DataPDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Using a probability-based sample of young Danish adults and a randomized experimental design, this study investigated effects of past pornography consumption, experimental exposure to nonviolent pornography, perceived realism of pornography, and personality (i.e., agreeableness) on sexist attitudes (i.e., attitudes toward women, hostile and benevolent sexism). Further, sexual arousal mediation was assessed. Results showed that, among men, an increased past pornography consumption was significantly associated with less egalitarian attitudes toward women and more hostile sexism. Further, lower agreeableness was found to significantly predict higher sexist attitudes. Significant effects of experimental exposure to pornography were found for hostile sexism among low in agreeableness participants and for benevolent sexism among women. These experimental exposure effects were found to be mediated by sexual arousal. In the controversy about effects of pornography, attitudes have long held a central role, with concerns about exposure to such materials increasing sexist and related attitudes. Given consistent cross-cultural findings of high prevalence rates of pornog-raphy consumption among the general population (Hald, Seaman & Linz, 2012), investigating the extent to which pornography consumption may adversely affect sexist attitudes is highly important in order to qualify the debate on effects of pornog-raphy and efforts being made to effectively reduce such or related attitudes. This study was specifically designed to investigate effects of exposure to pornography on sexism as it is present in current society (see also Glick & Fiske, 1996) and elucidate some of the mechanisms by which pornography may influence some individuals, thereby rectifying important shortcomings of available research in the area. In this introduction, we begin by presenting a definition of sexism and reviewing core relevant research on effects of pornography on sexist attitudes (for a more
Content may be subject to copyright.
Journal of Communication ISSN 0021-9916
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes Among
Heterosexuals
Gert Martin Hald1,2, Neil N. Malamuth3, & Theis Lange4
1 Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Clinic of Sexology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
4 Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Using a probability-based sample of young Danish adults and a randomized experimental
design, this study investigated effects of past pornography consumption, experimental
exposure to nonviolent pornography, perceived realism of pornography, and personality
(i.e., agreeableness) on sexist attitudes (i.e., attitudes toward women, hostile and benevolent
sexism). Further, sexual arousal mediation was assessed. Results showed that, among men,
an increased past pornography consumption was significantly associated with less egalitarian
attitudes toward women and more hostile sexism. Further, lower agreeableness was found
to significantly predict higher sexist attitudes. Significant effects of experimental exposure
to pornography were found for hostile sexism among low in agreeableness participants and
for benevolent sexism among women. These experimental exposure effects were found to be
mediated by sexual arousal.
doi:10.1111/jcom.12037
In the controversy about effects of pornography, attitudes have long held a central
role, with concerns about exposure to such materials increasing sexist and related
attitudes. Given consistent cross-cultural findings of high prevalence rates of pornog-
raphy consumption among the general population (Hald, Seaman & Linz, 2012),
investigating the extent to which pornography consumption may adversely affect
sexist attitudes is highly important in order to qualify the debate on effects of pornog-
raphy and efforts being made to effectively reduce such or related attitudes. This
study was specifically designed to investigate effects of exposure to pornography on
sexism as it is present in current society (see also Glick & Fiske, 1996) and elucidate
some of the mechanisms by which pornography may influence some individuals,
thereby rectifying important shortcomings of available research in the area.
In this introduction, we begin by presenting a definition of sexism and reviewing
core relevant research on effects of pornography on sexist attitudes (for a more
Corresponding author: Gert Martin Hald; E-mail: gertmartinhald@gmail.com
638 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
extensive integrative summary see also Hald et al., 2013). We then explicate the
general theoretical framework of the study, study moderators, and mediator, and
provide a rationale for our choice of exposure materials, study sample, and outcome
measures of sexist attitudes.
Defining sexism
Traditionally, sexism has been conceptualized as a reflection of some form of nega-
tive attitudes toward women (or men), including hostility, negative prejudices, and
stereotypes (Allport, 1954; Glick & Fiske, 1996). However, more recently, extensive
cross-cultural research has shown that sexism may also include a benevolent side
(Glick et al., 2000), described by Glick & Fiske (1996, p. 491) as ‘‘a set of interrelated
attitudes toward women that are sexist in terms of viewing women stereotypically and
in restricted roles but participatively positive in feeling tone (for the perceiver) and
also tend to elicit behaviors typically categorized as pro-social (e.g. helping) or inti-
macy seeking (e.g. self-disclosure).’’ Thus, the underpinnings of benevolent sexism are
gender stereotypes and masculine dominance, even if the attitudes and behaviors asso-
ciated with benevolent sexism present a positive, considered, and helpful orientation
(e.g., the man as the provider and protector and the female as his dependent) (Glick
& Fiske, 2001). Accordingly, in this article, sexism refers both to the more traditional
understanding of the term as well as to ‘‘benevolent sexism’’ as outlined above.
Sexist attitudes have been associated with a range of adverse effects, including
discrimination against women, gender rigidity, hostility, and anger toward women
(Carr & VanDeusen, 2004; Chapleau, Oswald, & Russell, 2007), the belief that women
engage in token resistance to sex (i.e., say ‘‘no’’ when actually intending to have
sex) (Edwards, Turchik, Dardis, Reynolds, & Gidycz, 2011), greater self-reported
likelihood of using violence in relationships with women (Demare, Lips, & Briere,
1993), acceptance of rape myths (Chapleau et al., 2007), and the commission of real-
life sexual aggression including rape (Brown & L’Engle, 2009; Check & Malamuth,
1983; Kjellgren, Priebe, Svedin, & Langstrom, 2010). Thus, investigations into the
etiology of sexual attitudes remain highly important.
Previous research on pornography and sexist attitudes
Cross-culturally, research shows that pornography is easily accessible and widely
used, particularly by youth and young adults (see also Hald, Kuyper, Adam, & De
Wit, 2013; Luder et al., 2011; Peter & Valkenburg, 2006; Wright, 2011). Research on
the association between pornography exposure and sexist attitudes is somewhat more
equivocal. On the one hand, a number of previous survey and experimental studies
fail to demonstrate significant associations between pornography and sexism or find
only weak positive or even negative associations (Carr & VanDeusen, 2004; Demare
et al., 1993; Fisher & Grenier, 1994; McKee, 2007; Padgett, Brislin-Sl¨
utz & Neal, 1989).
On the other hand, more recent research including both prospective and longitudinal
studies with diverse samples indicates that exposure to sexually explicit Internet media
increases ‘‘notions of women as sex objects’’ (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009), the belief that
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 639
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
women engage in token resistance to sex (Edwards et al., 2011) is associated with sig-
nificantly stronger gender stereotypic attitudes and cognitions (Kjellgren et al., 2010),
and early exposure to sexually explicit media is predictive of less progressive gender
role attitudes, and, for males only, greater sexual harassment perpetration 2 years
later (Brown & L’Engle, 2009). However, these studies do not fully allow for casual
conclusions. For example, as pointed out recently by Guy, Patton, and Kaldor (2012),
it may be that individuals predisposed to earlier and more sexual engagement may
also be the ones to increasingly seek out sexual content. This underscores the need for
empirical studies both more directly enabling the assessment of causality and targeting
dispositional factors that might affect the exposure-attitudinal relationship studied.
Two major shortcomings relate to the majority of previous work in the area. First,
most studies included measures of sexism that do not adequately represent sexism
as it is manifested in current society and conceptualized in more recent theory (see
also Glick & Fiske, 1996). Second, most studies, by virtue of design and/or included
variables, do not have the ability to investigate relevant mediating mechanisms and
moderating effects of the pornography-sexist attitudinal relationship investigated
and thereby elucidate some of the mechanisms by which pornography may influence
certain individuals. This study was designed in part to rectify these two shortcomings.
General theoretical framework
The general theoretical framework that guides this study is based on social learning
theory (Bandura, 1986) and sexual script theory (Simon & Gagnon, 1986). Based on
social learning theory, pornography may be thought to influence attitudes and behav-
iors by creating role models, learning environments, and scenarios in which certain
sexual behaviors, gender stereotypes, sex roles, and attitudes are normalized, encour-
aged, and reinforced (Hald et al., 2012). Importantly, social learning theory proposes
a range of moderating and mediating mechanisms between the stimulus (herein
pornography) and the response (herein sexist attitudes) (see also Bandura, 1986).
Sexual script theory has only recently emerged as a theoretical perspective to guide
research and analyses of quantitative data pertaining to pornography. Sexual script
theory, as proposed by Gagnon and Simon (1973), has been conceptualized as an
organizing framework of sexuality relying on social constructionism and the principles
of social learning theory. According to Frith and Kitzinger (2001), sexual scripts may
be understood as ‘‘culturally available messages that define what ‘counts’ as sex,
how to recognize sexual situations, and what to do in a sexual encounter’’ (p. 210).
Simon and Gagnon (1986) compare sexual scripts to scripts used by actors. In sexual
interactions, sexual scripts may serve as a guide and a manual for sexual behaviors.
Repeated exposure to pornography may influence the scripting process, the sexual
scripts, or the evaluation of sexual relations (Hald et al., 2012). The explicit imagery,
underlying messages, symbolic normative nature, and order of sexual behaviors as
portrayed in pornography may influence the affective, cognitive, and behavioral
aspects of sexuality, especially if these are not yet well rooted (Stulhofer, Busko,
& Landripet, 2010). As such, pornography through culturally mediated messages
640 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
and social learning processes may ‘‘write’’ itself into the sexual scripts influencing
perceptions of sexuality (e.g., what is sex), sexual situations (e.g., when is a situation
sexual), sexual behaviors (e.g., what to do when having sex), and evaluations of
sexual relations (e.g., what constitutes good sex). Such theorizing was the basis for
our first hypothesis that past pornography consumption will significantly predict
sexist attitudes (H1).
