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The ease of access to pornographic materials that the Internet has made possible is particularly provocative. Barak et al. (1999) found that the only correlate to men’s use of sexually explicit Internet sites was their past experience with sexually explicit media, so ease of access may be very effective in encouraging greater use, both in terms of frequency and numbers of users. Furthermore, Mitchell, Finkelhor & Wolak (2003) found that 25 percent of youth ages 10 to 17 had experienced unwanted and unintentional exposure to pornographic material online. Although they identified some risk factors associated with unwanted exposure, a full 45% of their sample members had no risk factors. Thus, the Internet medium has created a hitherto unseen problem, as pornography formerly had to be sought out for use.
It is hazardous to predict the future, unless one elects the safe course and predicts more of the same. In that vein, we hope to see a continuation of several recent trends. First, we hope to see more research involving both quantitative and qualitative methods. This combination holds the promise of illuminating the broad picture with generalizable results, and capturing the detailed experience of the phenomenon being studied. Second, we hope to see a greater proportion of the published research relying on representative instead of convenience and volunteer samples. In particular, researchers need to abandon their reliance on readily available samples of college students. Technological developments and the availability of detailed census and other geographical data make it possible to locate concentrations of people by age, race, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation in order to conduct research on representative samples of relevant groups. Third, we hope to see greater integration of theory and research. This may