Watching Porn at an Early Age Linked to Poor Attitudes Toward Women

Watching Porn at an Early Age Linked to Poor Attitudes Toward Women

Young or old, men who have watched pornography were both found to have poorer attitudes to women.

Bischmann and her colleagues surveyed 330 undergraduate men, age 17 to 54 years old, at a large Midwestern university.

The findings showed that a young male's exposure to pornography was associated with the need for power over women, while in older men it was linked with promiscuity.

However, those who were older when they were first exposed to pornography and had a "greater endorsement of Playboy masculine norms", such as having multiple sexual partners.

Participants were then asked to respond to a series of 46 questions created to measure the two masculine norms.

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The team now hopes to build on this research in the belief that knowing more about men's porn habits in early life, and its effects on their relationships with women later on, may assist sexual assault prevention efforts, as well as informing the "treatment of various emotional and social issues experienced by young heterosexual men who view pornography". But more research is needed to examine that possibility, they said. The study also suggested that most men watched their first porn accidentally followed by intentional and then there were those who were forced to watch adult movies. Six percent did not indicate the nature of the exposure.

On average, respondents said they were about 13 years old when they were first exposed to pornography. "That finding has sparked many more questions and potential research ideas, because it was so unexpected based on what we know about gender role socialization and media exposure", study co-author Chrissy Richardson, of the University of Nebraska, said in a statement.

The researchers found no correlation between nature of exposure and attitudes to women, which went against their predictions.

However, the scientists did note that their experiment didn't identify other factors, such as negative sexual experiences, performance anxiety, religiosity and frequency of use, which could be related to the surprising results. The younger the age, the more likely a male will want to dominate women. These included wanting power over women, desiring to be a playboy, or engaging in promiscuous sex.

Despite its limitations, Richardson claimed the study, presented at the 25th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, provides further evidence porn has a definite impact on heterosexual men.

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