Studying moderators and mediators
In a number of reviews (e.g., Kingston, Malamuth, Fedoroff, & Marshall, 2009) and
research papers (e.g., Peter & Valkenburg, 2009, 2010) investigators have emphasized
the importance of considering individual differences as moderators and mediators
of the relationship between pornography and attitudes. Consequently, a goal of this
research was to study the potentially moderating effects of personality (agreeableness)
and perceived realism of pornography and the mediating effect of sexual arousal on
the relationship between experimental exposure to pornography and sexist attitudes.
Individual differences moderation
Previous studies that have included individual differences in personality as moderators
of the relationship between pornography and dependent variables have used a wide
variety of personality or related measures (Williams, Cooper, Howell, Yuille, &
Paulhus, 2009). These have generally been used to assess aspects of antisocial
tendencies by measuring various ‘‘lower-order’’ personality or related characteristics
(e.g., Williams et al., 2009). Thus, a major shortcoming in previous research has been
the omission of including ‘‘higher-order’’ relevant personality dimensions that may
encompass these previously identified lower order personality characteristics under
one heading (Funder, 2007). In this study, we used the well validated five-factor
model (FFM) of personality (Funder, 2007; Costa & McCrae, 1992), and selected the
dimension of agreeableness to investigate moderating mechanisms of personality in
the relationship between experimental exposure to pornography and sexist attitudes.
Individuals relatively high in agreeableness tend to be compassionate, cooperative,
value social harmony, and believe that people are basically honest, decent, and
trustworthy. In contrast, individuals low in agreeableness tend to be antagonistic,
cold, hostile, suspicious, disagreeable, unfriendly, and place self-interest above getting
along with others.
The dimension of agreeableness was chosen because it entails the personality
traits most clearly relevant to an exploitative approach to sexuality, conflict in
relationships, and sexist or related attitudes (Malamuth, 2003; Voller, Long, &
Aosved, 2009). Moreover, previous research, as summarized by Jonason, Li, Webster,
& Schmitt (2009), shows that agreeableness is well correlated with characteristics
that have been frequently included as part of the lower order correlates of sexual
aggression, for example, psychopathy and narcissism. Further, low agreeableness has
been shown to be predictive of men’s perception of women’s sexual exploitability
(Lewis, Easton, Goetz, & Buss, 2012). Based on these previous study findings, we
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 641
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
hypothesize that: Agreeableness will significantly predict sexist attitudes with lower in
agreeableness participants holding higher levels of sexist attitudes (H2). Further, that
the interaction between experimental exposure to pornography and agreeableness will
significantly predict sexist attitudes over and above agreeableness, past pornography
consumption, perceived realism of pornography, and exposure condition. Only
individuals low in agreeableness will evidence increased sexist attitudes as a function
of exposure to pornography (H3).
Perceived realism, that is, the extent to which the consumer perceives the
pornographic content as realistic (see also Peter & Valkenburg, 2010; Stulhofer,
Busko, & Schmidt, 2012), has been found to be significantly positively correlated
with pornography consumption (Hald, 2007), a mediator of the impact of internet
pornography consumption on adolescents’ instrumental attitudes toward sex (Peter
& Valkenburg, 2010), and a predictor of relationship intimacy (Stulhofer et al., 2012).
Based on this research we expect that perceived realism of pornography might predict
sexist attitudes and/or moderate experimental effects of exposure to pornography
on sexist attitudes. However, due to research on perceived realism being very sparse
we refrain from making a priori hypotheses related to this variable and remain
explorative in our research approach concerning this variable.
Sexual arousal mediation
While social learning theory and sexual script theory may be used to hypothesize
repeated exposure effects of pornography, the idea that a one-time experimental
exposure to pornography may activate certain kinds of attitudes is consistent with
the media literature on affective engagement (Clore & Schnall, 2005; Ward, 2002)
and priming effects (Hansen & Krygowski, 1994; Roskos-Ewoldson et al., 2009). In
this literature, affective activation as a mediator of cognitive and attitudinal impacts
of stimuli, for example, pornography, is considered central. This is especially relevant
for pornography, because pornography is designed primarily to activate the affect
of sexual arousal and associated pleasurable responses; elements considered essential
for affective engagement and mediation.
While the initial primary effect of pornography exposure may be affective
in the form of sexual arousal, based on the Hierarchical Confluence Model of
Sexual Aggression (HCM) (Malamuth, 2003) it is hypothesized that such affective
engagement may activate or prime an ‘‘associative network’’ of sexist and related
attitudes. Thus, the Confluence Model contends that for a small subgroup of users,
scoring high on known risk factors of sexual aggression, pornography consumption
may add ‘‘fuel to the fire’’ and increase the risk of sexually aggressive attitudes
and behaviors by activation or priming of an ‘‘associative network’’ of emotions,
cognitions, and attitudes related to sexual aggression (Malamuth, Hald, & Koss,
2012). Although sexist attitudes and sexual aggression are not the same, we suggest
that the underlying rationale of the Confluence Model may also apply here so
that sexual arousal will mediate experimental effects of exposure to pornography
on sexual attitudes at least among the subgroup of users who possess relevant
642 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
associative networks. Thus, we hypothesize that sexual arousal will mediate significant
associations, if any, between experimental exposure to pornography and sexist
attitudes (H4).
Background on exposure material, study sample, and outcome measures
In this research we chose to make use of nonviolent pornography as opposed to other
types of pornography, for example, violent pornography, primarily for three reasons.
First, because nonviolent pornography is the type of pornography most frequently
produced and consumed (Hald et al., 2012). Second, because nonviolent pornogra-
phy may be the most suitable, while still representative, type of pornography available
for testing the ‘‘activation’’ or priming model without confounding the outcomes
assessed by our measures of sexist attitudes. In other words, using highly sexist,
hostile, degrading, violent pornography might have made it more difficult to assess if
effects of exposure on attitudes were due to a priming of sexist-related attitudes held
prior to the experiment or ‘‘residuals’’ of prosexist messages and attitudes violent
in nature directly presented in the exposure material. Third, because the few prior
investigations conducted involving pornography and sexual arousal used violent
pornography only (e.g., Davis, Norris, George, Martell, & Heiman, 2006). Thus,
investigations involving nonviolent pornography, sexual arousal, and sexist attitudes
or related measures are missing in this area of research. This is problematic because
meta-analyses show that attitudes related to the attitudes studied here correlate
significantly higher with use of sexually violent pornography than with nonviolent
pornography (see also Hald, Malamuth, & Yuen, 2010). Accordingly, results from
studies using violent pornography may not generalize to studies involving nonviolent
pornography.
Although much of the previous work on pornography and sexist attitudes has
predominantly used male samples, we find it important to also include female
samples. First, cross-culturally studies of pornography consumption rates show that
a sizable proportion of women use pornography, that is, 3086% (Hald et al., 2012).
Second, recent research suggests that greater sexist and related attitudinal adherence
may be especially problematic for women in areas related to sexuality, gender equality,
and gender roles (Edwards et al., 2011; Sanchez, Fetterolf, & Rudman, 2012).
To encompass both older and newer conceptualizations of sexism (see above),
two measures of sexist attitudes were chosen as dependent measures: an older, more
traditional measure, the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972;
Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973), and a newer, more contemporary measure, the
Ambivalent Sexist Inventory (Glick & Fiske, 1996).
Method
Participants
A stratified sample of young adults ages 1830 years was randomly selected among
all young adults living in the city of Aarhus (n=291,720), the second largest city in
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 643
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
Denmark. The sample was stratified according to gender (equal male/female ratio),
age (1830 years; equal age distribution), place of birth (Denmark), and citizenship
(Danish). A total of 200 participants, 100 men and 100 women, were included in
the final sample. The mean age of male participants was 24.64 years (SD =3.76).
The mean age of female participants was 24.39 (SD =3.72) (p>.05; independent
sample t-test).
Sociodemographic characteristics of the 200 participants were checked against
the general population of young adults aged 1830 living in Aarhus and in Denmark,
respectively, using Statistics Denmark. Participants included in the final sample were
found to be representative of young Danish adults, locally as well as nationally.
Procedure
A total of 350 randomly selected young adults were contacted once by ordinary
mail and invited to participate in an experiment related to sexuality and media
effects against compensation of DKK 250 (approx. US $40) or three bottles of wine.
Seventeen letters were returned to sender, address unknown. Among the remaining
333 participants (166 females; 167 males), a total of 229 returned a form of consent
(112 females; 117 males). Thus, the response rate was 67.9% for women and 70.1%
for men (Pearson’s χ2-test =.26; p>.05).
All potential participants were contacted by phone, and an appointment for
participation in the experiment was made. Exclusion criteria included bi- or
homosexuality, mental retardation, very poor sight, severe hearing problems, an
inhibitory sexual problem, conviction of a sexual crime, reporting of a sexual crime,
a diagnosis of mental illness, currently undergoing psychological or psychiatric
treatment, or currently under the legal care of a guardian. The exclusion criteria
were chosen because they complied with the ethical guidelines set forth by The
Scientific Ethical Committee of the County of Aarhus and because upon conclu-
sion of the current experiment, control group participants were invited to enter
into a different experiment examining sexual arousal to heterosexual pornogra-
phy. Nine women and 11 men were excluded on this basis. For logistical reasons,
only the first 100 eligible respondents of each gender were offered a place in the
experiment.
