Emily F. Rothman

In A Nutshell

Emily F. Rothman has developed a non-judgmental, science-based curriculum that provides teens with the tools needed to understand how pornography influences their understanding of sex, sexual consent, intimacy, and dating behavior. 

About Emily

Boston University professor Emily F. Rothman is a leading public health scholar on sexually explicit media and its impact on adolescent dating relationships. She has conducted multiple research studies with teenage participants to identify what they view, when, why, and how it may affect them. She also co-designed and co-taught the first course on pornography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and partnered with the Boston Public Health Commission to create a “pornography literacy curriculum” for teenagers. Emily has led several federally-funded research projects sponsored by the NIH, the National Institute of Justice, and various foundations in an effort to help identify causes and consequences of adolescent dating aggression, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She also founded and served as Chair of the Violence and Trauma special interest group at the Society for Behavioral Medicine, authored a report on batterer intervention programs for the World Health Organization, and is an appointed member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Learn More

Emily on the TEDMED Blog


A Pornography Literacy Class for Youth: Results of a Feasibility and Efficacy Pilot Study.” American Journal of Sexuality Education. 2018. 

What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.” The New York Times. 2018.

'Sex Invades the Schoolhouse.'” The Atlantic. 2018.

How to talk to kids and teens about porn.” Mashable. 2019. 


Porn as a Public Health Crisis.” Ohio Public Radio, All Sides with Ann Fisher. 2019.

"Let's Talk About Porn." Wisconsin Public Radio, The Morning Show. 2019.

What Porn is Teaching Teens About Sex.” Wisconsin Public Radio, Central Time. 2018. 

"What Teenagers are Learning From Online Porn." NPR, Radio West. 2018.

"Porn and the Teenage Brain." NPR, 1A. 2018.


What is pornography doing to our sex lives? The Atlantic Crazy/Genius podcast. 2019.

Porn Ed - The Science of Sex.” Drzhana Podcast. 2018.

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Pornography Literacy Scientist