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Pornography Reinforces Sexist Attitudes Among a Subgroup of Heterosexuals

Adult ContentPornography has been long considered as a controversial topic in society and its relationships with a lot of attitudes and behaviors have been highly debated. One of the concern is, what is the influence of viewing pornography on the attitudes towards women? A recent research published on Journal of Communication found that exposure to pornography can increase sexist attitudes among a subgroup of users.

Gert Martin Hald, Theis Lange, University of Copenhagen, and Neil Malamuth, University of California, Los Angeles co-operated on a research that asked 200 Danish adults aging from 18 to 30 about their past pornography consumption and evaluated their the trait of agreeableness in personality (low agreeableness typically behaves in holder higher levels of antagonism, coldness, hostility, suspiciousness, disagreeability, unfriendliness, and self-interest). Then the participants were asked to watch pornography in lab and then they were assessed for their personality as well as the influence of viewing pornography on their sexist attitudes.

During the preliminary research, the researchers found that for women, no matter how many pornography they have viewed, their sexist attitudes are not going to change; while for men, the more pornography they consumed in the past, the more negative attitude they will have on women, for example, hostility and negative prejudice, etc.

However, the researchers also found that the relationship between viewing pornography and sexist attitudes can also be affected by the agreeableness in personality: only those have low agreeableness present more severe sexist attitudes after exposure to pornography. While for other participants, pornography has almost no influence on their sexist attitudes.