Following inclusion in the experiment, participants were sent a letter contain-
ing practical information, a brief nonspecific description of the experiment, and
background measures questionnaires which they completed prior to coming to the
experimental setting. Upon arrival, participants were (a) randomly assigned to either
a control group or an experimental group, (b) asked to sign a form of consent, (c)
paid compensation, (d) given standard information on how to operate the equip-
ment and complete the outcome questionnaires, (e) exposed to approx. 30 minutes
of pornographic video stimuli (experimental group) or emotionally neutral video
stimuli (control group), (f) given time to fill out the outcome measures, and (g)
debriefed. Participants were alone during the exposure and response phases, and
their answers guaranteed anonymity.
644 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
Measures & materials
Background measures
Danish personality item pool questionnaire (D-IPIP-Q). Agreeableness was measured
using relevant items from the original short version of the International Personality
Item Pool Scale (IPIP), the D-IPIP-Q. The validity and reliability of the IPIP scales
have been documented in numerous cross-cultural and international published
studies including studies using a Danish subject sample (Goldberg et al., 2006).
Pornography consumption questionnaire (PCQ). The PCQ is a 139-item questionnaire
measuring patterns of pornography consumption and associated factors (see also
Hald, 2006). In this study five items from the PCQ were used to measure past
pornography consumption (four items) and perceived realism of pornography (one
item), that is, the extent to which the consumer perceives the pornographic content
as realistic (see also Hald, 2006; Hald & Malamuth, 2008; Peter & Valkenburg,
2010; Stulhofer, Busko, & Schmidt, 2012). Following Hald (2006), four highly
correlated variables measuring past pornography consumption, that is, average
time of use per week, frequency of use, pornography consumption when having
sexual activity on one’s own, and exposure patterns of pornography within the
last 12 months, were combined, using factor analysis, into a single ‘‘past pornog-
raphy consumption’’ measure, yielding a better overall estimate of pornography
consumption.
Main outcome measures
Ambivalent sexism inventory (ASI). The ASI was employed to assess ‘‘benevolent
sexism’’ (BS, 11 items) and ‘‘hostile sexism’’ (HS, 11 items) (Glick & Fiske, 1996;
Glick et al., 2000; Glick & Fiske, 2001). The ASI contains 22 statements regard-
ing men and women and their relationship in modern society. Hostile sexism
is described as fitting Allport’s (1954) classic definition of prejudice, that is, an
antipathy based on a faulty and inflexible generalization of women. Benevolent
sexism is described as a set of interrelated attitudes toward women that view
women stereotypically and in restricted roles but are positive in feeling and tone
and tend to elicit prosocial behaviors (see also Introduction). Response to each
statement is given on a six-point Likert scale. For all scales, higher scores indi-
cate more sexist attitudes. Cronbach’s αfor the ASI total scale was 0.88 and
for the BS and HS subscales 0.81 and 0.87, respectively, indicating good internal
consistency.
Attitudes Toward Women Scale (ATWS). The Danish version of the ATWS consists
of 19 statements reduced from the original 25 statements due to psychometric
considerations. The ATWS measures the rights and roles of women in society
(Spence & Helmreich, 1972; Spence et al., 1973). Responses are given on a four-point
Likert scale. Lower scores indicate more sex-role traditionalism; higher scores denote
more sex-role egalitarianism. Cronbach’s αfor the 19 item ATWS was 0.60, which
indicates questionable internal consistency.
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 645
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
Manipulation measure
Sexual arousal scale (SASsix items). The SAS includes six statements each including
an adjective prompt for sexual arousal. The scale is adapted from Mosher, Barton-
Henry, and Green (1988). Cronbach’s αfor the SAS was 0.83, indicating very good
internal consistency for a relatively short scale.
Manipulation check scale. Subjects were asked to indicate the degree to which they
found the video material pornographic by providing a mark on a 10-cm line. The
line was anchored by ‘‘not at all pornographic’’ and ‘‘extremely pornographic,’’
respectively.
Exposure materials
Experimental material (experimental group). The experimental material consisted of a
videotape made up from 2 minutes of ‘‘black screen’’ followed by a 17-minute sex
scene from Latex and an 8-minute sex scene from Gigantic, two of the most widely
circulated and sold hardcore pornographic movies in Denmark at the time of the
experiment. In order to minimize order effect, a second video tape was used in which
the order of the sex scenes was reversed. The sexual acts portrayed included oral sex,
vaginal sex, anal sex, double penetration, and facial cumshots with consenting parties.
The story line from Latex portrayed a man having sex with his female partner. The
story line from Gigantic portrayed a female engaging in sex with her husband and
a friend of her husband. In both scenes sexual acts are initiated and decided by the
male/males, no explicit violence or degradation is used (see also Bridges, Wosnitzer,
Scharrer, Sun, & Liberman, 2010), and both genders show signs of sexual pleasure
throughout the scenes.
Control material (control group). Excerpts from two emotionally neutral, high-quality
documentaries, The Blue Planet and The Elements: Wind & Water, were used.
Following the same procedure as with the experimental material two differentyet
in content, structure, and running time identicalvideotapes were created.
Results
Background check
In confirming the success of random assignment, it was found that participants in the
experimental group did not differ significantly from participants in the control group
on key variables, that is, age, education, relationship status, age of first exposure
to pornography, past pornography use, and personality (all p>.05; independent
sample t-test).
Manipulation check, sexual arousal, and sexist attitudes
Participants in the experimental group rated the exposure material as significantly
more pornographic (t(194) =31.10, p<.001, Cohen’s (d)=4.47) and sexually
arousing (t(197) =19.44, p<.001, Cohen’s (d)=2.77) than the control group.
646 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
These results were found to hold stable across gender. Table 1 shows the mean
and SD of the manipulation check, sexual arousal, and sexist attitudes stratified by
exposure group and gender.
Test of study hypothesis 1
H1: Past pornography consumption will significantly predict sexist attitudes.
To test the first study hypothesis, zero-order Pearson’s correlation analyses
stratified by gender was employed. For women, past pornography consumption was
found not to be significantly associated with any of the sexist attitudes investigated
(all p>.05). For men, past pornography consumption was found to be significantly
correlated with attitudes toward women (r=−.21, p<.05) and hostile sexism
(r=.30, p<.01), while no significant association was found for benevolent sexism and
overall ambivalent sexism (both p>.05). Thus, among men higher past pornography
consumption was found to be significantly associated with less egalitarian attitudes
toward women and higher levels of hostile sexism. These results only partly support
study H1.
Test of study hypotheses 2 and 3
H2: Agreeableness will significantly predict sexist attitudes with those lower in agreeableness
participants holding higher levels of sexist attitudes.
H3: The interaction between experimental exposure to pornography and agreeableness will
significantly predict sexist attitudes over and above agreeableness, past pornography
consumption, perceived realism of pornography, and exposure condition. Only individuals
low in agreeableness will evidence increased sexist attitudes as a function of exposure to
pornography.
To test study H2 and H3, hierarchical multiple regression analyses were employed.
Initially, independent variables were centered and interaction terms created by
multiplying the centered variables included in the interaction term (see also Aiken
& West, 1991). To control for possible effects of gender, as gender consistently
has been found to be a strong differentiating variable in this area of pornography
(Hald, 2006), gender was firstly entered into the regression analysis. In step 2, 3, and 4
agreeableness, past pornography consumption and perceived realism of pornographic
material respectively were entered separately. In step 5, exposure group (control vs.
experimental) was entered. In step 6, all two-way interactions were entered. All
single variables were entered into the analysis by means of ‘‘forced enter.’’ Two-way
interactions were entered using ‘‘step-wise enter’’ and an Fprobability criterion of
.05 for entry and .10 for removal. Tables 2 and 3 provide an overview of the main
findings of the regression analyses.
As can be seen from Table 2 for attitudes toward women, the final model showed
that gender and agreeableness significantly predicted attitudes toward women.
Specifically, male gender and lower agreeableness were found to significantly predict
less egalitarian and more conservative attitudes toward women.
