Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women (objectification, sexism, discrimination)

AUTHOR(S)

Skorska, Malvina N.; Hodson, Gordon; and Hoffarth, Mark R.

PUBLISHED

2018 in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

KEY FINDINGS
  • This experimental study found that consuming porn—especially degrading pornography—led to the participants being more objectifying, more discriminatory, and having more sexist attitudes against women.
ABSTRACT
There is considerable debate about the potential harmful impacts of pornography exposure and viewing among men. The current literature suggests that heterosexual men's use of pornography may be associated with negative attitudes and behaviour toward women. However, little research has experimentally examined exposure to different types of nonviolent pornography, using a range of outcome variables, and differentiating effects for women generally versus the porn actress. In the current study, 82 undergraduate men were randomly... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "Pornography exposure (vs. watching a news clip) led to greater objectification, greater hostile sexist attitudes, and discrimination, at least in the form of behavioural intentions. This overall finding supports and extends other research conducted on the relationship between pornography use and objectification, attitudes toward women, and discrimination of women."
  • "Men objectified the woman’s perceived sense of mind following an escalating harm pattern: objectification was the greatest after exposure to degrading content, and there was some objectification for erotica (vs. control). This finding supports previous objectification research suggesting that objectification occurs when focusing on the physical attributes of a target. In other words, simply showing bodies performing sexual acts even in the presence of a loving context results in some objectification. Thus, even in the presence of some love or affection in the pornography, some objectification still occurs, but the greatest amount occurs after exposure to degrading pornography."
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