An experimental investigation into pornography's effect on men's perceptions of the likelihood of women engaging in porn-like sex

Dan J. Miller, Kerry Anne McBain, Peter T. F. Raggatt
2018 Psychology of Popular Media Culture  
An experimental investigation into pornography's effect on men's perceptions of the likelihood of women engaging in porn-like sex. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8 (4) pp. 365-375. Abstract This experimental study investigates whether exposure to pornography affects men's perceptions of the likelihood of women engaging in, and enjoying, "porn-like" sex. Participants (N = 418) were either exposed to non-pornographic control videos or pornographic videos in which a male taxi driver has sex
more » ... axi driver has sex with a female passenger. Participants' perceptions of the likelihood of women engaging in various sexual practices commonly depicted in pornography (e.g., unprotected sex with a stranger, rough sex) were then assessed across two vignettes. In the first vignette, a male taxi driver propositions a female passenger. In the second, a male boss propositions a female employee. The study was administered online to maximize ecological validity. No effect was found for experimental exposure. However, an effect was detected for past exposure. Men who had viewed taxithemed pornography in the previous six months rated the female taxi vignette character as being more likely to engage in porn-like sex with a male taxi driver. Similarly, those who had viewed workplace-themed pornography in the previous six months judged the female workplace vignette character as being more likely to engage in porn-like sex with a male boss. The implications of these findings for theoretical models of sexual media socialization are discussed. There is much public interest in the effects of pornography use on consumers' perceptions of women, yet relatively few experimental studies have investigated this issue. In the current study, experimental exposure to pornography was not found to influence men's perceptions of the likelihood of women engaging in the kinds of sexual practices commonly depicted in pornography. However, the study did find that past use of certain kinds of pornography is associated with judging women to be more likely to engage in porn-like sex in some situations, indicating the potential socializing effect of pornography in regard to men's perceptions of what is sexually normative. It is possible that such changes to perceptions of sexual norms may negatively impact the lives of both men and women.
doi:10.1037/ppm0000202 fatcat:4nknozqoyndtrnwbcc7szvgtlu