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 647
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
Table 1 Mean Raw Scores and Standard Deviations for Sexist Attitudes, Sexual Arousal, and
Pornographic Manipulation Check Stratified by Gender and Exposure Group
Control Group Experimental Group
Variable MSDM SD
Attitudes Toward Women Scale
Men 49.68 (50) 6.54 49.09 (49) 6.72
Women 52.00 (50) 5.38 51.00 (50) 4.75
Total 50.84 (100) 6.07 50.05 (99) 5.86
Ambivalent Sexism Inventory
Benevolent Sexism
Men 26.12 (50) 6.81 24.69 (49) 8.46
Women 15.54 (50) 9.36 21.68 (50)8.29
Total 20.83 (100) 9.72 23.17 (99) 8.47
Hostile Sexism
Men 23.02 (50) 10.20 24.14 (49) 9.78
Women 21.50 (50) 9.99 21.08 (50) 9.36
Total 22.26 (100) 10.08 22.60 (99) 9.64
Total Ambivalent Sexism Score
Men 49.14 (50) 14.78 48.84 (49) 15.30
Women 37.02 (50) 16.38 42.76 (50) 15.22
Total 43.08 (100) 16.67 45.77 (99) 15.49
Sexual Arousal
Men 6.44 (50) .95 16.76 (49)4.56
Women 6.18 (50) .48 16.42 (50)5.86
Total 6.31 (100) .76 16.59 (99)5.23
Pornographic Manipulation Check
Men .16 (47) .28 6.68 (49)2.12
Women .20 (50) .39 7.16 (50)2.09
Total .18 (97) .34 6.92 (99)2.11
Note: Missing values excluded. Numbers in parentheses represent n/cell. Possible range for
included scales: Attitudes Toward Women Scale 2184, with higher scores indicating more
egalitarian attitudes toward women; Benevolent Sexism 055, with higher scores indicating
stronger benevolent sexism; Hostile Sexism 0 –55, with higher scores indicating stronger hostile
sexism; Ambivalent Sexism 0110, with higher scores indicating stronger ambivalent sexism;
Sexual Arousal 630, with higher scores indicating stronger sexual arousal; Pornographic
Manipulation Check Scores 0 –10, with higher scores indicating a stronger view of the exposure
material as pornographic.
p<.001; control versus experimental group independent sample t-test.
648 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
Table 2 Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Attitudes Toward Women
R2β
Attitudes Toward Women
Step 1 .03
Gender .18
Step 2 .05∗∗
Agreeableness .24∗∗
Step 3 .02
Past Pornography Consumption .17
Step 4 .01
Perceived Realism in Pornography .11
Step 5 .01
Exposure Group .08
Total R2.12∗∗
n200
Note: Missing values excluded listwise.
p<.05, ∗∗p<.01
For benevolent sexism, the final model showed that gender, exposure group,
and the interaction between gender and exposure group significantly predicted
benevolent sexism. Specifically, male gender, experimental exposure to pornography,
and the interaction between gender and experimental exposure to pornography
were found to significantly predict higher benevolent sexism (Table 3). Graphical
probing and simple slopes analyses of the interaction following Aiken & West (1991)
showed that the effect of exposure to pornography on benevolent sexism differed for
men and women. For men, the effect of experimental exposure to pornography on
benevolent sexism was nonsignificant (t=−0.86, df =195; p=.39). For women, the
effect of experimental exposure to pornography on benevolent sexism was significant
(t=3.72, df =195; p<.01) and moderately increased benevolent sexism (Cohen’s
(d)=0.54).
For hostile sexism, the final model showed that agreeableness and the interaction
between agreeableness and exposure group significantly predicted hostile sexism.
Specifically, lower agreeableness and the interaction between agreeableness and
experimental exposure to pornography significantly predicted higher hostile sexism
(Table 3). Graphical probing and simple slopes analyses of the interaction following
Aiken & West (1991) showed that the effect of exposure to pornography on hostile
sexism was different across different levels of agreeableness. For participants high
in agreeableness (i.e., one standard deviation above the mean agreeableness score)
and average in agreeableness (i.e., at the mean agreeableness score), the impact
of experimental exposure to pornography on hostile sexism was nonsignificant
(both p>.05). However, for participants low in agreeableness (i.e., one standard
deviation below the mean agreeableness score) the effect of experimental exposure
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 649
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
Table 3 Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Benevolent Sexism, Hostile Sexism,
and Total Ambivalent Sexism
R2β
Ambivalent Sexism Inventory
Benevolent Sexism (n=200)
Step 1 .14∗∗
Gender –.37∗∗
Step 2 .01
Agreeableness –.11
Step 3 .00
Past Pornography Consumption .08
Step 4 .00
Perceived Realism in Pornography .03
Step 5 .02
Exposure Group .13
Step 6 .04∗∗
Gender ×Exposure Group .21∗∗
Total R2.22∗∗
Hostile Sexism (n=200)
Step 1 .01
Gender –.12
Step 2 .12∗∗
Agreeableness –.35∗∗
Step 3 .02
Past Pornography Consumption .16
Step 4 .01
Perceived Realism in Pornography .11
Step 5 .00
Exposure Group .04
Step 6 .02
Agreeableness ×Exposure Group – .14
Total R2.18∗∗
Total Ambivalent Sexism (n=200)
Step 1 .08∗∗
Gender –.28∗∗
Step 2 .07∗∗
Agreeableness –.28∗∗
Step 3 .01
Past Pornography Consumption .05
Step 4 .00
Perceived Realism in Pornography .05
Step 5 .01
Exposure Group .10
Total R2.17∗∗
Note. Missing values excluded listwise. p<.05, ∗∗p<.01
650 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
to pornography on hostile sexism was significant (t=1.92, df =195; p=.03) and
increased hostile sexism to a small degree (Cohen’s (d)=0.27).
For total ambivalent sexism, the final model showed that gender and agreeableness
significantly predicted total ambivalent sexism. Specifically, male gender and lower
agreeableness were found to significantly predict higher total ambivalent sexism.
These results were virtually identical when repeating the analyses by dividing
participants into three groups based on their placement in the distribution of
agreeableness, with participants scoring in the 033rd percentile being classified as
low in agreeableness, participants scoring in the 34th66th percentile as moderate
in agreeableness, and participants scoring in the 67th100th percentile as high in
agreeableness. The reason for using this division of participants was to maximize the
statistical power in the mediation analyses presented below while following the lead
of comparable research in this area that also used this classification approach (see
also Malamuth et al., 2012).
Thus, the results of the regressions generally supported study hypothesis two
while supporting study hypothesis three only for the sexist outcome variable of
hostile sexism.
Test of study hypothesis 4
H4: Sexual arousal will mediate significant associations, if any, between experimental
exposure to pornography and sexist attitudes.
To test study H4, we employed the methods for testing single mediator models
using structural equation modeling and bias corrected bootstrapping procedures
(Kenny, Kashy, & Bolger, 1998; MacKinnon & Fairchild, 2009; Shrout & Bolger, 2002).
Given that experimental exposure to pornography was found to significantly increase
benevolent sexism among women and hostile sexism among low in agreeableness
participants only (see also the regression analyses above), we restricted our mediation
analyses to these subgroups.
As can be seen from Figure 1, among women, the initial correlation between
our initial variable (experimental exposure) and the outcome variable (benevolent
sexism) was .33 (p=.002; 95% CI: 2.47; 9.71), indicating a significant direct effect
of experimental exposure to pornography on benevolent sexism among women.
When including sexual arousal as a mediator, the correlation between experimental
exposure and benevolent sexism, i.e., the direct effect, dropped to .05 and turned
nonsignificant (p=.73). Further, both the mediated (indirect) effect of exposure to
pornography on benevolent sexism via sexual arousal and the total effect of exposure
to pornography on benevolent sexism (i.e., the combined indirect and direct effect)
were found to be significant (mediated/indirect effect: p=.02; 95% CI: 1.10; 9.46;
Total effect: p=.002; 95% CI: 2.46; 9.71). This is consistent with a model of full
mediation and suggests that sexual arousal may be considered a mediator of the
relationship between experimental exposure to pornography and benevolent sexism
among women.
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 651
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
.78* .36*
.05 (.33*) Benevolent Sexism
Sexual Arousal
Experimental Exposure
(0=control material;
1=pornography)
Figure 1 Mediating effect of sexual arousal on the increase in benevolent sexism that occurs
after experimental exposure to pornography relative to control material among women.
The standardized coefficients (correlations) are displayed. The standardized coefficient in
parentheses represents the correlation between experimental exposure and benevolent sexism
prior to the inclusion of sexual arousal in the model. *p<.03; (n=100).
.46*
.85*
-.10 (.29*)
Hostile Sexism
Sexual Arousal
Experimental Exposure
(0=control material;
1=pornography)
Figure 2 Mediating effect of sexual arousal on the increase in hostile sexism that occurs
after experimental exposure to pornography relative to control material among low in
agreeableness participants. The standardized coefficients (correlations) are displayed. The
standardized coefficient in parentheses represents the correlation between experimental
exposure and hostile sexism prior to the inclusion of sexual arousal in the model. **p<.01,
*p<.05; (n=68).
As can be seen from Figure 2, among low in agreeableness participants (i.e., the
lower 33% in the distribution of agreeableness), the initial correlation between our
initial variable (experimental exposure) and the outcome variable (hostile sexism)
was .29 (p=.014; 95% CI: 1.59; 10.72), indicating a significant direct effect of
experimental exposure to pornography on hostile sexism among low in agreeableness
participants. When including sexual arousal as a mediator, the correlation between
experimental exposure and hostile sexism, that is, the direct effect, dropped to – .10
and turned nonsignificant (p=.56). However, both the mediated (indirect) effect of
exposure to pornography on hostile sexism via sexual arousal and the total effect of
exposure to pornography on hostile sexism (i.e., the combined indirect and direct
effect) were found to be significant (mediated/indirect effect: p=.003; 95% CI: 2.74;
13.75; Total effect: p=.014; 95% CI: 1.59; 10.72). This is consistent with a model
of full mediation and suggests that sexual arousal may be considered a mediator of
652 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
the relationship between experimental exposure to pornography and hostile sexism
among low in agreeableness participants (Shrout & Bolger, 2002). Thus, the results
of the mediational analyses fully supported H4.
