were in their 20’s but 1/3rd were teenagers. The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act, which made it an offence to disclose or threaten to disclose intimate images or video without consent, came into force in summer 2017. Read more: revenge porn

Young People & Porn

It seems more young people, not only young men, are regularly viewing pornography, particularly on the internet and via mobile phones. This is potentially having a negative impact on their sexual identity, expectations, attitudes and behaviours. Studies have shown that when children and young people are exposed to sexually explicit material, they are at greater risk of developing:

53% of boys and 39% of girls who had seen online pornography said they thought it was realistic.
More information: online porn

Latest Research: impact of online pornography

A wide range of further information and research can be found at: