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J Sex Res. 2013;50(1):60-71. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.628132. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

U.S. males and pornography, 1973-2010: consumption, predictors, correlates.

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Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Although both storied and extensive, social scientific research on the effects of pornography consumption on males has primarily focused on testing the feminist contention that pornography contributes to sexual aggression against females. Other parties have expressed concern about males' use of pornography, however. "Moralists" (Linz & Malamuth, 1993 ) have argued that pornography promotes a permissive approach to sexual relations. Public health researchers have hypothesized that pornography encourages epidemiologically risky sexual behavior. This study used cross-sectional General Social Survey data gathered between 1973 and 2010 to assess these claims for empirical support. In line with moralists' contentions, pornography consumption was associated with having more positive attitudes toward teenage sex, adult premarital sex, and extramarital sex. Pornography consumption was also positively related to actually engaging in extramarital sex. In line with public health researchers' concerns, pornography consumption was associated with having more sexual partners and engaging in paid sex behavior. Additional longitudinal and experimental research is needed to determine the directionality of these associations and to rule out possible third-variable confounds, such as erotophilia or hypersexuality. Regarding consumption, the percentage of adult U.S. males who consume pornography appears to have increased only slightly over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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