Marleen Klaassen

Marleen Katayama-Klaassen

Teacher Creative Business
Lecturer and coordinator of mainly research courses, graduation coordinator, and lecturer in the Media Psychology minor. At CB since 2017. Obtained her PhD in 2020 with a doctoral thesis in the media psychology field of communication science.


Marleen obtained her Bachelor Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam in 2009. With a strong interest in research and teaching, she started working parttime as a research assistant and lecturer shortly after completing this program. In addition, she was a member of the Study Program Committee from 2007 to 2011. She completed the 2-year Research Master Communication Science at the same university by 2011. During these years, Marleen not only gained a broad and deep understanding of communication science, including youth and media (main specialization), persuasive communication, and political communication, but also gained fundamental research and education knowledge and skills. She is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, such as survey, interviews, focus groups, and content analysis, and analysis techniques, such as descriptive and inferential statistics (e.g., SPSS), structural equation modelling (e.g., Amos, LISREL), and inductive coding (e.g., Atlas.ti).

As a Communication Science lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, Marleen taught communication theory, youth and media entertainment, and academic and research skills. For Communication Science at VU Amsterdam, she supervised BA and MA thesis groups on various media psychology topics. At Tilburg University, she taught and coordinated a course on Social Consequences of the Internet.

Since early 2017, Marleen can be found at Creative Business. Here, she uses her research knowledge and skills as a lecturer and coordinator of various research courses, and has, furthermore, taken on the role of graduation coordinator. In line with her expertise in media psychology, she developed and teaches the Psychological Effects of the Media module within the Media Psychology minor that CB offers.

Marleen obtained her PhD in early 2020, as she completed her research project at the University of Amsterdam. This research project focused on the content of sexual material on the internet and its impact on adolescents’ sexual attitudes. Based on the research findings and gained expertise, Marleen has appeared in various TV and radio shows, and news articles to discuss the topic of sex in the media and its effects on youth.

Fields of expertise

  • Research methods
  • Media psychology (media use and effects)
  • Graduation process

Research themes

Research focuses on understanding media content and media effects. In her research studies, Marleen analysed media content and investigated the effects of media on its audiences. Within media psychology, a sub-field of communication science, her research has mainly focused on the theme of sex in the media and adolescents.

Project title Understanding Internet pornography's content and its relation to adolescents' sexual attitudes
Keywords Media psychology, media effects, internet pornography, adolescents, content analysis, longitudinal survey
Years of completion 2020
General project description The Internet has allowed pornography to become more easily accessible, more anonymous, and more affordable than ever before. With many adolescents using this material, concerns about the impact of Internet pornography have intensified. These concerns have become part of the worldwide pornography debate, which centers on discussions of gender inequality or equality and the connection or disconnection between sex and love. In response, researchers have attempted to investigate possible effects of Internet pornography, notably on young people. However, several aspects remain understudied: the content of Internet pornography and differences in its types, and the underlying mechanisms and individual differences in how Internet pornography relates to users’ sexual attitudes. This has left some fundamental questions unanswered. To what extent and how does contemporary Internet pornography actually depict gender inequality and sex without love? Through which processes might the use of this Internet pornography influence adolescents’ sexual attitudes concerning gender inequality and sex without love? Which adolescents are more susceptible to such effects of Internet pornography? This dissertation addresses these shortcomings through a systematic content analysis of 400 videos from popular pornographic websites and data from a longitudinal survey among Dutch adolescents between 13 and 17 years old. The findings provide new insights to help answer these questions and may help inform public concerns.
Your Role in project Primary researcher

Other recent projects

Presentations at conferences:

  • Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap – 2018 - Ghent, Belgium
  • International Communication Association – 2017 - San Diego, United States
  • International Communication Association – 2016 - Fukuoka, Japan
  • Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap – 2015 - Antwerp, Belgium
  • International Communication Association – 2014 - Seattle, United States
  • Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap – 2014 - Wageningen, The Netherlands

In the media:

Key publications

Scholarly publications

  • Klaassen, M. J. E. (2020). Understanding Internet pornography's content and its relation to adolescents' sexual attitudes. UvA-DARE.
  • Klaassen, M. J. E., & Peter, J. (2015). Gender (in)equality in internet pornography: A content analysis of popular pornographic internet videos. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(7), 721-735.


  • PhD Communication Science, University of Amsterdam (2020)
  • Research Master Communication Science (cum laude), University of Amsterdam (2011)
  • Bachelor Communication Science (with honours), University of Amsterdam (2009)