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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 99–109 | Cite as

Experimental Effects of Exposure to Pornography: The Moderating Effect of Personality and Mediating Effect of Sexual Arousal

  • Gert Martin HaldEmail author
  • Neil N. Malamuth
Original Paper

Abstract

Using a randomly selected community sample of 200 Danish young adult men and women in a randomized experimental design, the study investigated the effects of a personality trait (agreeableness), past pornography consumption, and experimental exposure to non-violent pornography on attitudes supporting violence against women (ASV). We found that lower levels of agreeableness and higher levels of past pornography consumption significantly predicted ASV. In addition, experimental exposure to pornography increased ASV but only among men low in agreeableness. This relationship was found to be significantly mediated by sexual arousal with sexual arousal referring to the subjective assessment of feeling sexually excited, ready for sexual activities, and/or bodily sensations associated with being sexually aroused. In underscoring the importance of individual differences, the results supported the hierarchical confluence model of sexual aggression and the media literature on affective engagement and priming effects.

Keywords

Pornography Personality Sexual arousal Violence against women Rape myth 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study was supported, in part, by grants from The Health Insurance Foundation and The Augustinus Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark
  2. 2.Clinic of SexologyCopenhagen University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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