I (Dis)Like it Like That: Gender, Pornography, and Liking Sex

AUTHOR(S)

Matthew B. Ezzell , Jennifer A. Johnson , Ana J. Bridges , and Chyng F. Sun

PUBLISHED

2020 in Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy Volume 46, 2020

KEY FINDINGS
  • This study found that increased pornography consumption was associated with men's enjoyment of degrading/uncommon sexually aggressive behaviors, while increased pornography consumption was associated with women's enjoyment of being the recipient of lightly aggressive behaviors.
ABSTRACT
Rates of pornography consumption in the U.S. are high and increasing. With exploratory aims, this study addresses the questions: What is the association between pornography consumption and liking of sexual behaviors commonly depicted in pornography, and is enjoyment moderated by gender? Sexual scripts theory suggests that increased pornography consumption is associated with increased engagement in pornographic sex acts, but it does not speak to enjoyment of the acts when engaged. The current study seeks to fill that gap.... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "Descriptively, our findings show that gender was significantly associated with reported liking of specific sexual acts frequently depicted in pornography. Compared to women in our sample, men were significantly more likely to report liking a specific aggressor behavior (spanking a partner lightly) and significantly more likely to report liking four of the six degrading/uncommon behaviors when compared to women in our sample (effect sizes ranged from moderate to relatively strong). Increased pornography consumption... among men was associated with greater reported liking of a degrading/uncommon behavior... whereas greater consumption among women was associated with greater reported liking of a target behavior."
  • After all, men consume more pornography than women (Sun et al., 2016), and pornography consumption is associated with taking an instrumental as opposed to relational approach to sex (e.g., seeing sex as causal, uncommitted, and recreational; see Braithwaite et. al., 2015) and 'sexual callousness' (Zillman, 200, p. 42) more broadly. If this is the case, the pleasure and enjoyment of men's female partners, and even female partners' experiences of physical and/or emotional pain, may be understood as secondary to the men's pleasure. Yet it may also be the case that women's lack of pleasure, and even pain, could be a source of pleasure for some men."
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