Pornography, Sexual Socialization, and Satisfaction Among Young Men
- 5.2k Downloads
In spite of a growing presence of pornography in contemporary life, little is known about its potential effects on young people’s sexual socialization and sexual satisfaction. In this article, we present a theoretical model of the effects of sexually explicit materials (SEM) mediated by sexual scripting and moderated by the type of SEM used. An on-line survey dataset that included 650 young Croatian men aged 18–25 years was used to explore empirically the model. Descriptive findings pointed to significant differences between mainstream and paraphilic SEM users in frequency of SEM use at the age of 14, current SEM use, frequency of masturbation, sexual boredom, acceptance of sex myths, and sexual compulsiveness. In testing the model, a novel instrument was used, the Sexual Scripts Overlap Scale, designed to measure the influence of SEM on sexual socialization. Structural equation analyses suggested that negative effects of early exposure to SEM on young men’s sexual satisfaction, albeit small, could be stronger than positive effects. Both positive and negative effects—the latter being expressed through suppression of intimacy—were observed only among users of paraphilic SEM. No effect of early exposure to SEM was found among the mainstream SEM users. To counterbalance moral panic but also glamorization of pornography, sex education programs should incorporate contents that would increase media literacy and assist young people in critical interpretation of pornographic imagery.
KeywordsPornography Sexually explicit materials Youth Sexual socialization Sexual scripts Intimacy Sexual satisfaction
- Abramson, P. R., & Pinkerton, S. D. (1995). With pleasure: Thoughts on the nature of human sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Barwick, H. (2003). A guide to the research into the effects of sexually explicit films and videos. New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification. http://www.censorship.govt.nz/pdfword/research_document_2003.pdf. Accessed 30 June 2007.
- Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid love: On the frailty of human bonds. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Cooper, A., & Griffin-Shelley, E. (2002). The Internet: The next sexual revolution. In A. Cooper (Ed.), Sex and the Internet: A guidebook for clinicians (pp. 1–15). New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
- Davis, C. M., & Bauserman, R. (1993). Exposure to sexually explicit materials: An attitude change perspective. Annual Review of Sex Research, 4, 121–209.Google Scholar
- Dines, G., Jensen, R., & Russo, A. (1998). Pornography: The production and consumption of inequality. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Gagnon, J. H. (1990). The explicit and implicit use of the scripting perspective in sex research. Annual Review of Sex Research, 1, 1–41.Google Scholar
- Gagnon, J. H., & Simon, W. (1973). Sexual conduct. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
- Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. M. (2008). Self-perceived effects of pornography consumption. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-007-9212-1.
- Hardy, S. (2004). Reading pornography. Sex Education, 4, 3–18.Google Scholar
- Hawton, K. (1986). Sex therapy: A practical guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User’s reference guide. Chicago: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar
- Malamuth, N. M. (2001). Pornography. In J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences (Vol. 17, pp. 11816–11821). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- McNair, B. (2002). Striptease culture: Sex, media, and the democratization of desire. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- McNulty, J. K., & Fisher, T. K. (2007). Gender differences in response to sexual expectancies and changes in sexual frequency: A short-term longitudinal study of sexual satisfaction in newly married couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-007-9176-1.
- Money, J. W. (1986) Lovemaps: Clinical concepts of sexual/erotic health and pathology, paraphilia, and gender transposition in childhood, adolescence, and maturity. New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
- Paul, P. (2005). Pornified: How pornography is transforming our lives, our relationships, and our families. New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
- Rideout, V. (2001). Generation Rx.com: How young people use the Internet for health information. Washington, DC: Kaiser Family Foundation. http://www.kff.org/entmedia/20011211a-index.cfm. Aaccessed 3 June 2007].
- Russell, D. E. H. (1997). Pornography causes harm to women. In M. R. Walsh (Ed.), Women, men and gender: Ongoing debates (pp. 158–169). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Simon, W. (1996). Postmodern sexualities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Simon, W., & Gagnon, J. H. (1999). Sexual scripts. In P. Aggleton & R. Parker (Eds.), Culture, society and sexuality: A reader (pp. 29–38). London: UCL Press.Google Scholar
- Stella, R., Mazzuco, S., & Dalla Zuanna, G. (2004). Pornography and sexual behaviour. In G. Dalla Zuanna & C. Crisafulli (Eds.), Sexual behaviour of Italian students (pp. 383–407). Messina, Italy: University of Messina.Google Scholar
- Štulhofer, A., Landripet, I., Momčilović, A., Matko, V., Kladarić, P. G., & Buško, V. (2007). Pornography and sexual satisfaction in young women, men: How to conceptualize and measure possible associations. In S. V. Knudsen, L. Lofgren-Martenson, & S. A. Mansson (Eds.), Youth, gender and pornography (pp. 66–84). Copenhagen: Danish University Press.Google Scholar
- Štulhofer, A., Matković, T., & Elias, J. (2004). Pornografija i seksualno zadovoljstvo: Postoje li veze? [Pornography and sexual satisfaction: Any associations?]. Zbornik Pravnog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Rijeci, 25, 707–720.Google Scholar
- Thornburgh, D., & Lin, H. S. (Eds.). (2002). Youth, pornography, and the Internet. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar