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Porn Affects Men's Sexist Attitudes And Playboy Lifestyle

04 August 2017

Bischmann and her colleagues surveyed 330 undergraduate men, age 17 to 54 years old, at a large Midwestern university.

"We found that the younger a man was when he first viewed pornography, the more likely he was to want power over women", said Alyssa Bischmann, one of the researchers and a doctoral student at the university.

The two norms are sexually promiscuous behavior - or the likelihood of being a playboy - and the desire for power over women, she explained. The participants in this study were also 93% heterosexual and 85% white, so race and sexuality presumably need to be taken into consideration. Participants were asked a series of 46 questions, created to measure two "masculine norms": one in which men seek power over women, and the other where they take on a playboy persona.

On average, the men said they were about 13 years old when they first saw pornography, although some said they watched it as young as 5 and others said they were older than 26.

"We expected that the younger the boys were when first exposed to pornography, the more likely they were to adopt playboy norms as well as norms of masculine power over women", Bischmann said. The older they were on their first viewing, the more likely they are to become sexually promiscuous.

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How old a male first sees pornography is linked to specific sexist behavior he may have later in life, researchers found.

Still, the researchers say their findings suggest that viewing pornography could impact men's attitudes, particularly their views on sex roles, the researchers said.

'The most interesting finding from this study was that older age at first exposure predicted greater adherence to the playboy masculine norms, ' Richardson explained.

The latter finding was unexpected, the researchers said.

For example, a participant's level of religion, sexual performance anxiety, negative sexual experiences or whether their first exposure experience was positive or negative could play a more significant role than age.

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The researchers found no correlation between nature of exposure and attitudes to women, which went against their predictions.

The age of exposure had differing effects on the two "norms" - the urge to control women, and "playboy" behaviour.

Anecdotally, Richardson said she has observed sexual difficulties among clients who struggle with pornography use.

The study, presented at the American Psychological Association in Washington, found that earlier pornography exposure was linked to an increased desire to "have power over" women.

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Porn Affects Men's Sexist Attitudes And Playboy Lifestyle