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Experience with pornography: Rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, and controls


An interview designed to assess a respondent's experience with erotic material in photographs, films, and books, during adolescence and adulthood, was administered to convicted male rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, heavy pornography users, and two nondeviant contrast groups. One nondeviant group was composed of whites matched for the sex offender group; the other was composed of ghetto and middle-class blacks. Adolescent exposure to erotica was significantly less for all deviant and offender groups compared to the nondeviants. During adulthood, the sex offenders and transsexuals continued to report less exposure to erotic stimuli than controls. The homosexuals and users, however, both report greater exposure during adulthood. As adolescents, the control group, rapists, and heavy users were excited to masturbate by the erotic materials more than the other groups. As adults, the controls and rapists showed a sharp decrease in being excited to masturbate to erotica while the users' rate remained high and the homosexuals' rate rose. Less than a quarter of the respondents in any group imitated sexual behavior seen in the erotic material immediately or shortly after its viewing. The hypothesis that extent of exposure during adolescence to erotica is positively associated with the later emergence of sexual pathology is not borne out by this study. The nondeviant, non-sex-offender groups sampled had had significantly greater exposure to erotic materials during adolescence than the deviants, convicted sex offenders, or heavy adult users of pornography.

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This study was carried out for the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

Mr. Kant is also an attorney.

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Goldstein, M., Kant, H., Judd, L. et al. Experience with pornography: Rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, and controls. Arch Sex Behav 1, 1–15 (1971).

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  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Issue
  • Sharp Decrease
  • Great Exposure
  • Heavy User