Discussion
Partly supporting study hypothesis one and in line with sexual script theory (see
Introduction) and cultivation theory (see also Ward, 2002), among men, increased
past exposure to pornography was found to be significantly associated with less
egalitarian attitudes toward women and more hostile sexism. This may be due to past
pornography consumption being instrumental to the acquisition of some forms of
sexist attitudes among some men (Wright, 2011; Wright, Malamuth, & Donnerstein,
2012). For example, by virtue of how women are portrayed (e.g., in stereotypical
roles), act (e.g., stereotypical sexual behaviors), react (e.g., to male sexist language
and behaviors), or engage their sexuality (e.g., to arouse or manipulate men) (Bridges
et al., 2010; Peter & Valkenburg, 2011).
Using a higher-order, well validated, and widely used measure of personality, the
study results consistently demonstrate the importance of considering personality, that
is, agreeableness, when investigating effects of pornography on sexist attitudes. Specif-
ically, the consistent finding of higher levels of sexist attitudes among lower in agree-
ableness individuals and personality moderation of effects of exposure of pornography
on hostile sexism support study H2 and partly H3 and may have wider implications for
media research. Indeed, in a recent paper investigating links between habitual media
violence, exposure, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive behavior, Krah´
e&M
¨
oller
(2010) emphasized that dispositional factors (e.g., personality) may be a ‘‘third vari-
able’’ able to explain significant relationships between investigated variables. Accord-
ingly, personality (herein agreeableness) may both promote the exposure to certain
types of media (herein pornography) and the effect on the dependent variable(s)
investigated (herein sexist attitudes), at least among some individuals (Stulhofer et al.,
2012). This is tentatively supported by data from this study showing that when agree-
ableness is controlled for, past pornography consumption no longer holds significant
associations with any of the sexist attitudes investigated. Consequently, associations
between past pornography consumption and dependent variable(s) investigated
may partly or better be accounted for by dispositional factors or other individual
differences (see also Luder et al., 2011; Mckee, 2007; Hald, Kuyper et al., 2013).
Given the characteristics of individuals low in agreeableness as more antagonistic,
cold, hostile, suspicious, disagreeable, and unfriendly, the finding of experimental
exposure effects of pornography on hostile sexism among this subgroup fits the core
contention by the Hierarchical Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression. That is,
effects of pornography will be evident only among the subgroup(s) of users most
likely to hold high levels of such attitudes (Kingston et al., 2009; Malamuth, 2003),
which in this study was hypothesized, and for hostile sexism found, to be low in
agreeableness individuals.
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 653
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
The study found that experimental exposure to pornography increased benevolent
sexism among women only. We are unsure exactly how to interpret this result. On
the one hand it may be a chance finding as no other prior comparable research has
found a similar result. However, the body of research in which to contextualize this
result is still small which, should caution against such conclusion. On the other hand,
even highly egalitarian societies such as the Danish society (Hald, 2006) where the
study was conducted may ‘‘promote’’ benevolent sexism on a relational and societal
level via culturally mediated messages that in content or feeling tone are similar to
that of benevolent sexism. These or related messages may in particular be attended
to and internalized by women and/or more easily primed among women in sexual
situations (Stulhofer et al., 2012). Indeed, in a recent review on traditional gender
role adherence and sexuality, Sanchez et al. (2012) found that men and women have
automatic associations between sexuality and power that reinforce gender stereotypic
behavior in sexual contexts with women being submissive and men dominant.
Consequently, in sexual situations, if submissiveness is associated with benevolence
due to the priming of associated networks of benevolence through submissiveness
this may help account for this finding. We acknowledge that this explanation is
tentative and needs empirical validation.
In this study, perceived realism of pornography was found not to predict sexist
attitudes or moderate the relationship between experimental exposure to pornogra-
phy and sexist attitudes. This may be because perceived realism of pornography works
more as a mediator of effects of pornography than as a predictor or moderator (Peter
& Valkenburg, 2006, 2010), or, alternatively, that perceived realism of pornography
is more indirectly related to the outcome variables investigated (here sexist attitudes).
Indeed, in a recent study, Stulhofer et al. (2012) demonstrated that perceived realism
of pornography was indirectly related to relationship intimacy through acceptance
of recreational sex.
Overall, the study findings of sexual arousal mediation are consistent with the core
presumptions by the media literature on affective engagement (Clore & Schnall, 2005;
Ward, 2002) and priming effects (Hansen & Krygowski, 1994; Roskos-Ewoldson et al.,
2009; Wright, 2011) that affective activation (herein sexual arousal) may serve as an
important mediator of significant exposure-attitudinal relationships and be central
to the priming of ‘‘associative networks’’ of emotions, cognitions, and attitudes
which in content or feeling tone correspond to the attitudes investigated (i.e., herein
sexist attitudes). At least partly, it may be that these associative networks have been
established and shaped through the basic principles of social learning theory and
are perceived and attended to according to the principles of sexual script theory
(see also the Introduction). That is, among some individuals, sexist cognitions and
attitudes may partly have been learned through specific environments, scenarios,
and role models on the basis of reinforcement and vicarious learning. These sexist
cognitions and attitudes may, in sexual situations, be activated by sexual scripts if
these are attuned to content or feeling tones sexist in nature (Sanchez et al., 2012).
Accordingly, these sexual scripts may themselves be activated by exposure to sexual
654 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
media (Wright, Malamuth, & Donnerstein, 2012; Wright et al., 2012) provided such
media is attended to and engaged in, something considerably more likely to happen
through affective engagement of the sexual media material (Clore & Schnall, 2005;
Ward, 2002). Thus, among some individuals, exposure to pornography may prompt
sexual scripts sexist in nature, and/or their associated sexist cognitions and attitudes,
and provide the affective engagement, via sexual arousal, needed to engage these
sexist scripts, cognitions, and attitudes.
Following an acquisition, activation, application perspective on mass media effects
(see also Wright et al., 2012) and social learning theory (Bandura, 1986) application
of acquired and activated sexist cognitions and attitudes to behaviors may depend on
content factors (e.g., rewards or punishment), audience factors (e.g., model similarity,
moral standards), and situational factors (e.g., time pressure, sexual arousal) as well as
the evaluative and automatic thought processes guiding these factors and behaviors.
Consequently, importantly, the application of activated sexist cognitions and attitudes
to behaviors, however brought about, does not happen automatically but depends
on a number of other intervening factors (Wright et al., 2012).
At least four limitations pertain to this study. First, although the experiment used
the largest sample to date for this kind of experimental research, some of the stratified
analyses resulted in small cell sizes. This limits the power of the analyses, increases
the risk of Type II errors, and potentially affects the reliability of the study’s findings.
Second, for one of the measures, namely the Attitudes Toward Women Scale, the
reliability was questionable. This may limit both the validity and/or reliability of the
study’s results pertaining to this particular measure. Third, the study demonstrated
only a short-term effect of exposure to nonviolent pornography that may not remain
over time and/or may differ in magnitude across different types of exposure materials,
as demonstrated by, for example, Hald et al. (2010). Fourth, although in a recent
meta-analysis Hald et al. (2010) have shown that in general the conclusions emerging
from nonexperimental studies on attitudes supporting violence against women are
fully consistent with their counterpart experimental studies, it is important to be
cautious about generalizing from the present study’s findings on sexist attitudes. That
is, the study’s results may be affected by the experimental design and may not fully
generalize to naturalistic settings in which the context of use, choice of pornography,
length of exposure, etc., may differ substantially from that of the current experiment
(Mckee, 2007).
The study provides novel support for core presumptions by the media and
communication literature on affective engagement and priming effects and for one
of the core contentions of the Hierarchical Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression.
In addition, the study demonstrates the influence of personality and affective states
on attitudes in media research and shows the importance of measuring both relevant
traits (herein agreeableness) and states (herein sexual arousal) in media and related
research. Further, the study provides new contributions to pornography and related
research by (a) being the first study to simultaneously assess and combine previous
pornography consumption in naturalistic settings with experimentally manipulated
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 655
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
exposure to pornography and assess their implications for sexist attitudes, (b) showing
a key moderating effect of the ‘‘higher-order’’ personality dimension of agreeableness
on the pornography exposure-attitudinal relationships investigated, and (c)
demonstrating sexual arousal mediation, that is, that the significant pornography
exposure-sexist attitudinal relationships found were mediated by sexual arousal.
Acknowledgments
The study was supported in part by grants from the Health Insurance Foundation
and the Augustinus Foundation.
References
Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions.
Newbury Park, London: Sage.
Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundation of thought and action: A social cognitive theory.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and
sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: A content analysis update. Violence
Against Women,16, 10651085. doi: 10.1177/1077801210382866
Brown, J. D., & L’Engle, K. L. (2009). X-Rated sexual attitudes and behaviors associated with
US early adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit media. Communication Research,36,
129151. doi: 10.1177/0093650208326465
Carr, J. L., & VanDeusen, K. M. (2004). Risk factors for male sexual aggression on college
campuses. Journal of Family Violence,19, 279289. doi:
10.1023/B:JOFV.0000042078.55308.4d
Chapleau, K. M., Oswald, D. L., & Russell, B. L. (2007). How ambivalent sexism toward
women and men support rape myth acceptance. Sex Roles,57, 131136. doi:
10.1007/s11199-007-9196-2
Check, J. V. P., & Malamuth, N. M. (1983). Sex-role stereotyping and reactions to depictions
of stranger versus acquaintance rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,45,
344356. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.45.2.344
Clore, G. L., & Schnall, S. (2005). The influence of affect on attitude. In D. Albarracín, B. T.
