Sarah J. Harsey, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Psychology program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research investigates the connections between the objectification of women, sexual violence, and sexual media. She has also published research on DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender), a tactic used by perpetrators of sexual violence to redirect blame and responsibility to victims.
Laura K. Noll, Ph.D., (email@example.com) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Director of the Interdisciplinary Health PhD program at Northern Arizona University. As a prevention scientist working at the intersection of translational neuroscience and developmental psychology, her program of research utilizes multi-modal assessment strategies to delineate the pathways by which parents’ own history of childhood adversity impacts parental function and responses to traumatic events in adulthood.
Melissa J. Miller, B.S., is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Health program at Northern Arizona University. She received her undergraduate degree in Health and Society and French Language and Literature from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her research interests include sexual victimization, vicarious traumatization through social media, and the impacts of climate change on parenting choices.
Ryan A. Shallcross is a senior undergraduate student in the Psychological Sciences program at Northern Arizona University. He is an undergraduate research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Laura Noll in the Translational Neuroscience Lab. Ryan's current research projects include the lived experiences of NICU mothers, attitudes and exposure toward Internet pornography, and experiences of sexual victimization.
Increases in the availability and accessibility of Internet pornography have led growing numbers of children to become consumers of sexually explicit media. Research has identified negative behavioral and attitudinal outcomes associated with Internet pornography use in childhood and adolescence, but few studies have examined sexual victimization as a correlate. The current study aimed to examine the association between age of first Internet pornography exposure and sexual victimization. Data from 154 undergraduate women yielded several important findings. Women who viewed Internet pornography unintentionally at a younger age reported more sexual victimization. Specifically, compared to women who were first unintentionally exposed to Internet pornography at age 14 or older, women with unintentional first Internet pornography exposure before the age of 14 reported more childhood sexual abuse, sexual abuse in adulthood, and more instances of sexual coercion and aggression. Women with younger age of unintentional Internet pornography exposure also reported more interpersonal sexual objectification than women who had never viewed Internet pornography at all. Age of first intentional exposure to Internet pornography was not related to women’s self-reported experiences of objectification, although this may be because women’s intentional exposure tended to happen at older ages. Overall, the results of this study suggest that women’s unintentional Internet pornography exposure at a young age may contribute to a potentially harmful sexual socialization. Early Internet pornography exposure in childhood should be considered a potential risk factor for women’s sexual victimization.
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Harsey, Sarah J.; Noll, Laura K.; Miller, Melissa J.; and Shallcross, Ryan A. (2021) "Women's Age of First Exposure to Internet Pornography Predicts Sexual Victimization," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 6: Iss. 5, Article 1. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2021.06.05.01
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