Exposure, affective responses and sexual arousal to sexually explicit materials

Donna Johnson, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore childhood, teenage and current exposure to pornography and how such exposure affects endorsement of antisocial beliefs as well as affective reactions and sexual arousal to sexually explicit materials. One hundred and thirty female and 75 male undergraduates completed questionnaires measuring previous exposure to pornography and acceptance of antisocial beliefs. Participants also provided affective evaluations and ratings of sexual arousal in response to 40 slides, 10 from each category (control, erotica, nonviolent pornography, violent pornography). Average age at first exposure to pornography was 11 for the sample, and 10 and 12 for men and women, respectively. Age at first exposure was positively correlated with childhood, teenage and current frequency of exposure. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that current exposure was predicted by gender, childhood exposure and teenage exposure. However, the interactions between gender and the age-related predictors were nonsignificant. A MANOVA revealed that participants first exposed to pornography as children reported significantly higher levels of sexual arousal to nonviolent and violent pornography than those who did not report childhood exposure. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that sexual arousal to nonviolent pornography was predicted by childhood, teenage and current exposure. Similarly, sexual arousal to violent pornography was predicted by childhood and teenage exposure. A MANOVA of affective evaluations of stimulus categories revealed significant effects for gender, stimulus category and the interaction. Post hoc analyses indicated that men evaluated control images more negatively and violent pornography more positively than women did. Also, men evaluated control and erotica more positively than violent pornography. Women rated control more positively than nonviolent and violent pornography and erotica more positively than violent pornography. Regarding sexual arousal, a MANOVA again indicated significant effects of gender, stimulus category and the interaction. Post hoc analyses indicated that men reported higher levels of arousal than women to nonviolent and violent pornography. Men also reported more arousal to the erotica and nonviolent pornography than to the control images, whereas women's reported levels of arousal did not differentiate among stimulus categories. These results suggest substantial relationships between childhood exposure to pornography and current sexual functioning. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Sociology, General|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Donna Johnson, "Exposure, affective responses and sexual arousal to sexually explicit materials" (1996). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9707386.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI9707386

Share

COinS