Johnson, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Handbook of attitudes (pp. 437489). Mahwah, NJ:
Erlbaum.
Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and
Individual Differences,13, 653– 665. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(92)90236-I
Davis, K. C., Norris, J., George, W. H., Martell, J., & Heiman, J. R. (2006). Men’s likelihood
of sexual aggression: The influence of alcohol, sexual arousal, and violent pornography.
Aggressive Behavior,32, 581589. doi: 10.1002/ab.20157
Demare, D., Lips, H. M., & Briere, J. (1993). Sexually violent pornography, anti-women
attitudes, and sexual aggression: A structural equation model. Journal of Research in
Personality,27, 285300. doi: 10.1006/jrpe.1993.1020
Edwards, K. M., Turchik, J. A., Dardis, C. M., Reynolds, N., & Gidycz, C. (2011). Rape myths:
History, individual and institutional-level presence, and implications for change. Sex
Roles,65, 761773. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-9943-2
656 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
Fisher, W. A., & Grenier, G. (1994). Violent pornography, antiwoman thoughts, and
antiwoman acts - In search of reliable effects. Journal of Sex Research,31, 2338. doi:
10.1080/00224499409551727
Frith, H., & Kitzinger, C. (2001). Reformulating sexual script theory - Developing a
discursive psychology of sexual negotiation. Theory & Psychology,11, 209 232. doi:
10.1177/0959354301112004
Funder, D. C. (2007). Beyond just-so stories towards a psychology of situations: Evolutionary
accounts of individual differences require independent assessment of personality and
situational variables. European Journal of Personality,21, 599601.
Gagnon, J. H., & Simon, W. (1973). Sexual conduct: The social sources of human sexuality.
Chicago, IL: Aldine Books.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and
benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,70, 491512. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.70.3.491
Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Mladinic, Al., Saiz, J., Abrams, D., Masser, B., et al. (2000). Beyond
prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology,79, 763775.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (2001). An ambivalent allianceHostile and benevolent sexism as
complementary justifications for gender inequality. American Psychologist,56, 109 118.
doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.56.2.109
Goldberg, L. R., Johnson, J. A., Eber, H. W., Hogan, R., Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., et al.
(2006). The international personality item pool and the future of public-domain
personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality,40, 8496. doi:
10.1016/j.jrp.2005.08.007
Guy, R. J., Patton, G. C., & Kaldor, J. M. (2012). Internet pornography and adolescent health.
Medical Journal of Australia,196, 546547. doi: 10.5694/mja12.10637
Hald, G. M. (2006). Gender differences in pornography consumption among young
heterosexual Danish adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior,35, 577 585. doi:
10.1007/s10508-006-9064-0
Hald, G. M. (2007). Gender differences: Behavioral, situational, and interpersonal patterns of
pornography consumption. In S. V. Knudsen, L. L¨
ofgren-M˚
artenson, & S. A. M˚
ansson
(Eds.), Generation P? Youth, gender and pornography (pp. 118132). Copenhagen,
Denmark: Danish School of Education Press.
Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M. (2008). Self-perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption
in a Representative Sample of Young Danish Adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior,37,
614625.
Hald, G. M., & Kuyper, L., Adam, P. C. G., & De Wit, J. B. F. (2013). Does Viewing explain
Doing? Assessing the Association between Sexually Explicit Materials Use and Sexual
Behaviors in a Large Sample of Dutch Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Sexual
Medicine. (Advance Online Publication).
Hald, G. M., Seaman, C., & Linz, D (In press). Sexuality and pornography. In D. Tolman, L.
Diamond (Editors-in-Chief), J. Bauermeister, W. George, J. Pfaus, & M. Ward (Associate
Editors), APA handbook of sexuality and psychology: Vol. 2. Contextual Approaches.
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. M., & Yuen, C. (2010). Pornography and attitudes supporting
violence against women: Revisiting the relationship in nonexperimental studies.
Aggressive Behavior,36, 14 20. doi: 10.1002/ab.20328
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 657
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
Hald, G. M., Seaman, C., & Linz, D. (2012). Sexuality and pornography. In D. Tolman, L.
Diamond, J. Bauermeister, W. George, J. Pfaus & M. Ward (Eds.), APA handbook of
sexuality and psychology: Vol. 1. Person-in-context. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association.
Hansen, C. H., & Krygowski, W. (1994). Arousal-augmented priming effects. Communication
Research,21, 47. doi: 10.1177/009365094021001003
Jonason, P. K., Li, N. P., Webster, G. D., & Schmitt, D. P. (2009). The dark triad: Facilitating
a short-term mating strategy in men. European Journal of Personality,23, 518. doi:
10.1002/per.698
Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Bolger, N. (1998). Data analysis in social psychology. In D.
Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (pp. 233265).
New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kingston, D. A., Malamuth, N. M., Fedoroff, P., & Marshall, W. L. (2009). The importance of
individual differences in pornography use: Theoretical perspectives and implications for
treating sexual offenders. Journal of Sex Research,46, 216– 232. doi:
10.1080/00224490902747701
Kjellgren, C., Priebe, G., Svedin, C. G., & Langstrom, N. (2010). Sexually coercive behavior in
male youth: Population survey of general and specific risk factors. Archives of Sexual
Behavior,39, 11611169. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9572-9
Krah´
e, B., & M¨
oller, I. (2010). Longitudinal effects of media violence on aggression and
empathy among German adolescents. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology,31,
401409. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2010.07.003
Lewis, D. M. G., Easton, J. A., Goetz, C. D., & Buss, D. M. (2012). Exploitative male mating
strategies: Personality, mating orientation, and relationship status. Personality and
Individual Differences,52, 139– 143. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2011.09.017
Luder, M. T., Pittet, I., Berchtold, A., Akre, C., Michaud, P., & Suris, J. C. (2011).
Associations between online pornography and sexual behavior among adolescents: Myth
or reality? Archives of Sexual Behavior,40, 1027 1035. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9714-
MacKinnon, D. P., & Fairchild, A. J. (2009). Current directions in mediation analysis. Current
Directions in Psychological Science,18, 1620. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-721.2009.01598.x
Malamuth, N. M. (2003). Criminal and noncriminal sexual aggressors: Integrating
psychopathy in a hierarchical-mediational confluence model. Annals of the New York
Academy of Sciences,989, 3358.
Malamuth, N. M., Hald, G. M., & Koss, M. P. (2012). Pornography, individual differences in
risk and men’s acceptance of violence against women in a representative sample. Sex
Roles,66, 427439. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0082-6
McKee, A. (2007). The relationship between attitudes towards women, consumption of
pornography, and other demographic variables in a survey of 1.023 consumers of
pornography. International Journal of Sexual Health,19, 3145. doi:
10.1300/J514v19n01_05
Mosher, D. L., Barton-Henry, M., & Green, S. E. (1988). Subjective sexual arousal and
involvementDevelopment of multiple indicators. Journal of Sex Research,25, 412425.
doi: 10.1080/00224498809551471
Padgett, V. R., Brislin-Sl¨
utz, J. A., & Neal, J. A. (1989). Pornography, erotica, and attitudes
toward women: The effects of repeated exposure. Journal of Sex Research,26, 479– 491.
doi: 10.1080/00224498909551529
658 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
G. M. Hald et al. Pornography and Sexist Attitudes
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2006). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit material on
the Internet. Communication Research,33, 178204. doi: 10.1177/0093650205285369
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2009). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit internet
material and notions of women as sex objects: Assessing causality and underlying
processes. Journal of Communication,59, 407433. doi:
10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01422.x
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2010). Processes underlying the effects of adolescents’ use of
sexually explicit internet material: The role of perceived realism. Communication
Research,37, 375399. doi: 10.1177/0093650210362464
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2011). The influence of sexually explicit internet material and
peers on stereotypical beliefs about women’s sexual roles: Similarities and differences
between adolescents and adults. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking,14,
511517. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0189
Roskos-Ewoldson, D. R., Roskos-Ewoldsen, B., & Dillman Carpentier, F. (2009). Media
priming: An updated synthesis. In J. Bryant & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), Media effects: Advances
in theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 7493). New York: Routledge.
Sanchez, D. T., Fetterolf, J. C., & Rudman, L. A. (2012). Eroticizing inequality in the United
States: The consequences and determinants of traditional gender role adherence in
intimate relationships. Journal of Sex Research,49, 168183. doi:
10.1080/00224499.2011.653699
Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and non-experimental studies:
New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods,7, 422445. doi:
10.1037/1082-989X.7.4.422
Simon, W., & Gagnon, J. H. (1986). Sexual scripts: Permanence and change. Archives of
Sexual Behavior,15, 97 120. doi: 10.1007/BF01542219
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1972). Who likes competent women: Competence, sex-role
congruence of interests, and subjects attitudes toward women as determinants of
interpersonal attraction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,2, 197213. doi:
10.1111/j.1559-1816.1972.tb01272.x
Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Stapp, J. (1973). Short version of the attitudes toward
women scale (AWS). Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society,2, 219220.
