Nonconsensual Pornography Among U.S. Adults: A Sexual Scripts Framework on Victimization, Perpetration, and Health Correlates for Women and Men

AUTHOR(S)

Yanet Ruvalcaba, and Asia A. Eaton

PUBLISHED

2020 in Psychology of Violence

KEY FINDINGS
  • According to this study, an estimated 1 in 12 U.S. adults have been victims of nonconsensual pornography (aka "revenge porn"), while 1 in 20 have been perpetrators of spreading nonconsensual pornography. Women were more often targets of nonconsensual pornography, while men were more often perpetrators. Nonconsensual pornography victimization also led to poorer mental health outcomes.
ABSTRACT
Objectives: This study examines rates of nonconsensual pornography victimization and perpetration in the United States, as well as health correlates of victimization. Nonconsensual pornography (aka “revenge porn”) is defined as the distribution of sexually explicit images without consent, and is a growing form of image-based sexual abuse. In this study, we assessed rates of nonconsensual pornography victimization and perpetration among online U.S. adults using an inclusive definition of nonconsensual pornography (i.e.,... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "This study investigated the prevalence of nonconsensual pornography victimization and perpetration among U.S. adult online social media users. In our sample of 3,044 participants (54% women), one in 12 (8%) reported having been victims of nonconsensual pornography at some point in their lives, and one in 20 (5%) reported having perpetrated nonconsensual pornography. Participants in this study reported higher rates of victimization than in some previous research on U.S. online adults (Lenhart et al., 2016), likely due to the more inclusive operational definition of nonconsensual pornography we used. Supporting Hypothesis 1, women experienced higher rates of nonconsensual pornography victimization than men overall, whereas men reported higher rates of perpetration. These gender differences are consistent with research on IPV (Black et al., 2011; Breiding, 2015; Jewkes et al., 2017), and may reflect a power imbalance informed by sexual scripts and double standards."
  • "Additionally, women victims of nonconsensual pornography in this study reported lower levels of psychological well being and higher levels of somatic symptoms compared with women non-victims (Hypothesis 3). This is consistent with qualitative studies that examined nonconsensual pornography victimization outcomes among women (Bates, 2017). Women victims reported higher somatic symptoms compared with men victims (Hypothesis 4), consistent with a sexual scripts framework and sexual double standards (Green & Faulkner, 2005). Previous research on IPV also finds that women experience higher mental and somatic pain than men post victimization (Ansara & Hindin, 2011; Devries et al., 2013). This is not to negate the adverse health outcomes related to IPV for men; however, the degree and severity of impact is gender differentiated."
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