Researchers presenting their findings at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA) reveal that a man's first exposure to pornography shapes certain attitudes toward women. Younger exposures lead to a desire to control women, and older exposures lead to an inclination toward promiscuity.
Researchers of the study wanted to determine how the participants' first exposure to pornography affects two things: promiscuous behavior (playboy attitude) and the desire to have power over women. To do so, researchers asked 330 undergraduate men between the ages of 17 and 54. Of the participants, 85 percent were white, and 93 percent were heterosexual.
They were first asked their age during their first exposure to pornography, as well as whether the experience was accidental, intentional, or forced. The participants then answered a set of 46 questions that measured the two masculine norms.
The youngest pornography exposure among the respondents was as young as 5 years old while the oldest was at 26 years of age, with an average exposure age of 13.37. Among the participants' first exposures, 43.5 percent were reported to be accidental, 33.4 percent were intentional, while 17.2 percent of the participants said that they were forced.
Younger And Older Exposures
What researchers found was that the men whose pornography exposure happened at a younger age leaned toward wanting to have power over women. On the other hand, the men whose pornography exposure happened at a later age were more likely to engage in playboy behavior or promiscuity.
They did not find any significance between the manner of the first exposure and the masculine norms.
The findings were surprising to researchers as they had initially expected both masculine norms to be present along with pornography exposure at a younger age. Further, they expected the manner of the first exposure to yield different results.
What interest researchers are the results they got relating to the men whose exposure at an older age led to adherence to playboy or promiscuous attitudes. They predict that apart from the first exposure to pornography, the man's sexual performance anxiety, negative sexual experience, religiosity, and even whether the first exposure was positive or negative could have affected the results.
They believe more research must be done to study these unexplored variables.
Researchers believe that their findings provide evidence for the impacts of pornographic exposure to heterosexual men, especially with regard to sex roles. Because of their findings, they believe that it is more important to know more about the relationship between pornography use and men's attitudes toward women, especially among those whose younger first exposures incited the want to have power over women.