Stulhofer, A., Busko, V., & Landripet, I. (2010). Pornography, sexual socialization, and
satisfaction among young men. Archives of Sexual Behavior,39, 168 178. doi:
10.1007/s10508-008-9387-0
Stulhofer, A., Busko, V., & Schmidt, G. (2012). Adolescent exposure to pornography and
relationship intimicy in young adulthood. Psychology & Sexuality,3, 95107. doi:
10.1080/19419899.2010.537367
Voller, E. K., Long, P. J., & Aosved, A. C. (2009). Attraction to sexual violence towards
women, sexual abuse of children, and non-sexual criminal behavior: Testing the specialist
vs. generalist models in male college students. Archives of Sexual Behavior,38, 235 243.
doi: 10.1007/s10508-008-9343-z
Ward, L. M. (2002). Does television exposure affect emerging adults’ attitudes and
assumptions about sexual relationships? Correlational and experimental confirmation.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence,31, 115. doi: 10.1023/A:1014068031532
Williams, K. M., Cooper, B. S., Howell, T. M., Yuille, J. C., & Paulhus, D. L. (2009). Inferring
sexually deviant behavior from corresponding fantasies: The role of personality and
Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association 659
Pornography and Sexist Attitudes G. M. Hald et al.
pornography consumption. Criminal Justice and Behavior,36, 198 222. doi:
10.1177/0093854808327277
Wright, P. J. (2011). U.S. males and pornography, 19732010: Consumption, predictors,
correlates. Journal of Sex Research,50, 6071. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.628132
Wright, P. J. (2011) Mass media effects on youth sexual behavior: Assessing claims for
causality. Communication yearbook,35, 343386.
Wright, P., Malamuth, N., & Donnerstein, E. (2012). Research on sex in the media: What do
we know about effects on children and adolescents. In D. G. Singer & J. L. Singer (Eds.),
Handbook of children and the media (pp. 273302). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications.
660 Journal of Communication 63 (2013) 638– 660 ©2013 International Communication Association
... . This is particularly salient in light of evidence that some IP content, particularly mainstream, free heterosexual content, often depicts behaviors widely considered to be antisocial, such as aggressive and degrading acts by men against women (Bridges, Wosnitzer, Scharrer, Sun, & Liberman, 2010;Whisnant, 2016;Wright, Sun, Steffen, & Tokunaga, 2015). Studies suggest that such material promotes sexist and sexually objectifying understandings of gender, sexuality and agency (Brown & L'Engle, 2009;Hald, Malamuth, & Lange, 2013), increases attitudes supportive of aggression and violence against women (Flood & Pease, 2009;Hald, Malamuth, & Yuen, 2010;Rodenhizer & Edwards, 2019;Stanley et al., 2018;Wright, Tokunaga, & Kraus, 2016) and adversely informs sexual behavior (e.g. see Rothman, Kaczmarsky, Burke, Jansen, & Baughman, 2015;Sun et al., 2016). ...
... The absence of an association between IP-congruent behavior and adversarial sexual beliefs was unexpected given the existing findings of associations between IP and hostile sexism (Hald et al., 2013), less progressive gender role attitudes (Brown & L'Engle, 2009) and stereotypical gendered attitudes to women (Peter & Valkenburg, 2011. It may be that the adversarial beliefs measure chosen for this study, which was produced in 1980 and thus predates IP, was not sufficiently nuanced to capture the nature of contemporary IP-related sexual beliefs. ...
... The sexual scripts are gender-specific, where the expectations of sexual behaviour differ between males and females [54]. Continuous exposure to IP shapes the scripting process [55], where the sexually explicit messages and sexual behaviour portrayed in the IP can influence the perception, affection, cognition, and behavioural aspects of sexuality [48]. The sexual scripts theory varies across cultural contexts. ...
Article
Past studies have demonstrated a link between pornography use and addiction to pornography, the underlying mechanism of the association is still unclear. This study intended to examine the mediating role of perceived realism of pornography in the association between pornography use and addiction among emerging adults in Malaysia. This study recruited 222 self-identified pornography users (M age = 21.05; SD Age = 1.68; 75.1% male respondents) via the purposive sampling method. The correlation results indicated positive associations among pornography use, addiction to pornography, and perceived realism of pornography. Further, the perceived realism of pornography significantly mediated the association between pornography use and addiction to pornography after controlling for gender. Thus, this study has provided a fundamental understanding on the perceived realism role of pornography in explaining the association between its use and addiction. Although it is unlikely to stop illegal pornography use, the results pointed out a need to guide emerging adults in pornography use via media literacy programmes.
... The sexual scripts are gender-specific, where the expectations of sexual behaviour differ between males and females [54]. Continuous exposure to IP shapes the scripting process [55], where the sexually explicit messages and sexual behaviour portrayed in the IP can influence the perception, affection, cognition, and behavioural aspects of sexuality [48]. The sexual scripts theory varies across cultural contexts. ...
Article
Full-text available
Internet pornography use (IPU) refers to Internet-based sexually explicit materials that are ultimately used to elicit sexual feelings or thoughts. The accessibility of Internet pornography could lead to excessive exposure to pornographic messages, posing a risk to heavy users’ psychological health. This paper offers a preliminary understanding of the relationship between Internet pornography use and psychological distress among emerging adults and the moderating role of gender in the association. This cross-sectional study has taken a purposive sampling approach to recruit 144 emerging adult pornography users via the online survey method. The results indicated that males reported having more problematic Internet pornography use, and there were no gender differences in psychological distress. Meanwhile, gender is a significant moderator between Internet pornography use and psychological distress. The females were found to be more psychologically affected by their problematic Internet pornography use than the males. Overall, this study has provided a novel finding of the moderating role of gender in problematic Internet pornography use and psychological distress in the Malaysian context. This study also calls for a gender-focused sexual health programme for Malaysian emerging adults. Furthermore, the scores of problematic IPU in this study raise a concern over the effectiveness of current sex education in Malaysia. The scores may highlight the need to provide education targeting Internet pornography use.
... Supporting this, a meta-analysis conducted by Hald, Malamuth, and Yuen (2010), documented an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women in non-experimental studies. Additional research offers further support for this finding, identifying links between pornography use and hostile sexism, less egalitarian attitudes toward women, rape myth acceptance, and reduced bystander willingness to intervene (Foubert & Bridges, 2017;Foubert, Brosi, & Bannon, 2011;Hald, Malamuth, & Lange, 2013). These attitudes, particularly rape myth acceptance, contribute to a culture that facilitates the perpetration of sexual violence (Suarez & Gadalla, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that Internet pornography (IP) plays an important role in the lives of emerging adults, particularly when it comes to their attitudes and beliefs about sex. However, surprisingly little work has explicitly examined attitudes toward IP among this population. Even fewer studies have assessed the relationship between such attitudes and other aspects of emerging adults' beliefs about sex, especially those that contribute to the persistence of sexual violence. To fill this gap, we investigated the relationship between emerging adults’ attitudes toward IP and rape myth acceptance using the Internet Pornography Questionnaire (IPQ), a new self-report measure designed to evaluate IP consumption patterns, attitudes toward IP, and knowledge about IP in adults. Descriptive analyses indicate emerging adults in this study endorsed diverse and sometimes contradictory patterns of attitudes toward IP. Specifically, participants reported high agreement with both negative and positive statements about IP. After controlling for gender, we found that both positive and neutral attitudes about IP (and not frequency of pornography masturbation) predicted rape myth acceptance, such that more positive or more neutral attitudes were associated with higher rape myth acceptance. Moreover, participants who demonstrated more accurate knowledge about IP endorsed rape myths at significantly lower levels. Study limitation and directions for future research and sexual violence prevention are discussed.
... One way in which the question of pornography's 'realness' has been approached (as understood by its audience) is through the nascent study of 'perceived realism' (see Baams et al., 2015;Byron et al., 2021;Charig et al., 2020;Hald et al., 2013;Peter & Valkenburg, 2006, 2010Wright et al., 2021). By way of example, Wright (2011) has suggested that perceived realism is a central moderator in the Acquisition, Activation, and Application model (3AM). ...
Article
Full-text available
Questions as to how audiences view pornography have been a longstanding topic of academic research. A promising avenue of such research has investigated how pornography viewers perceive the content of pornography as ‘real’ (or not), and what such perceptions might mean. The interest of the current study is to interrogate pornography’s claims to ‘realness’ and its audiences negotiation of these variously contested claims. Analysing interview data with 30 pornography viewing men, this study investigates assumptions about what realism perceptions might look like for pornography viewers. The findings illustrate how these pornography viewers negotiate the ‘reality’ of pornography as a part of the pleasure of viewing pornography itself. Specifically, participants described perceptions of reality in complex and sometimes contradictory ways, subscribing to some aspects of reality as essential (i.e. bodily evidence of sexual pleasure) while divesting from others (i.e. contrived scenarios, fake seeming performances, some forms of violence) for their continued enjoyment. Overall the results suggest that viewers can, and must, make judgments about what is, and is not, real about pornography, and that this is an integral part of the pornography viewing experience. In turn, these findings challenge assumptions in public discourse, education, and research about how pornography viewers interact with pornography, and they reveal the central role of an ambiguous ‘realness’ at the heart of these interactions.
Article
Full-text available
Pornography has become widely accessible in recent years due to its integration with the Internet, generating social scientific and moralistic debate on potential “media effects,” given correlations between consumption and various sexual traits and behaviors. One popular public debate (Wilson, 2012) claimed that exposure to Internet pornography has addictive qualities that could impact men’s sexual relationships, underpinned by the “Coolidge effect,” where males are sexually motivated by the presence of novel mates. As claims about Internet and sexual addictions are scientifically controversial, we provide a direct experimental test of his proposal. Adapting a paradigm used to examine “Coolidge-like” effects in men, we examined the extent to which exposure to images of pornographic actresses altered men’s attractiveness ratings of (1) familiar faces/bodies on second viewing and (2) familiar versus novel women’s faces/bodies. Independent of slideshow content (pornographic versus clothed versions of same actress), heterosexual men were less attracted to familiar bodies, and homosexual men were less attracted to familiar women (faces and bodies), suggesting that mere visual exposure to attractive women moderated men’s preferences. However, consistent with one of our preregistered predictions, heterosexual but not homosexual men’s preferences for familiar versus novel women were moderated by slideshow content such that familiar women were less salient on the attractiveness dimension compared to novel women when sexual arousal was greater (pornographic versus clothed slideshows). In sum, our findings demonstrate that visual exposure/sexual arousal moderates attractiveness perceptions, albeit that much greater nuance is required considering earlier claims.
Article
This research explored how gender portrayals in video games affect gender-related attitudes. Two hundred participants from the United Kingdom and Malaysia participated across three experiments, where the appearance and behaviour of video game characters were manipulated with regard to target (enemy) gender (Study 1), sexually explicit attire (Study 2) and level of character agency (Study 3). We found minimal evidence that exposure to gender-stereotyped content resulted in differential gender-related attitudes (implicit associations, hostile and benevolent sexism, or rape myth acceptance). However, Study 1 findings showed that individuals who played a first-person shooter with male enemies showed lower endorsement of some (benevolent) sexist attitudes (cf. control) and showed difference in game behaviour (cf. female enemies). Together, our results suggest that short-term exposure to video games containing female characters (sexualised, passive, or otherwise) does not consistently lead to the endorsement of negative gender attitudes.
Article
Approximately a decade ago, Wright and colleagues published three studies probing the nature of the relationship between heterosexual U.S. adults’ attitudes toward homosexuality and pornography consumption. Adopting an “effects” perspective (while acknowledging the nonexperimental nature of their data), they reasoned that pornography use could either lead to more antagonistic attitudes (by consumers viewing homosexuality through pornography’s lens of traditional masculinity) or accepting attitudes (by consumers viewing homosexuality through pornography’s lens of sexual liberalism). Results of all three studies aligned with the latter explanation. The present study evaluated whether the findings from these studies were replicable in the current U.S. sociocultural climate. No evidence of attitudinal reversal was found. Pornography use still directly predicted moral acceptance of homosexuality and support for same-sex marriage and indirectly predicted these outcomes via a more nontraditional attitude toward sex. Pornography use was neither directly nor indirectly related to attitudes toward civil liberties for gay persons in the more recent data, however. Additionally, contrary to the earlier findings, associations were unmoderated by education, sex, and ethnicity. Possible reasons for these discrepant results are discussed and the limitations to causal inference posed by correlational data are emphasized.
Article
Full-text available
Sexual script theorists present sexual encounters as learned interactions that follow predictable sequences or 'scripts'. Feminist research on heterosexual negotiation uses self-report data to argue that these scripts are gendered such that it is difficult for women to refuse unwanted sex. In this paper, we suggest that, notwithstanding claims made for script theory as a form of social constructionism, it incorporates individualistic and cognitive assumptions that ignore the social context in which self-report data are produced. Illustrating our argument with our own data from young women in focus group discussions talking about refusing unwanted sex, we provide an alternative theoretical perspective on this kind of self-report data, drawn from Edwards' (1995, 1997) concept of 'script formulations'. In particular, we show how the 'scripted' quality of sexual interaction is actively produced as part of speakers' orientation to issues of accountability. We describe five devices used to construct sexual encounters as scripted: (i) references to predictable stages; (ii) references to common knowledge; (iii) the production of consensus through seamless turn-taking and collaborative talk; (iv) the use of hypothetical and general instances; (v) active voicing. Through the use of script formulations, young women present the difficulty of saying no to unwanted sex as normatively difficult - as a commonplace, ordinary problem - such that they cannot be held accountable for their own specific difficulties, nor can negative dispositional attributes be made on that basis. Finally , we consider the differing implications of 'script' and 'script formulation' theories in working with young women to prevent unwanted sex.
Article
Full-text available
We previously reported a reduction in central venous catheter (CVC) malfunction when using once-weekly recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator (rt-PA) as a locking solution, compared with thrice-weekly heparin. To identify risk factors for CVC malfunction to inform a targeted strategy for rt-PA use. Retrospective analysis. Canadian hemodialysis (HD) units. Adults with newly placed tunnelled upper venous system CVCs randomized to a locking solution of rt-PA(1 mg/mL) mid-week and heparin (5000 u/ml) on the other HD sessions, or thrice-weekly heparin (5000 u/ml). CVC malfunction (the primary outcome) was defined as: peak blood flow less than 200 mL/min for thirty minutes during a HD session; mean blood flow less than 250 mL/min for two consecutive HD sessions; inability to initiate HD. Cox regression was used to determine the association between patient demographics, HD session CVC-related variables and the outcome of CVC malfunction. Patient age (62.4 vs 65.4 yr), proportion female sex (35.6 vs 48.4%), and proportion with first catheter ever (60.7 vs 61.3%) were similar between patients with and without CVC malfunction. After multivariate analysis, risk factors for CVC malfunction were mean blood processed < 65 L when compared with ≥ 85 L in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 4.36; 95% CI, 1.59 to 11.95), and mean blood flow < 300 mL/min, or 300 - 324 mL/min in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 7.65; 95% CI, 2.78 to 21.01, and HR 5.52; 95% CI, 2.00 to 15.23, respectively) when compared to ≥ 350 mL/min. This pre-specified post-hoc analysis used a definition of CVC malfunction that included blood flow, which may result in an overestimate of the effect size. Generalizability of results to HD units where trisodium citrate locking solution is used may also be limited. HD session characteristics including mean blood processed and mean blood flow were associated with CVC malfunction, while patient characteristics were not. Whether targeting these patients at greater risk of CVC malfunction with rt-PA as a locking solution improves CVC longevity remains to be determined.
Article
Full-text available
Based on the Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression, we hypothesized that individual differences in risk for sexual aggression moderate the association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women. This hypothesis was in keeping with the findings of a recent meta-analysis which indicated such a positive association between porn use and attitudes. However, in this meta-analysis there was also a high degree of heterogeneity among studies, suggesting the existence of crucial moderating variables. Unfortunately, the available literature included in this meta-analysis did not enable identifying the basis for such moderation. To fully test our hypothesis of individual differences moderation and related hypotheses requires a representative sample. Fortunately, a unique nationally representative sample of U.S. men in any form of post-high school education that we obtained in 1984–85 enabled testing our predictions. Participants had anonymously completed questionnaires that included items pertaining to pornography use, attitudes about violence against women, and other measures assessing risk factors highlighted by the Confluence Model. As predicted, while we found an overall positive association between pornography consumption and attitudes, further examination showed that it was moderated by individual differences. More specifically, as predicted this association was found to be largely due to men at relatively high risk for sexually aggression who were relatively frequent pornography consumers. The findings help resolve inconsistencies in the literature and are in line not only with experimental research on attitudes but also with both experimental and non-experimental studies assessing the relationship between pornography consumption and sexually aggressive behavior.
Article
Studies of the impact of the mainstream mass media on young people’s sexual behavior have been slow to accumulate despite longstanding evidence of substantial sexual content in the mass media. The sexual media effects landscape has changed substantially in recent years, however, as researchers from numerous disciplines have answered the call to address this important area of sexual socialization scholarship. The purpose of this chapter is to review the subset of accumulated studies on sexual behavior effects to determine whether this body of work justifies a causal conclusion. The standards for causal inference articulated by Cook and Campbell (1979) are employed to accomplish this objective. It is concluded that the research to date passes the threshold of substantiation for each criterion and that the mass media almost certainly exert a causal influence on United States’ youth sexual behavior.
Article
Evolutionary theory is perhaps better used as a brake on theory than as a source of 'just-so' stories of the origin of characteristics. The target paper admirably employs evolutionary theory to test competing models of the maintenance of individual differences. Areas needing further development include separating personality from situational variables, rather than confounding them, and developing a psychology of situations. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
In contrast to widely held beliefs, I suggest that research conducted with either criminal or noncriminal samples of sexually aggressive men actually reveals many similar characteristics shared by both groups. The Hierarchical-Mediational Confluence (HMC) model is presented here to integrate these findings. As relatively distal risk factors, it includes personality and behavioral characteristics associated with psychopaths and predictive of antisocial behavior generally. As more proximate risk factors, it includes personality and behavioral characteristics specifically associated with sexual aggression, such as attitudes condoning sexual aggression, dominance for sexual arousal, and heavy pornography consumption. In addition, the model predicts that the interactive combination of the various risk factors results in higher sexual aggression than expected by the additive combination of these risk factors, a prediction similar to the distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ psychopaths. A series of studies supporting the HMC model is presented. Finally, some differences between criminal and noncriminal sexual aggressors are also noted. In particular, criminal sexual aggressors have often committed various other antisocial acts in addition to sexual aggression. In contrast, noncriminals primarily reveal only some elevation in personality characteristics potentiating such nonsexual antisocial behaviors, but report having committed only sexual aggression.