Americans’ Attitudes Toward Premarital Sex and Pornography Consumption: A National Panel Analysis
- 1.6k Downloads
National panel data gathered in 2008 (T1) and 2010 (T2) from 420 Black and White US adults aged 18–89 years (M = 45.37, SD = 15.85) were employed to assess prospective associations between pornography consumption and premarital sex attitudes. Premarital sex attitudes were indexed via a composite measure of perceptions of the appropriateness of adults and teenagers having premarital sex. Wright’s (2011) sexual script acquisition, activation, application model (3AM) of media sexual socialization was used as the guiding theoretical framework. The 3AM maintains that sexual media may be used by consumers to inform their sexual scripts but that attitude change from exposure to sexual media is less likely when media scripts are incongruent with consumers’ preexisting scripts. Consistent with these postulates, the association between pornography consumption at T1 and more positive attitudes toward premarital sex at T2 was strongest for younger adults, who are less oppositional to premarital sex than older adults. Contrary to the position that associations between pornography consumption and premarital sex attitudes are due to individuals who already have positive attitudes toward premarital sex selecting content congruent with their attitudes, premarital sex attitudes at T1 did not predict pornography consumption at T2.
KeywordsPornography Premarital sex Sexual socialization Selective exposure 3AM
- Abramson, P. R., & Hayashi, H. (1984). Pornography in Japan: Cross-cultural and theoretical considerations. In N. M. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and sexual aggression (pp. 173–183). New York, NY: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. Final Report (1986, July). Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.Google Scholar
- D’Alessio, D., & Allen, M. (2007). The selective exposure hypothesis and media choice processes. In R.W. Preiss, B. M. Gayle, N. Burrell, M. Allen, &J. Bryant (Eds.), Mass media effects research (pp. 103–118). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Davis, J. A., & Smith, T. W. (2010). General social surveys, 1972–2010. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center.Google Scholar
- DeVellis, R. F. (1991). Scale development. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Elias, V. L., Fullerton, A. S., & Simpson, J. M. (2013). Long-term changes in attitudes toward premarital sex in the United States: Reexamining the role of cohort replacement. Journal of Sex Research. 10.1080/00224499.2013.798610.
- GSS2008 Sample Panel Wave 2. (2012). Retrieved from http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website/Download/SPSS+Format/.
- Little, T. D., Card, N. A., Preacher, K. J., & McConnell, E. (2009). Modeling longitudinal data from research on adolescence. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Ed.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.) (pp. 15–54). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lo, V. H., Neilan, E., Sun, M., & Chiang, S. (1999). Exposure of Taiwanese adolescents to pornographic media and its impact on sexual attitudes and behavior. Asian Journal of Communication, 9, 50–71.Google Scholar
- Malamuth, N., & Impett, E. A. (2001). 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. 269–287). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2011b). The influence of sexually explicit internet material and peers on stereotypical beliefs about womens sexual roles: Similarities and differences between adolescents and adults. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14, 511–517. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.551996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rose, J. S., Chassin, L., Presson, C.C., &Sherman, S. J. (2000). Prospective predictors of smoking cessation: A logistic regression application. In J. S. Rose, L. Chassin, C.C. Presson, & S.J. Sherman (Eds.), Multivariate applications in substance use research: New methods for new questions (pp. 289–317). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- The National Data Program for the Social Sciences. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/GSS+Website/About+GSS/National+Data+Program+for+Social+Sciences/.
- To, S., Ngai, S. S., & Kan, S. L. (2012). Direct and mediating effects of accessing sexually explicit online materials on Hong Kong adolescents attitude, knowledge, and behavior relating to sex. Children and Youth Service Review, 34, 2156–2163. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.07.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Winick, C., & Evans, J. T. (1994). Is there a national standard with respect to attitudes toward sexually explicit media material? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23, 405–419. doi: 10.1007/BF01541406.
- Wright, P. J. (2011). Mass media effects on youth sexual behavior: Assessing the claim for causality. Communication Yearbook, 35, 343–386.Google Scholar
- Wright, P. J., 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. 273–302). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar